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Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj also respectfully addressed as 'Swamishri', was the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

He led an austere life of complete celibacy, without any personal wealth or comfort.

Representing the essence of Hinduism, his compassion for humanity, universal wisdom and
striking simplicity had touched the hearts of many of the world's religious and national leaders. But most important was his quiet, undisturbed love for God which rose beyond all borders of nations, race and religion.

Even after creating an international spiritual empire of hundreds of mandirs (temples), thousands of centers of worship, and over a million followers, one would always find Swamishri engrossed in prayer, sometimes at 2.30 in the morning. His life is living proof that prayers work and divine love succeeds.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj, as a living guru, specialized in inspiring and instilling spirituality, and became a limitless source of peace and tranquility to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world.

Whether it be a depressed student, a runaway child, a ruined businessman, a frustrated wife, a broken marriage, a loss of a job, or the death of a loved one, people overcame their emotional trials through Pramukh Swami's care, counseling and wisdom.

Some inspiring events from his life :

HIS DEVOTION TO GOD

Once, when Swamishri was absorbed in Thakorji's darshan, Bhagvatcharan Swami bent down to touch Swamishri's feet. This startled Swamishri, who then stopped him from touching his feet, “Never bow down to touch my feet before Thakorji. One should respect Thakorji.” And then he explained further. “In the presence of the king, tell me, how would it look if one showed respect to a servant by touching his feet?”

Swamishri's words showed his profound humility and devotion to Thakorji.

IN HONOUR AND INSULT

After the grand, divine celebration of Suvarna Tula festival in London, where thousands of devotees paid reverence to Swamishri, even as his car was leaving the stadium, he was
immersed in reading letters from his devotees. Within seconds of leaving the devotees, Swamishri forgot the honour bestowed upon him.

The very next day, there occurred a contrasting incident.

A person with rage and anger came to see Pramukh Swami Maharaj and started uttering foul language in his presence. But Swamishri was unruffled. There was not a trace of anger on his face, and no bitter feeling in his heart. After exhausting his rage, the person became silent. Swamishri instructed the attendants, “See that he is served lunch before he leaves.”

Swamishri could forget the grand honour accorded to him in moments, and also forgive and forget the insult rained on him in seconds! He accepted honour and insult with equanimity.

A MIDNIGHT PRAYER

It was 2:30 a.m., and Swamishri was sitting on his bed, with his eyes closed and his hands folded in prayer, chanting the Swaminarayan Mahamantra.

On being questioned by the attendant Sadhu, he replied, “There is a famine in India. There are no rains. I am praying that the rains fall and bring peace and relief to the suffering animals, birds, and people.” “How often do you do these midnight prayers?” The sadhu enquired.

Swamishri reluctantly replied, “I often pray at night. I pray for all the people who come to me with their problems.”

ABSOLUTE HUMILITY

On seeing several sadhus gathered for his darshan (devotional viewing), Swamishri asked, “Why are you so happy?” The sadhus remained quiet, so Swamishri answered himself, “Oh, you are all happy because the new Mandir (temple) is ready and you will also get to see new devotees!”

The sadhus replied exalting Swamishri's glory, “But, who has made the mandir!” To this, Swamishri replied, “Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj have done it.”

In every deed Swamishri's life resonated with humility towards God and his gurus.

HIS TEACHINGS

If one does not have values in life, then it won't take long to lose one's wealth.

Youth should think first of character. They should have no addictions. All those who have become great have first molded their character – built their life on moral foundations. There is no outcome if you serve society with a lack of character. Even if you talk to somebody you cannot hope to influence him if you are lacking in character.

Failings should be abandoned. Addictions, temperaments, prejudices, harmful thoughts and actions should all be renounced. Through the centuries, the wealth of character is what India has given to the world. If everyone decides to rid themselves of failings then the world would become faultless. Stop looking at the faults of others and grasp only their virtues.

Soap cleans the body, but what of deceit and fraudulence that remain in the mind? Satsang is the soap that cleanses the mind.

Centre God in all your activities. Serve society, but keep God within you. Never forget God.