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Transcendence My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh SwamijiTranscendence My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dr. Abdul Kalam was highly influenced by Pramukh Swamiji’s BAPS program. In the book Dr. Kalam has quoted different instances and examples to show the greatness of Pramukh Swamiji and his contribution to establishing peace in the society.
One of the major incidents he speaks of is of the attack on the Akshardham temple by the terrorists. He states that Pramukh Swamiji harboured no grievance against the terrorists who caused mayhem in the temple and instead went about attending to the injured and taking actions to put the temple back in shape after the attack.

The second significant example of forgiveness mentioned in the book is about Nelson Mandela. When Dr. Kalam met Dr. Mandela he asked him “What was your feeling as you left the prison after twenty seven years?”. Dr. Mandela’s reply was “As I walked out of the door towards the gate that would lead me to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison”. The best part is he walked the talk. He did have a open policy and prevented any kind of revenge on the whites by the blacks. It really requires a kind heart and a mature personality to make such a statement and then follow it through with the same action. We on the other hand find it difficult to forgive even our near and dear ones for even minor transgressions.

Throughout the books he speaks of how being open, honest, calm, and loving one can transcend all the problems in life.
He quotes the example of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai won over the villagers. The spot in Thumba which was selected for the launch of the satellites was occupied by a village which was predominantly christian. The authorities did not know how to persuade these villagers to move. Dr. Sarabhai went and spoke to the priest about the requirement of the location being very suitable for rocket launching and how crucial it was for India to have the space center at the very same location. The priest understood and in the Sunday sermon he spoke to the villagers and told them that they need to vacate the place and that they would be provided alternate accommodation at a suitable place so that they could continue to earn their livelihoods. The villagers acceded with no rancor, and the rest is history.
He summarizes is vision of India 2020 in the following points:
1. Where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line
2. where there is equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water
3. where the agriculture, industry and service sector work together in concert
4. where education with a value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates on account of societal or economic discrimination.
5. which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists and investors
6. where the best health care is available to all
7. where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption-free
8. where poverty has been totally eradicated
9. illiteracy removed and crimes against women, children are absent
10. where no one in society feels alienated
11. that is prosperous, healthy, secure, devoid of terrorism, peaceful and happy
12. that continues with sustainable growth path and above all that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its creative and effective leadership in parliament, state assemblies and other institutions.
An ideal vision. Even if we achieve some of the above the rest will follow. Notice the point 4 “education is not denied to any meritorious”, he is definitely requesting the dismantling of the “reservations”. Will anybody listen? Rather will any politician listen?

He speaks about how the harmonious lives of people from different religions in Rameshwaram had a deep impact on him throughout the life.

The whole book speaks about how peace loving Dr. Kalam was in his life and how much he was awestruck with Pramukh Swamiji.

A very good read about two peace loving, kind, kindred souls.

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