On July 20, 2012, in the presence of senior Swamis in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Pramukh Swami Maharaj revealed that Mahant Swami Maharaj would be his spiritual successor upon his own passing and wrote a letter in his own handwriting to that effect.
The first Guru Purnima since Mahant Swami Maharaj took over as guru, was celebrated July 9, at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chicago.
Guru Purnima celebrates the role of a spiritual guru in one’s life and provides the opportunity to offer gratitude for the guidance and support given by the guru.
The theme of this celebration was Culture and Spirituality, which are two attributes Mahant Swami Maharaj embodies, according to followers, seen in his dedication to Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and his selfless service to BAPS as its leader, a press release from BAPS said.
The July 9, program included speeches narrating life experiences from senior swamis who reflected on the guru bhakti between Mahant Swami Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Honoring the wishes of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Mahant Swami Maharaj traveled throughout India and the world for 45 years to inspire devotees and continues to do so today, BAPS said. His life motto has been, “In the joy of others lies our own.”
In his blessings on this joyous occasion, Mahant Swami Maharaj encouraged all to develop a sound basis for spirituality and ethics as individuals, emphasizing that this is the greatest way a devotee can offer his or her devotion to a spiritual guru.