Pramukh Swami Maharaj (born Shantilal Patel; ordained Shastri Narayanswarupdas; was born on December 7, 1921, and died on August 13, 2016.
He was an Indian guru and Pramukh, or president, of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, an international Hindu socio-spiritual organization.
However, regarded by BAPS as the fifth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan, following Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, and Yogiji Maharaj.
Maharaj was believed by his followers to be in constant communion with Swaminarayan, and ontologically, the manifestation of Akshar, the eternal abode of Swaminarayan.
He received initiation as a Hindu Swami in 1940 from Shastriji Maharaj, the founder of BAPS, who later appointed him as President of BAPS in 1950.
And, later Yogiji Maharaj declared Pramukh Swami Maharaj to be his spiritual successor and guru of BAPS, a role he commenced in 1971.
Whilst the president of BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj had overseen the growth of BAPS from an organization centered in Gujarat, India, to one spread around the world, maintaining many Hindu Mandirs and centers outside of India.
Maharaj built more than 1,100 Hindu temples, including the Swaminarayan Akshardham temples in New Delhi and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Maharaj had also spearheaded the efforts of BAPS Charities, which is the charitable service organization affiliated with BAPS.
He was succeeded as the guru and President of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha by Mahant Swami Maharaj.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj passed away at 94 years old.