By Gerald V. Paul
His Holiness Swami Vidyanandaji Maharaj, a recipient of the national award of Guyana, the Arrow of Achievement, has died. He was 79.
Thousands from various parts of the world converged at the Cove and John Ashram, East Coast Demerara in Guyana to pay tribute to Swamiji, the first ordained Hindu monk of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha.
His leadership touched Guyana’s former leader Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo but also Toronto businessman and humanitarian John Persaud.
“Swamiji had been my science teacher at the famous Hindu College and I feel very honoured and privileged to have lived for five years in the Ashram under his supervision. I have great memories of him and he will be sadly missed,” Persaud said.
“Sadly Swamiji has passed away on Oct. 28 at the Ashram in New York,” Persaud continued.
Persaud noted that he appears in a photograph taken in June 2015 in Toronto with Swamiji and former Hindu College students during the book launch Journey of the Guru penned by Richard Mahase.
Swamiji’s childhood experiences and his early spiritual revelations that led him to choose a spiritual path are all detailed in the book.
It describes Swamiji’s struggles in his effort to spread the teachings throughout Guyana, the Caribbean and North America.