Speeches by Invited Guests
Murti-Pratishtha Assembly, 6 feb 03, New Delhi
Shri Lalkrishna Advani
Deputy Prime Minister of India
Personally I am extremely delighted that this mandir has been completed. I am the Member of Parliament for Gandhinagar. So I can say that I represent Akshardham in Parliament. The glory of Akshardham first spread throughout the world when the mandir in London was inaugurated. A member of the House of Commons in London, Barry Gardiner, is also seated here today. Because of the mandir there, devotion has influenced his outlook. Otherwise who would say, "Do not compare Akshardham with the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a symbol of death and this is a symbol of life."
Much has been heard about the seven wonders of the world. But some time ago, the Reader's Digest published the book 70 Wonders of the 20th Century. In it, the mandir in Neasden, London, represents India's contribution. Again, last year, when some terrorists attacked Akshardham in Gandhinagar, it became discussed internationally.
Annually, only 3 million tourists visit India. The reason is that we have not been able to present our history, traditions and spirituality in the appropriate way. But Akshardham has done that job of presenting our culture.
On the banks of Yamuna we have this mandir and there will be an exhibition of our culture also.
I have seen the plans for the presentation of India's culture and immortal values. They are superb. Seeing them, I feel that no visitors will leave New Delhi without seeing this place of India's priceless values. For this I congratulate Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his team for giving India and its capital, New Delhi, such an outstanding monument.
Today, as part of its first phase, this mandir has been inaugurated. I am honoured to be present here on this auspicious occasion in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and offer my prostrations to him.
Shri Dr. Manmohansingh
Leader of the Opposition,
There are certain eternal values, and this temple, the temple at Akshardham and the temple in London, are the finest examples of living India's eternity. And that Delhi, this historic city, which has seen so many ups and downs in its history, its long and tortuous history, should have the unique distinction of beginning this 21st century with the consecration of this great temple - a great symbol of India's living and eternal civilisation is something which all Indians should feel immensely proud of. And for this we are eternally grateful to you, respected Pramukh Swamiji, that you have blessed us with this great temple of spirituality. And I have no doubt that the 21st century is going to be India's century, that the message of our civilisation, of our culture, will go far and wide to every nook and corner of the world. And that eternal message of love, of peace, of harmony will go from one corner of the earth to the other. And that's my hope, that's my confidence, that is my prayer.
Shri Narendra Modi
Chief Minister, Gujarat
Today is Vasant Panchmi. Over the past centuries, the history of Delhi is one of struggle for power. But the dawn of the 21st century heralds a new Spring. Spirituality has been reawakened in a new form. I believe that this century brings us a new understanding, which can be seen here today. And the inspirer of this great work is Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
People ask, "What should a guru be like?" Like Pramukh Swami Maharaj. But I ask, "What should a disciple be like?" Often, in passing, Yogiji Maharaj said, "There should be a mandir on the banks of the Yamuna." A guru will reveal many such thoughts. But how many disciples are there who capture a small utterance by their guru and spend their entire life in fulfilling it. Yogiji Maharaj had not given an order, he had not delivered any speeches, but he uttered casually, "We want to build a mandir on the banks of Yamuna." And today this mandir is ready. I believe that there is no greater offering to one's guru than this. Only a great disciple can complete this work. And only one who is a great disciple can become a great guru.
Today is Shastriji Maharaj's birthday. Look at the coincidence. In the entire Swaminarayan Sampraday, there is one all-marble mandir in Gadhada and the second is here. Shastriji Maharaj made the mandir in Gadhada and today, on Shastriji Maharaj's birthday, the second has been made by Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj has nurtured a peaceful and silent revolution. I have never heard people say that Pramukh Swami Maharaj is a very good speaker. When metal touches a parasmani, the metal is converted to gold. Similarly, Pramukh Swami Maharaj's life is like a parasmani such that by his mere touch many people's lives are transformed. By his mere darshan, one's direction is changed. I bow at the feet of such a spiritual guru, Pramukh Swami Maharaj. I have full faith that this new spiritual reawakening initiated in the country's capital will carry influence throughout the country.
Shri Vijay Kapoor
When I first came for the darshan of Pramukh Swami Maharaj at the start of this project, he welcomed me with great warmth, garlanded me and in the conversation said, "You are the eleventh governor of Delhi I have garlanded. The previous ten were not able to help." But it is my great fortune that this project has been commenced and is approaching completion during my tenure. I believe that a place like this where hundreds of thousands of people will come for peace of mind and inspiring thoughts is absolutely essential. That is why I have helped wherever it has been possible. It is a great honour for Delhi that such a grand mandir dedicated to Indian spirituality and culture is being developed here. And for me it is a personal honour to have been able to help in this project.
Shri L. M. Singhvi
Ex-High Commissioner of India
to the UK and Eminent Lawyer
Just as Bhagirath brought the Ganga to earth, today's Bhagirath, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, has come to us and let flow the Ganga of spirituality throughout India and the entire world.
Thousands of years ago, a campaign for human literacy was launched. Similarly, Akshardham is a new campaign for literacy. It is pure. Akshardham is a symbol which will spread the message of vivek, non-discrimination and ahimsa. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has touched the lives of all peoples. He has revived the flame of spirituality in all. He has given a new message to thousands and his contribution in strengthening society is matchless, like the work of Vishwakarma, the matchless architect. Today, on the vast banks of Yamuna we see a new dawn, which is lighting up Delhi and will light up the whole country and the world.
I remember the Swaminarayan Mandir in London. It gives a vision of India's eternal spirituality to hundreds of thousands of people. In the same way, hundreds of thousands of people will come here and see the mind of India and will experience Indian culture. For giving this experience, I congratulate Pramukh Swami Maharaj. In each stone, in each carving, his divine inspiration can be seen. This is not the darshan of an ordinary man, but is a divine inspiration. We are truly indebted to him. Today's celebration is a celebration for the whole of India. And I am honoured to be a part of it.
MP for Brent
Jai Shri Swaminarayan. Pramukh Swami. Advaniji, distinguished guests. I bring you greetings from the Prime Minister Tony Blair to this celebration. The Prime Minister himself has been to see the wonderful temple that we have in Neasden in Brent. He has been there and his heart was made glad by that as mine is today, visiting you here for the consecration of this wonderful temple.
The consecration of the temple is when the life of God comes into the stone, and it is a very dangerous thing for a politician to take issue with a sadhu. But earlier today the sadhu said that the temple in Neasden is like the Taj Mahal of Britain. No. The stones are as beautiful as the Taj Mahal in Britain but the Taj Mahal is the monument to death; the temple in Neasden is the monument to life!
Today, Pramukh Swamiji, you see before you some of the great politicians of India. Why do politicians come? To pay their respects here today. It is because; as with the consecration of a temple, it is the life of God that is brought into the stone. It is because, what we seek to do as politicians, is to recognize not the flesh and blood of each other, but the life of God within each other.
That is for you to teach us and that is how we try to serve.
Thank You. Jai Hind!