Equality Day: Celebrating Equality

21 Dec. 2022, Wednesday, Ahmedabad, India

‘Equality Day’ was dedicated to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life of helping all without discrimination

Social, educational and religious leaders paid homage to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life of service and promotion of universal welfare

Mahant Swami Maharaj, along with dignitaries from social, educational and religious sectors, celebrated ‘Equality Day’ before an assembly of tens of thousands during the seventh evening programme of the Pramukh Swami Maharaj Centenary Celebrations in Ahmedabad on Wednesday 21 December. The eminent leaders paid tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s vision and work of serving society and the world without distinction. He accepted everyone without considering their caste, creed, education, wealth or nationality.

The programme began at 5.15pm with prayers and devotional hymns. This was followed by a special tribute from an international orchestra of musicians from around the world, celebrating the lasting legacy of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s efforts in promoting equality and harmony within society.

The evening’s programme focussed on the life and work of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who epitomised the verse from the Bhagavat Gita, ‘Samatvam Yoga Uchyate’. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s positive, enthusiastic and equanimous outlook and calm and peaceful composure persisted in honour and insult, gain and loss.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s biographer Adarshjivandas Swami said, “Not one hour in Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s day was devoid of helping others. No matter how many diffi culties he faced, he strove to fi ll others’ lives with peace and joy. Even when he was lacking in resources, he gave liberally to others. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s help was hidden, silent, and without discrimination. Whether it was humankind suffering from earthquakes and tsunamis or mute animals suffering during droughts and famines, Pramukh Swami Maharaj always believed that his primary duty was to help all of creation, and thus create a
better world. Pramukh Swami’s love was like a rain-bearing cloud that showers its bounty on all irrespective of race, caste, creed or religion.”

A video presentation, ‘Champion of the Oppressed: Pramukh Swami Maharaj’, showed how Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a torchbearer of practical spirituality in the modern world.

Many illustrious dignitaries also paid tributes by remembering how Pramukh Swami Maharaj embodied the ethos of equality.

Vijay Patil, President of DY Patil University, said, “The entire Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar is a truly incredible architectural wonder. BAPS has been a fantastic ambassador for India, propagating our values and philosophy not only in the field of religion, but also in education, health care, and the social sphere.”

Sanvegbhai Lalbhai, Executive Director of Atul Limited, said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a Ganga of compassion and equality who purifi ed all he touched. He imparted an unparalleled message of peace and harmony to humanity. The virtues and values he shared have benefi ted not just this country but the whole world.”

Milind Kamble, Chair of IIM Jammu Board of Governors and Founding President of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj carried out tremendous work for the upliftment of the lower castes and tribes. He worked tirelessly to create a mindset of equality within the minds of people everywhere.”

Vaishnavacharya Goswami Dwarkeshlalji, Founder of the International Vaishnav Sangh, said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s inner principles were revealed in the words that he spoke, and the words that he spoke manifested in his actions. He worked to rid people of addictions, to eradicate discriminatory attitudes and practices, to revive communities affected by all sorts of unrest and calamities. He has stood alongside society and made all of humanity his family.”

Sant Shree Savaiyanath Samadhi Sthan Mahant Shambhuprasad Tundiya Ji said, “Our society is divided by sects, castes, and communities, but here all divisions are erased. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has personifi ed the idea that ‘we are all one.’”

Balvantsinh Rajput, Cabinet Minister in the Government of Gujarat, said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj was peaceful, divine and completely absorbed in God. I have experienced his divinity on a personal level, and I have experienced a similar divinity here in this record-breaking Nagar.”

Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsanchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said, “This festival highlights a very important point other than his work and that is: why did he do this? He did not need to do anything other than focus on spirituality. But Pramukh Swami Maharaj lived his whole life serving society.

“All negativity exists because of ego and pride, but Pramukh Swami had no ego and so strove for the advancement and equality of society. Pramukh Swami Maharaj loved everyone equally because he had no attachment to the self. Pramukh Swami Maharaj did not see a crowd of people, but he saw God in each human and considered all people to be the children of God. There is no doubt that he considered everyone equal and treated everyone with the same love. He is a shining example to follow if we want to bring about true equality amongst human society. By emulating him, by absorbing his positive qualities, normal people like you and me can make incremental progress and slowly but surely reach our goal. By following in his footsteps, our country will be prosperous, will be secure and will be great again.”

Concluding the assembly with his blessings, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj said, “God and the Guru do not see distinctions amongst people, because they see the same God residing in all. As we are all the children of God, who is unequal?

Pramukh Swami Maharaj often said, ‘If our actions are virtuous, then everyone is virtuous.’ Shabari, Rohidas and others offered their devotion to God and followed his commands, so their names are immortalized in the Scriptures. In this world, they were considered ordinary, because the people of this world look at superfi cial things. But those who possess virtues are venerable even if they are poor or live in a hut.

“Pramukh Swami Maharaj used to say, ‘True religion fosters love for all.’ So, only by fostering love for God will we be able to create a true sentiment of equality.”

At the end, a six-part docuseries on Pramukh Swami Maharaj titled, “Peed Parayi Jane Re” (Feeling the Suffering of Others), produced by Oho Gujarati OTT app, was inaugurated by Mahant Swami Maharaj.