By Vish Viswanathan
In an interesting segment to the event ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ that celebrating India’s 68th Independence Day, ‘Transcendence’, a book by the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India and eminent scientist, was launched in the presence of Australian Indian community leaders representing 52 Indian organisations. The event, held at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Rosehill on August 22, was well attended.
It was a revelation to many that ‘Transcendence: My spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swamiji’, the last book written by Dr Kalam, resulted from spiritual inspiration gleaned through his association with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). The book focuses on Dr Kalam’s personal and enlightening spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swamiji.
In his speech when launching the book, Dr Hari Harinath, Chair of Multicultural NSW’s Advisory Board said, “A man who was born on the southern tip of India, who met a person in the western part of India and what developed was chemistry. A scientist and a spiritual leader, talking together and writing a book which has modern relevance to society, not only for India but for all of the world.”
He added that the book is an insight into the two leaders who had mutual bonds of friendship, spirituality and respect spanning 14 years, and took two years to complete. Dr Harinath also praised the life and lessons of both leaders, in particular their messages of humility and selflessness.
“Dr Kalam acknowledged that Pramukh Swamiji was a great teacher who taught him to eradicate ‘I’-ness and ‘My’-ness in life. If we can forget these two words in our lives, we will find peace in ourselves,” he added. The book will be available at the Mandir bookshop.
‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ was compered by Kunal Patel, with the Utsav Garach presenting an overview and the activities of BAPS. A video speech by Sadhu Brahmviharidas from the BAPS headquarters in Ahmedabad was played, with the vote of thanks presented by Sitesh Bhojani, Trustee, BAPS. “This wonderful event enjoyed the honour of launching an amazing and truly spiritual publication in the presence of distinguished members of our community,” stated Yogi Savania, spokesperson for the Mandir.
The BAPS Mandir’s abiding motto continues to be ‘the whole world is one family’, since its inception. The Mandir is open daily from 7am to 11.30am and 4pm to 8pm, with daily aartis, ceremony of light, held at 7.15am and 7pm. For more information on BAPS, its activities and centres please visit baps.org or contact Jay Pandya on 0426 102 008.