Virtue of Refrain
3 Jan. 2023, Tuesday, Ahmedabad, India
Leading women educators shared their insights on women’s role in preserving culture as a part of the daily programme organised by the BAPS Women’s Wing at the Women’s Empowerment Hall in Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar on 3 January 2023.
Prof. Indira Parikh, Founder and Former President of FLAME University, Pune and Former Professor and Dean at IIM-Ahmedabad, shared her thoughts on the distinctiveness of Indian culture saying, “Our ancient culture and rich values are unparalleled. For instance, Indians were well-versed in management since they managed gigantic forts and constructed large, magnificent temples.
Commenting on women’s role in preserving our traditions and culture, she said, “Today, we see many women still wearing our traditional attire – they are making an effort to preserve our culture. I too, always wear a sari irrespective of the country I am visiting for business or leisure. People around me have not only accepted it but have also appreciated it. It helps in preserving our culture. Only when we respect our own culture and country, will others respect them as well.”
Lauding Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s contributions to our culture, she said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s creations like temples, schools, hospitals, and festival celebrations generate respect for our culture and our women. I am overwhelmed with pride for our culture when I look around Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar today. We should be immensely grateful to Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Because of his efforts, our culture is being revived in its true form.”
Ms. Ramila Patel, Chairman Education Committee, Sabarkantha commented, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj Centennial Celebration is a priceless celebration. Especially, the importance that is given to women empowerment is a remarkable thing. Today women are taking the lead on many fronts. I feel very fortunate to get this opportunity of visiting the Nagar.”
BAPS Women’s Wing volunteer, Ms. Dayaben Ravariya, speaking about the virtue of good character in Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life, observed that “Pramukh Swami Maharaj often said, ‘When wealth is lost nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. But when the character is lost, everything is lost.’
Highlighting the value of character and righteousness that set people apart, she said, “Lord Swaminarayan once said that an individual’s good character and actions speak volumes. Pramukh Swami Maharaj taught people to follow five fundamental vows including refraining from meat, alcohol, adultery, theft, and impurity. He not only preached this but worked tirelessly for it. He organized de-addiction drives to help people live addiction-free lives. The exhibition – ‘Chalo tod de ye Bandhan (Break-free from the attachment)’ in Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar depicts the detrimental impact of having vices and has motivated innumerable spectators to give up their additions.”
“Pramukh Swami Maharaj firmly followed the five vows for swamis, including the vow of celibacy. With his firmness in obeying these vows, he set an example for society.” She recounted that , “Jain Acharya Pushparaj Muni once said, ‘What matters to us is Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s behaviour; not the God he worships. It is believed that the Gods are delighted if someone practices celibacy for even one day. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has always upheld the vow of celibacy. I would put him in the forefront of all the holy seers who keep this commitment.’
She concluded by saying, “Every corner of the Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar inspires people to lead a life with values and morals. There is a famous quote ‘Only a man of character (Pramukh Swami Maharaj) is capable of creating a society of character’. Mahant Swami Maharaj is carrying forward his work through such events and activities.”