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Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the guru and Pramukh, or president, of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, an international Hindu socio-spiritual organization. BAPS regards him as the fifth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan, following Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, and Yogiji Maharaj. He was believed by his followers to be in constant communion with Swaminarayan, and ontologically, the manifestation of Akshar, the eternal abode of Swaminarayan.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Born Shantilal Patel
(1921-12-07)7 December 1921
Chansad, Baroda State, British India
Died 13 August 2016(2016-08-13) (aged 94)
Salangpur, Botad district, Gujarat, India
Titles/honours Shastri (Scholar)
Guru Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj
Notable disciple(s) Mahant Swami Maharaj
Quotation "In the joy of others, lies our own"

Pramukh Swami Maharaj (born Shantilal Patel; ordained Shastri Narayanswarupdas; 7 December 1921 – 13 August 2016) was the guru and Pramukh, or president, of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, an international Hindu socio-spiritual organization. BAPS regards him as the fifth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan, following Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, and Yogiji Maharaj. He was believed by his followers to be in constant communion with Swaminarayan, and ontologically, the manifestation of Akshar, the eternal abode of Swaminarayan.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj received initiation as a Hindu Swami in 1940 from Shastriji Maharaj, the founder of BAPS, who later appointed him as President of BAPS in 1950. Yogiji Maharaj declared Pramukh Swami Maharaj to be his spiritual successor and guru of BAPS, a role he commenced in 1971.

As president of BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj had overseen the growth of BAPS from an organization centered in Gujarat, India, to one spread around the world, maintaining many Hindu Mandirs and centers outside of India. He built more than 1,100 Hindu temples, including the Swaminarayan Akshardham temples in New Delhi and Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He had also spearheaded the efforts of BAPS Charities, which is the charitable service organization affiliated with BAPS. Pramukh Swami Maharaj is succeeded as the guru and President of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha by Mahant Swami Maharaj.

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