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Shailesh Vara presents special ‘Bhagavad Gita’ copy to House of Commons Speaker

Shailesh Vara presents special ‘Bhagavad Gita’ copy to House of Commons Speaker

Shailesh Vara, the Conservative Party candidate contesting in the July 4 General Election to be re-elected from North West Cambridgeshire, took time out from his campaign for a spiritual mission.

The British Indian former minister presented a special copy of the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, for use by Hindu MPs following their election to Parliament.

Upon their election, all MPs take an oath of allegiance to the British monarch and the new specially-blessed ‘Bhagavad Gita’ will in future be offered to any British Hindu members of Parliament choosing the holy text for their swearing-in ceremony at the House of Commons.

For his charitable mission, Vara was accompanied by His Grace Nila Madhava Dasa Adhikari from the Hare Krishna Temple near Watford. His Grace had ensured that the copy of the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ was blessed at a sacred ceremony in the Mayapur temple – the global headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in India.

The presentation ceremony took place at the Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster just days before Parliament was dissolved for the General Election.

His Grace Nila Madhava Dasa recited a prayer in Sanskrit as Vara presented the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to Sir Lindsay.

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Vara said: "This was a truly memorable occasion. This Bhagavad Gita has been specially blessed in a temple in India and will be used by Hindu MPs entering Parliament following this General Election and those who will enter in the generations to come.

“I am grateful to his Grace Nila Madhava Dasa for making all the important arrangements and for conducting such a beautiful ceremony in Speaker’s House during the presentation.

“I am also grateful to Sir Lindsay for all his support and for making time at a busy time just before Parliament was dissolved for the General Election."
His Grace Nila Madhava Dasa Adhikari added: "On behalf of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and our founder His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada it was a great honour and privilege to have this ‘Bhagavad Gita As It Is’ presented to the Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, by the Rt Hon Shailesh Vara.

“This ‘Bhagavad Gita’ has been blessed at the Headquarters of ISKCON in Mayapur, India. We humbly pray that may this ‘Bhagavad Gita’ be utilised in the House of Commons by Hindu Members of Parliament perpetually."

Vara, like UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, had opted for the Gita when they took their oath of allegiance on first being elected.

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“I was proud to be sworn in as a member of parliament on the ‘Bhagavad Gita’. Our faith teaches us to do our duty and not fret about the outcome as long as one does it faithfully. That is what I was brought up to believe by my wonderful and loving parents and that is how I live my life; and that is what I want to pass on to my daughters as they grow up. It is dharma which guides me in my approach to public service,” Sunak said in his address to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London, over the weekend.

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