Celebrating the 100th AARSH Seminar in the Presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj

Under the direction of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj and with the blessings of HH Mahant Swami Maharaj, AARSH, Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar has been organizing lectures every 3 months for the last 25 years. With an aim to preserve Indian Culture, lectures are organized engaging experts in this field. The lectures have covered topics such as prominent personalities, current issues, Philosophy and Literature.

Starting in the year 1997, AARSH has successfully organized 99 quarterly lectures as part of its ongoing activities. The 100th quarterly lecture of this series was organized in the divine presence of HH Mahant Swami Maharaj on 15th February 2023 at Yogi Sabhagruh, Swaminarayan Mandir, Dadar, Mumbai on ‘Pramukh Swami Mahraj’s Contributions to the Spread of Akshar-Purushottam Darshan’.

HH Mahant Swami Maharaj started the program in the morning after his daily pooja ritual by lighting a lamp. During the day, there were four sessions on the following topics: 1) The Virtues Described in the Shrimad Bhagvat Are Exemplified by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, 2) From Darkness to Light, 3) The Life of Women in Vedic Times and 4) Principles and Practices for Family Unity. The speakers of the above topics were respectively (1) Prof. Dr. Narendra Pandya, Principal, Shree Somnath Sanskrit College, Veraval, (2) Shri Prakash Pathak, Prominent Speaker, Dhule, (3) Prof. Dr. Shubhada Joshi, former head of the Philosophy Department, Mumbai University and (4) Shri Harikrishna Shashtri, Motivational Speaker, Surat. The chairperson of each of these sessions was respectively (1) Mahamahopadhayay Dr. Bhadreshdas Swami, (2) Dr. Vidhyasinhacharya, Chairperson, Satyadhan Vidhayapith, Mulund, Mumbai, (3) Prof. Dr. Purnima dave and (4) Sadguru Dr. Viveksagardas Swami.

The main lecture took place in the divine presence of HH Mahant Swami Maharaj from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Prof. Dr. Atmatruptdas Swami, Associate Professor, AARSH, Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar was the speaker of the main lecture. Invitee, Dr. Rudrax Sakarikar, Assistant Professor, Somaiya Institute of Religious Studies; the guest of honour, Shri Rajan Velukar, Ex. Vice Chancellor, Mumbai University; Prof. Dr. Shrutiprakashdas Swami, Director, AARSH, Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar and Sadguru Bhaktipriyadas Swami, Kothari, Swaminarayan Mandir, Dadar, Mumbai also graced the occasion with their presence. Each of the esteemed dignitaries was presented with a garland, shawl and memento.

In the main 100th lecture, Prof. Dr. Atmatruptdas Swami said that,

Pramukh Swami Maharaj has visited more than 250,000 homes in 17,000 villages and cities throughout 50 countries. He personally counselled and comforted more than 810,000 people. Created over 1,100 Hindu mandirs internationally, he established vibrant centers of culture, values and spirituality. He also ordained more than 1,100 youths into the monastic in order to serve society and strive spiritually. He established research centers like AARSH, and this has now evolved to 7 such centers being developed in various continents.

He inspired saints to pursue studies in Sanskrit to further the knowledge of Akshar-Purushottam in greater depth. As a result, Prof. Dr. Shrutiprakashdas Swami wrote the Akshar-Purushottam Mahatmya having 19,000 verses, along with other books. Mahamahopadhayay Dr. Bhadreshdas Swami wrote commentaries on the Prasthantrayi, which have been studied and discussed at great length by scholars in different parts of India and the world. Resultingly, the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan has been accepted as a true independent Vedic Darshan and has been incorporated into the curriculum of many universities.

HDH Mahant Swami Maharaj has given new fervour to the activities of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He has gifted the ‘Satsang Diksha’ scripture containing 315 verses. It has been learnt by heart by thousands of youths and children all-round the word and has been translated in Sanskrit, English and 15 Indian languages.

Prof. Dr. Shrutiprakashdas Swami gave a brief summary of the past 99 lectures, and how enthusiasts are still able to listen to the lectures through the 12 MP3 discs released so far, and through the ‘Akshar Amrutam’ mobile application.

Blessing the occasion, HH Mahant Swami Maharaj expressed that one hundred lecture series is no small task, and sustaining this lecture series for 25 years is a commendable achievement. It could only be accomplished due to the inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Pujya Shastriji Maharaj showed us the true path of devotion by creating Akshar-Purshottam temples. Pramukh Swami Maharaj established research institute like AARSH to spread this true knowledge.

A large number of people and invitees attended the sessions of the hundredth lecture of AARSH, Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar. The opening session and main lecture were webcasted live. The main session was conducted by Shri Harikrishna Shastri and the program concluded with a vote of thanks given by Prof. Dr. Shrutiprakashdas Swami.


Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami

Children recite scriptural passages in Swamishri’s daily puja

Swamishri lights the inaugural lamp for the 100th Quarterly AARSH Seminar

Swamishri sanctifies certificates, files and pens

Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Shri Gunatitanand Swami with an i-card

Shri Harikrishna Shashtri anchoring the seminar

Swamishri blesses the seminar

Senior sadhus, sadhus and invited guests with Swamishri on the stage

Bhadreshdas Swami addresses the seminar

Swamishri blesses the seminar

Shrutiprakashdas Swami addresses the seminar

Sadhus and devotees during the seminar

Swamishri during the seminar

Shri Rudraksh Sakrikar addresses the seminar

Shri Narendra Pandya addresses the seminar