Born on December 7, 1921, in a small village near Vadodara in Gujarat, he left home to receive initiation into the sadhu fold from Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj, his guru, and was named Sadhu Narayanswarupdas.
He became the “Kothari” of the Sarangpur Mandir in 1946 at the age of 25, upon completing his Sanskrit studies. Four years later, he was selected by Shastriji Maharaj as the president of BAPS.
After Shastriji Maharaj’s death in 1951, Yogiji Maharaj became his spiritual successor. Pramukh Maharaj served as the understudy until the death of Yogiji Maharaj in 1971. He succeeded Yogiji Maharaj as the fifth spiritual guru of BAPS.
In the next 45 years, Pramukh Maharaj would travel across the world, visiting more than 17,000 towns and villages.
“His unremitting satsang travels, selfless services to society, saintly virtues and profound devotion to God earned him the respect and reverence of countless worldwide, the BAPS release said.”His untiring efforts in uplifting lives, liberating thousands from vices and addictions, providing relief and rehabilitation to innumerable people in times of calamity and catastrophe, and inspiring character and faith in hundreds of thousands of children and youths were some of his many outstanding services to society.”
Pramukh Maharaj built and consecrated over 1,100 mandirs worldwide, according to BAPS.
Cultural complexes such as Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi and Gandhinagar were also consecrated by him.
Among Pramukh Maharaj’s galaxy of friends and disciples include The Dalai Lama, the late Indian president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prince Charles, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the late Sheikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifa of Bahrain, and many royals, heads of state and other dignitaries, according to BAPS.