CHINO HILLS, Calif. — The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir here Aug. 16 honored the legacy of the late former president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, with the launch of his final book, “Transcendence.”

“Transcendence” documents a 14-year journey between Kalam and His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, who carries forward a legacy of enlightened gurus that goes back to the early 19th century.

The event was a tribute to Kalam’s lifetime of dedicated public service and varied contributions to India’s development as a country.

Throughout his career, Kalam wrote over 30 books and is considered to be one of India’s most widely read and best-selling authors. In “Transcendence,” Kalam’s writings focus on the philosophical and spiritual guidance from Pramukh Swami Maharaj that shaped his purpose and direction in serving India.

Most astonishing about their friendship, said a press release, is that Kalam was not conversant in Gujarati, Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s native language, and Pramukh Swami does not speak English. Despite the language barrier, they were able to transcend communication challenges.

The resulting bond, built on selfless service and sustained through common interest, was life changing for Kalam and is thoughtfully articulated in his writing, added the release.

Commenting on Kalam’s life work, distinguished guest Dr. Vivek Lall, global chief executive for International Commercial Strategic Development, for General Atomics, stated, “He was a great unifier. Unifier of thoughts, unifier of religion and unifier of peace. And therefore, he gained much respect in India and around the world.” 

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