BAPS Centenary Celebration
17 December 2007, Amdavad
17 December 2007

The Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha’s (BAPS) Centenary Celebrations culminated on 17 December 2007 with the 87th birthday of His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj celebrated on a 300-acre site in Chandkheda, Amdavad. Hundreds of thousands paid tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life-long inspirational service, selfless love and profound spirituality in an inspirational and spellbinding 3-hour cultural programme performed by thousands of BAPS children and youth. The programme focused on Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s living spirituality centred on his credo, “In the Joy of others lies our own”.

BAPS: A Tribute to its Founders

The programme commenced with 50 sadhus reciting Vedic mantras representing BAPS’s Akshar-Purushottam (i.e. Bhakta-Bhagwan) philosophy; a drama of BAPS’s founding moments under Shastriji Maharaj’s leadership in Bochasan, 1907; a speech by senior sadhu Viveksagar Swami about how Yogiji Maharaj nurtured this satsang community; and a historic video of these two gurus of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

In the Joy of Others…
The next section highlighted how for the last 87 years, Pramukh Swami Maharaj has given himself to others with the sentiment: “In the joy of others, lies our own. In the good of others, lies our own. In the progress of others, lies our own”. How his spirituality has touched people's hearts was presented by personal testimonies of the very people whose lives had been transformed.

  • Tribal Reshma Pardhi wrote an illegible letter to Swamishri. Swamishri made the effort to discover and solve his problem by installing the requested hand pump in his village. Swamishri’s care extends to the tiniest village and remotest tribal. He treats their problems as his own
  • Subhash Patel of Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania expressed how Swamishri’s love transformed him from decadence to devotion.
  • Dr. Hari Bhatt of New York told of how after a crippling accident Swamishri's love lifted him out of the depths of despair and helped him become a doctor, a published author, a musician and candidate for the 2008 Beijing Paraolympics.
  • Han Kop of The Netherlands recounted how Swamishri’s divine presence protected and pacified him in the face of a shark attack.
  • Vasant Patel of Narayannagar, Kutch related how Swamishri’s physical, financial and moral support after the Bhuj quake elevated an entire village such that it received the National Clean village Award.
  • Jasbir Singh Sahni of Bahrain related how Swamishri reached out to satisfy his spiritual hunger.
  • Dr. Faisal Sayeed Zeerah, Director of the International Hospital in Bahrain described how Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s spirituality transcends religious boundaries.
  • Kenyan Land Minister Joseph Muturia described how Swamishri’s inspiration transcended race and religion, as it freed him, his family and countless friends from alcohol.
A video concluded this section showing how by giving his heart so completely, Pramukh Swami Maharaj has earned a place in the hearts of millions.

Guinness World Records Presentation
London’s Michael Whitty, member of the main management committee of the Guinness World Records Book paid tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s epoch-making work by presenting him with two World Record certificates for:
1) Consecrating the most number of Hindu temples in the World at 713
2) Creating Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi as the largest comprehensive Hindu Temple in the world.

Living Spirituality
The final section of the program described how the countless lives transformed and the mandirs built was all due to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s profound spirituality. A new commentary (bhashya) on the Vedic scriptures revealing the eternal spiritual truths on which BAPS is based was dedicated. A video of Swamishri’s spirituality was followed by a series of speeches describing how Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s spirituality is striking not just in what he has done, but more so in what he has not done. Anandswarup Swami described Pramukh Swami’s peaceful response after the 2002 terrorist attack on Akshardham as it showed how Swamishri has never allowed religion to become aggressive. Bramavihari Swami related how Swamishri is an egoless personality who has never felt pride due to his achievements. In a specially recorded video interview, Former President APJ Abdul Kalam told of how he had been touched by Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s humility and spiritually where in the midst of worldwide acclaim, Swamishri remains focused on serving God and people. Senior BAPS sadhu, Doctor Swami, recounted his experiences of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s unshakeable faith in God as the all-doer whom he credits for all his achievements. Next, senior BAPS sadhu, Mahant Swami described how the culmination of Swamishri's spirituality was that he has become a vessel for the presence of God. Then, a lively dance by children and youth paid homage to the guru, followed by prayers by senior sadhus on behalf of the entire BAPS community.
The 3-hour programme was capped with the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who said, “
After the blessings, the more than 275,000 assembled performed arti offering their homage to God and guru. The programme concluded a dance and fireworks display celebrating BAPS’s glorious first century and inviting its promising second century.
The Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a United Nations affiliated social-spiritual organization with 3,300 global centres, 700 mandirs, 780 sadhus, 55,000 volunteers and over one million followers.
Reports of each day of the celebrations have been posted in the Media Info section of the BAPS website at