Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University hosted the representatives of over 40 universities at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Scientific Convention Center in Lucknow to honor Mahamahopadhyaya Swami Bhadreshdasji with two awards – ‘Acharya Pravar’ conferred by the State of Uttar Pradesh and ‘Excellence in Philosophy’ by Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow – for authoring two unique contemporary Sanskrit texts: the ‘Swaminarayan Bhashya’ and the ‘Swaminarayan-Siddhant-Sudha’.
The commentaries (bhashyas) by Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhavacharya and others on the Prasthantrayi, namely the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras, and the Bhagavad Gita, are part of India’s priceless intellectual heritage.
Inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj and blessed by Mahant Swami Maharaj, Bhadreshdas Swami has advanced this intellectual tradition by writing a commentary on the Prasthantrayi according to the doctrine revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan. This is the first novel bhashya written after 150 years and is the first time in 1,200 years that a bhashya has been written by one author on all three texts of the Prasthantrayi.
Bhadreshdas Swami has also written the ‘Swaminarayan-Siddhant-Sudha’ – a vadagrantha that presents an exposition, justification and defence of the philosophical principles of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. For such a vadagrantha to be written by the Prasthantrayi-commentator (bhashyakar) himself is unprecedented in the history of Vedantic literature. Thus, the creation of these texts by Bhadreshdas Swami is considered by many scholars to be this century’s most important work in Vedanta philosophy.
Bhadreshdas Swami’s work has been acknowledged by many universities throughout India with awards such as Mahamahopadhyaya, Vedant Martand, Darshan Kesari, Abhinav Bhashyakar and Vidvat-Sarvabhauma.
On this occasion, on behalf of the State of Uttar Pradesh, Deputy Chief Minister Shri Dinesh Sharma, conferred the ‘Acharya Pravar’ award, and on behalf of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Vice-chancellor Dr. N.M.P. Verma awarded the title of ‘Excellence in Philosophy’ to Bhadreshdas Swami.
Also present at the felicitation assembly were Dr. Mahrukh Mirza (Vice-chancellor, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Arabi-Farsi University), presented a felicitation letter in Arabic, Shri Kuvarshekhar Vrajendraji (Vice-chancellor, Shobhit University) and other distinguished representatives of 40 universities.
Addressing the assembly, the Chancellor of Sagar University, Shri Balvant Jani said, “Bhadreshdas Swamiji is the contemporary acharya of this age. Akshar-Purushottam Darshan is a Vedic darshan independent of and distinct to the darshans known to this date, such as Advait, Vishishtadvait, Dvait, etc. The Swaminarayan Bhashya, written on the basis of the Prasthanatrayi, and the Swaminarayan-Siddant-Sudha are both traditional and authentic texts.”
Deputy Chief Minister Shri Dinesh Sharma said, “Like Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya, Pujya Bhadresh Swami comes in the lineage of acharyas and by conferring him the title of ‘Acharya Pravar’ the State of Uttar Pradesh is honored.”
Governor Shri Ram Naik also acknowledged this historic work by sending his letter of felicitation.
Bhadreshdas Swami addressed the gathering, “All this work has only been possible due to the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj and guru Mahant Swami Maharaj. I offer all the acclaims to their lotus feet.”
Pujya Narayanmuni Swami, a senior BAPS swami, gave the concluding remarks, “This ceremony is historical as 40 universities and the Deputy Chief Minister himself have gathered to felicitate Bhadreshdas Swami. This shows their love and respect towards educational accomplishments. This historic ceremony celebrates the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan proclaiming that one should become aksharrup and offer upasana to Purushottam.”
The event concluded with the singing of the national anthem.