The centennial birth anniversary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj – creator of the iconic Neasden Temple in north-west London – was celebrated with a special commemorative event in the UK Parliament complex this week.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was an inspirer for millions of people around the world and dedicated his life to the greater good of humanity, serving as a global ambassador of love, peace and harmony.
This event paid tribute to his countless contributions in the UK during his 19 visits to the country between 1970 and 2007, and the legacy of his values and culture that he bequeathed.
The programme was attended by a diverse group of distinguished guests, including Members of Parliament, Lords, local government officials, charity partners and faith representatives, who learned more about Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s profound impact in the UK through numerous personal testimonies, including from Lord Jitesh Gadhia – who was the host of the parliamentary event.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had also sent a personal video message of tribute offering his admiration and gratitude to Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
He said: “Roads have been named after Pramukh Swami and our iconic Wembley Stadium arch has been lit up to pay tribute to his service and support for our country. Let me pay my respect to his enduring memory and the incredible legacy he has passed on.”
Dr Mayank Shah, a trustee at Neasden Temple, noted: “Our heartfelt thank you to Lord Gadhia and the House of Commons for this wonderful tribute. We are very grateful to the British Parliament for honouring Pramukh Swami Maharaj again, after formally honouring him during his visit to the UK in 1988.
“Pramukh Swami Maharaj brought countless families and communities together through his untiring personal efforts – this was perhaps his greatest contribution to the UK. We hope his legacy continues to inspire peace and hope for generations to come.”
Celebrations for the centennial birth anniversary are taking place around the world over the course of this month.
His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921-2016) was the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was an inspiration to millions worldwide. Personifying his motto, “In the joy of others lies our own”, he dedicated his life to serving and inspiring others for the greater good of humanity. He travelled across the world to foster love, peace, harmony, righteousness and faith in God to all members of society irrespective of class, colour, creed or age.
Under his leadership, BAPS flourished into an international spiritual and humanitarian organisation with more than one million members, 55,000 volunteers and 3,850 centres across the world. He was loved and respected as one of the world’s great spiritual leaders of our time.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is an international community-based Hindu organisation affiliated to the United Nations, caring for individuals, families and societies through its more than one million members, 55,000 volunteers and 3,850 centres.
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Under the spiritual leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS strives to build a righteous, peaceful and harmonious community that is spiritually elevated and free of addictions and violence.
In the UK, BAPS is respected as one of the largest and most active Hindu organisations in the country. It is particularly known for its multifarious community outreach activities and the internationally acclaimed BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London – popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’.
*Info: Pramukh Swami Maharaj; Neasden Temple