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The People’s Saint: Pujya Shri Rambapa
The UK’s most senior Hindu Saint leaves his body aged 102, 31st January 2023
Devotees and well-wishers globally mourn the loss of a spiritual giant and loving father figure. Much loved and venerated spiritual leader and humanitarian Pujya Shri Rambapa lovingly known as ‘Bapa’ or ‘Babaji’ was a cornerstone in laying the foundation for Hinduism in the UK and globally since his arrival in London in 1970. He inspired and uplifted millions through his devotion, service and practical teachings. Pujya Bapa left his body peacefully in London today with his family at his side and Ram naam on his lips.
Revered across the world, Pujya Bapa has left an indelible legacy on the British and global Hindu
community, single pointedly raising the levels of spiritual consciousness and devotion towards his beloved
Hanumanji and fearlessly achieving feats that will forever remain the gold standard in selfless service.
The British Hindu community have been blessed to have resident in their midst, such an approachable,
dynamic and evolved personality who until his last days radiated divine energy, filling people’s hearts with
love due to his generous nature, compassion and tireless enthusiasm for God realisation.
Maganlal Vallabhdas Bhimjiyani, was born in Gujarat, India in a village called Jira. At the age of seven he felt a deep desire to live for a higher purpose, skipping school to go and sit in the local Hanuman mandir and devoting his time to studying the ancient Hindu text, the Ramayana and in the selfless service of the underprivileged and visiting Saints and Sages. From this young age he felt a profound and mystical connection with Lord Hanumanji and set about learning everything about Hanumanji’s life, embodying
His ideals - humility, selfless service, discipline and being the perfect devotee of the Lord.
In 1930 he moved to Uganda where he met his Sat Guru, Pujya Shree Hirjibapa and spent the next 40
years serving him in East Africa. Through Pujya Hirjibapa’s grace and guidance, Pujya Rambaba realised the true purpose of his life – to selflessly serve humanity through total surrender to Lord Hanumanji.
Whilst in Uganda, Bapa intimately learned every verse of the Ramayana and wholeheartedly committed
himself to many service projects including the construction of the first Sanatan Hindu Temple in Kampala which stands today as a landmark of the town and still holds weekly Hanuman Chalisa Yagnas.
In 1970, anticipating violence from Idi Amin’s government, Pujya Rambapa moved to London with his family. He established Shree Jignyasu Satsang Mandal to lay the foundation for the practice of Hinduism in this country, which still serves today as one of the country’s oldest satsang mandals.
Pujya Rambapa never considered himself as the ‘doer’ and so with this surrendered approach and utmost humility coupled with a fierce determination and an unquenchable thirst to serve he was instrumental in many service projects, most notably:
1) Murti Seva - Pujya Rambaba has to date helped in the establishment of over 70 temples across the UK
and overseas through the donation of beautiful life size marble deities, providing hope, inspiration and
blessings to the Hindu community. As the Hindu population began to grow in the UK in the early 1970s,
Pujya Rambapa recognized the importance of establishing temples to serve as long standing institutions
of worship for future generations and to provide much needed community and cultural services.
He personally went to Jaipur on multiple occasions and searched for sculptors that could fashion a true
likeness of the Lord in high quality marble. Once he had established his supply base Pujya Rambapa began
the mammoth task of commissioning, importing and installing thousands of these deities of the entire
Hindu pantheon and donating them to temples, community centres, prisons and households in the UK
Scores of temples have received beautiful life size deities from Pujya Rambapa’s trust, among them the
Hare Krishna Mandir (Watford) The Sindhi Community Centre (Cricklewood), Sri Ram Mandir (Southhall),
Krishna Mandir (Leamington Spa), Shree Sanatan Mandir (Preston), Bristol Hindu Mandir (Bristol), Shree
Jalaram Mandir (Greenford), Sanatan Mandir (Crawley) and Krishna Mandir (Cheltenham). Internationally
deities have been donated to establish temples in Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, North America, Guyana,
Kenya, Barbados and Ghana and Uganda.
In 2007 Pujya Bapa also started to work with HM Prisons Service, committing to establish Hindu mandirs
in prisons around the UK so that Hindu inmates can have a dedicated area to reflect and pray. The first of
these was established in 2007 at Wormwood Scrubs prison where the Hindu inmates also received the
Hanuman Chalisa and Bhagavad Geeta in English from Pujya Bapa’s hands.
2) Serving Saints - In the early 1980’s in tandem with weekly recitals of the Ramayana and the Hanuman
Chalisa, Pujya Bapa began inviting highly acclaimed saints from India, such as Pujya Moraribapu, Uma
Bhartiji and Indu Bhusanji to share their knowledge with the British Hindu community. He opened up the
doors of his humble home to these visiting saints and sages and generously organized mass public
programmes at no cost for the benefit of the samaj and people. The first katha for Pujya Moraribapu was
organised by Pujya Bapa and devotees in 1978 at Harrow Leisure Centre.
In this manner his trust has hosted public programmes for a large number of visiting Hindu saints and
orators, including Pujya Chandra Swami Udasin, Mathuradas Bapu, Shama Mataji, Swami Satyamitynand
Giriji and most recently Swami Ramdevji Maharaj.
3) Kumbh Mela Projects - Pujya Rambapa’s service work overseas has been inspirational and significant
also, he personally attended seventeen “Kumbh Mela” and “Magmas Mela” pilgrimages across India,
where his trust “Maruti Rambapa Seva Trust” established and ran free food and medical camps, serving
close to ten thousand poor and needy pilgrims and sadhus each day, often for weeks at a time. At these
camps, Pujya Bapa was always present on the frontline, tirelessly serving all visitors with his own hands
from dawn to dusk.
In addition to his two trusts, Rambapa Jignyasu Seva Trust (UK) and Maruti Rambaba Seva Trust (India) he
was the patron of Divya Seva Foundation (UK) founded by his daughter Bhartidevi Kantaria. Divya Seva Foundation works with disadvantaged children, orphans and the elderly to provide them with better
education, medical treatment, clothing and an improved community and spiritual life.
4) Bhakti and Bhajan - Pujya Bapa has presided over weekly recitals of Shri Hanuman Chalisa 108 times
(lasting seven hours), attributing all of his success to Hanumanji’s and his guru’s grace and at all times
maintaining his dasya bhava. During his life Pujya Bapa is reported to have presided over at least 3,000
such yagyas. Pujya Bapa’s popularity cut across generations, cultures and communities. He was the
‘people’s saint’ and seekers from all walks of life frequented his 108 Hanuman Chalisa Yagna’s which
continued uninterrupted for over 50 years.
His birthday has been observed since 1970 as a day of prayer and selfless service, a tradition his devotees
and family intend to continue. He also gave spiritual discourses at the British House of Commons in
London, the Allahabad Supreme Court, the Indian High Commission and inaugurated countless temples
and community centres and homes of devotees. He was conferred with the title of ‘Saint of the Thames’
and he continues to inspire and receive awards and tributes in recognition of his phenomenal service;
most recently in 2022, ‘the Pearl of Uganda’ award for ‘outstanding contribution to spirituality and the
Pujya Rambapa’s life’s message will continue to inspire the global Hindu community for generations to
come “Chant the Lord’s name with full faith and devotion, surrender your actions unto Him and live a life
of service, in the name of God.”
Well-wishers and devotees are invited to leave personal messages and tributes at:
Samuhprathna and funeral details to follow.
For further information please contact:
Anilbhai Bhimjiyani: firstname.lastname@example.org; 07803 718 191/0208 459 5758
Bhartiben Kantaria: email@example.com/0208 459 2703
Anand Kantaria, firstname.lastname@example.org +447908 230 165
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