A high-level official spiritual dialogue with senior swamis of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) was organised by the Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Parliament of Russia, Mr Iliyas Umakhanov, in the administration block of the Second Building of The Federation Council in Moscow from 5.00pm to 6.30pm on 26 July 2019.
With the blessings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha was represented by senior swamis from India and the UK, Pujya Brahmavihari Swami and Pujya Yogvivek Swami, while The Russian Federation delegation included seven prominent national thinkers and officials: Mr Igor Nikolaevich Morozov (Deputy Chairman of The Committee for Education, Sciences and Culture of The Federation Council Parliament), Mr Vladimir Vasilievich Baranov (President of The Academy of Studies for National Security), Mr Mikhail Aleksandrovich Davydov (Adviser to The Deputy Chairman and International Affairs Analyst), Mr Maxim Viktorovich Osintsev (Executive Director, Department of Financial Institutions, Sberbank Russian Federation), Mr Sergey Valerievich Shilov (Adviser to General Director, VTB Group), Mr Maxim Vladimirovich Tafintzev (President of Russian Asian Legal Association), and Mr Vivek Singh (Second Secretary of the Indian Embassy in Russia).
The dialogue, perhaps the first of its kind, began with brief introductions and focused on various aspects of the rich cultures of Russia and India as well as the common values of humanity and spirituality that shape the character and quality of life in the world today. Through inspirations from the work, values and vision of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921-2016), the previous guru of BAPS, special emphasis was placed on how humans can collaborate to transcend the divisions of culture, country, race and religion, thereby overcoming the challenges facing peaceful global coexistence.
The hour-long exchange of ideas and constructive dialogue covered a range of topics – from de-addiction drives by children to environmental campaigns by youth volunteers, from the generation of family values to the regeneration of nations by reviving morality and spirituality – considerably impressing the officials. They invited the swamis to provide their valuable vision and guidance for future global initiatives and showed a willingness to assist in the upcoming BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, a historic and iconic project of global harmony.
In conclusion, Mr Morozov presented a gift to the visiting swamis, an image of The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Pujya Brahmavihari Swami gifted a golden Amrut Kalash, prasad and malas, with special prayers for peace and harmony from His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
The meeting was broadcast by the official Federation Council Television Channel.