More than 1,200 people from Dubai and its neighboring cities attended the evening of moving tributes. Under the patronage of the Consul General of India, Mr. Anurag Bhushan, the memorial assembly brought together people of all backgrounds and faiths – all of whom were touched by the life and work of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Chief guests of the evening included prominent personalities like Mr. Abdul Jabbar Al Sayegh, Dr. B.R. Shetty, Mr. Nazem Al Kudsi, Shri Bharatbhai Shah, Shri Ram Buxani as well as leaders of the Indian diaspora. Pujya Viveksagar Swami and other sadhus of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha also graced the evening.
The assembly began with a video homage to HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life. Brahmavihari Swami followed with a deeply moving tribute which highlighted how Pramukh Swami Maharaj had touched the lives of countless people from around the world. He explained how Swamishri’s capacity to build bridges between hearts made him a spiritual leader who transcended all worldly divisions – and indeed, transcended distance and time.
Mr. Kudsi recalled his first sight of Swamishri in 2012 in Ahmedabad. “He glanced at me and I felt Agni enter my eyes.” He recalled that he had felt like a child longing for his mother and that when he had asked Pramukh Swami where he should go to be at one with nature, Swamishri had replied, “You do not need to go out into nature; you should be one with your own true nature – the atma.” Mr. Kudsi offered his love and tributes to Swamishri and said it would be impossible to forget a man who had given him a mother’s love he had yearned for so many years.
Dr. B.R. Shetty’s tribute to Swamishri was also moving. After speaking at length of Swamishri’s great works, child-like innocence and god-like grace, Dr. Shetty announced, “We have heard that Swamiji created more than 1,200 mandirs around the world…It is my pleasure to announce that here too, in the UAE, a temple is to be built and it will be the 1201st temple of BAPS.” Dr. Shetty’s announcement was welcomed with great applause from the audience.
In the end, Pujya Viveksagar Swami spoke on Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s immeasurable impact on individuals and society at large. After which, Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj blessed the assembly through a video recording.
At the close of the assembly, everyone joined in the mantra pushpanjali ritual to offer their beloved guru a floral tribute.