Devotees from the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir joined hundreds of fellow South Africans in prayer for Nelson Mandela by gathering outside his residence on the eve of Monday 9 December 2013.
Around 200 devotees braved the rain and arrived at the Mandela residence in Houghton, to pay respects, to pray and to celebrate the life of Madiba.
The atmosphere outside the Mandela residence was electric. It was one more of celebration than mourning. Devotees enthusiastically chanted the holy name of God and Vedic texts for invoking eternal peace for the departed soul.
The Mandir priest offered a sanctified garland to the picture of Madiba, as Mandela was known. Women dressed in traditional Indian sarees lit 95 divas (clay lamps) as a mark of gratitude and remembrance for the selfless work performed by Mandela in his 95 years.
Assembly at Mandir
Devotees at the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir, Johannesburg, South Africa, paid tribute to Nelson Mandela with a memorial service cum celebration to the life and memory of this very respected leader of Africa, at a special assembly on Sunday 8 December 2013.
Nelson Mandela is remembered as a freedom fighter, a father of the nation, and a great human being. He passed away peacefully at the age of 95 on Thursday 5 December 2013, invoking a feeling of deep loss; together with an even deeper appreciation; in the hearts of all South Africans.
Memorial messages were given by volunteers. Youth offered prayers in the form of dhoon and vedic chantings invoking eternal peace to the departed soul. The assembly concluded with a unique one-minute-applause session. Everyone present applauded Mandela for his 95 years of selfless service and all-embracing love, and prayed for the eternal peace of his soul.
Similar memorial assemblies were held at the BAPS Mandirs in Durban and Lenasia; wherein community elders shared their experiences and emotions. All present joined in prayer for the departed soul.