Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted the invitation extended by Swami Ishwarcharandas and Swami Brahmaviharidas, along with the board of directors, for the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi on 14 February 2024, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha said in a statement this week.
PM Modi and the BAPS Swami Ishwarcharandas met at the Prime Minister's residential office and the Indian leader graciously accepted the invitation, expressing his enthusiastic support for the historic and iconic temple.
Swami Ishwarcharandas offered the Indian PM a garland and draped a saffron shawl over his shoulders, acknowledging his significant contributions to India and globally. The Indian Prime Minister was specially commended for the remarkable renovation and development of pilgrimage sites across India, a feat unparalleled in recent centuries, the statement noted.
During the meeting, the discussions revolved around the Abu Dhabi temple's significance for global harmony and Modi's vision for India's spiritual leadership on the global stage.
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The statement said: "The BAPS delegation prayed for the Prime Minister's health and acknowledged his exceptional global achievements, notably strengthening relationships with the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries.
“They also discussed the pride and inspiration Modi's leadership has instilled in Indians worldwide."
Recalling his personal and immortal memories of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his glorious centenary celebrations, the Indian Prime Minister expressed prayers for Mahant Swami Maharaj's health. Modi also appreciated the efforts of key individuals, volunteers and supporters, involved in the BAPS Hindu Mandir project in Abu Dhabi, including those present before him such as Chairman Ashok Kotecha, Vice Chairman Yogesh Mehta and Director Chirag Patel, recognizing their contributions as significant sources of pride for India.
In a light-hearted exchange, the Prime Minister asked Chirag Patel about his love for tennis and his father Rohitbhai Patel and grandfather P.D. Patel; and also encouraged his children to continue working hard and achieve success in the sport.
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Swami Brahmaviharidas showcased the latest update of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, emphasising its intricate carvings and all-inclusive grandeur, saying that "the inauguration ceremony will be a great event, a millennial moment of celebration for time to come".
To which PM Modi added: "It will reflect the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – an ideal spiritual space, not merely rooted in beliefs and traditions, but a confluence of diverse cultures and civilizations. The essence of spiritual harmony, symbolising the path forward."