The Prime Minster of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto with His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. Joined by Members of Parliament including Minister Navdeep Baines, the Mayor of Toronto, His Worship John Tory, and His Excellency Mr. Vikas Swarup, the High Commissioner of India, Mahant Swami Maharaj and the Prime Minister Trudeau shared messages of unity and community with the thousands in attendance.
Upon arriving at the Mandir, and after greeting the assembled well-wishers and dignitaries, the Prime Minster gracefully ascended the marble steps to be personally welcomed and garlanded by Mahant Swami Maharaj at the entrance to the Mandir. In honor of this historic event, Prime Minister Trudeau and Mahant Swami Maharaj unveiled and dedicated a special, commemorative plaque celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Mandir. Thereafter, the Prime Minister visited the sacred shrines of the Mandir and offered his respects and prayers. When visiting the shrine of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the Prime Minister was reminded of the special relationship Pramukh Swami Maharaj had with Bob Kaplan, the Solicitor General in the government of his father, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
A personal meeting between Mahant Swami Maharaj and the Prime Minister was held where the two discussed the importance of service as expressed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s motto, “In the joy of others lies our own.” Mahant Swami Maharaj also appreciated the Prime Minister’s message of inclusiveness and diversity noting that true unity comes from our diversity. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Prime Minister asked for Mahant Swami Maharaj’s prayers for the country and its people.
The two leaders then visited the grand assembly where they were greeted with a festive dance as thousands of eager dignitaries, community leaders, devotees and well-wishers cheered on. Addressing the assembly, the Prime Minister recognized the contributions of the BAPS community and the mandir in Toronto and appreciated the spirit of service that the Mandir has instilled in the community. Mahant Swami Maharaj offered his prayers for peace throughout Canada and the world and for the Prime Minister so that he may ably serve the people of Canada.