Recently, with the blessings of HH Mahant Swami Maharaj, the present spiritual leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, holy footprints have been placed as a memorial to the immersion of the sacred ashes of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921–2016 CE) in the holy waters of Lake Manasarovar - the shores where Bhagwan Swaminarayan had meditated in the freezing winter of 1793 at the age of eleven. While the immersion ceremony was performed last year on 13 June 2017, by P. Ishwarcharan Swami and sadhus, this year a spiritual memorial was ceremonially consecrated for the first time in history.
The ceremony was performed on 27 September 2018 at 2 p.m. in the subzero temperatures by Swami Brahmaviharidas of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in the presence of local Buddhist monks, Chinese well-wishers and Tibetan pilgrims. Earlier, on 22 September, the Head of The Buddhist Association of China who oversees 300 million followers, Venerable Master Yanjue welcomed the saints at the renowned Guangji Temple in Beijing. In the presence of senior monks, dignitaries and government and embassy officials a special discussion encompassed the long history and the present relevance of the source and sustenance of cultural and spiritual relationships between India and China - perhaps two of our world's largest, oldest, strongest and wisest nations with glorious pasts and glorious futures. After dwelling upon Lord Buddha's birth in India and Bhagwan Swaminarayan's meditation at Manasarovar, prayers for universal peace were said.
While the sadhus also pilgrimaged Mount Kailash, the Yamdrok Lake, and conducted other important meetings in Lhasa and Beijing, the overall universal warmth expressed by the generosity and large-heartedness of both the Buddhist and Chinese authorities makes us humble and forever grateful.
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