On Tuesday 7 July 1970, Yogiji Maharaj departed from London for Mumbai via Paris, Zurich and Beirut. During the stopover at Le Bourget Airport in Paris, Yogiji Maharaj requested Pramukh Swami and Mahant Swami to deboard the plane and sanctify the land of France on his behalf, and blessed that a mandir will be built in the city in the future.
In 2017, after nearly five decades of growth and patience following Yogiji Maharaj’s blessings, during an evening assembly in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj in Paris, the Mayor of Bussy-Saint-Georges granted land for a new BAPS mandir to meet the needs of the growing number of devotees.
The dedication, faith and endeavours of the fellowship in France came to fruition on 19 October 2021 with the bhumi pujan ceremony to sanctify the site of the new mandir. The ceremony was presided over by Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami in the presence of swamis from London and more than 500 local participants, with thousands more watching the live stream online.
The devotional programme included a Vedic mahapuja and an insightful video presentation on the religious architecture of mandirs. Children eloquently recited shlokas in Sanskrit and French from the Satsang Diksha, while a youth fluently articulated in French the importance and benefits of a mandir .
Several distinguished guests attended the ceremony, including the Senator of Seine-et-Marne, the Mayor of Bussy-Saint-Georges and members of his team, as well as local civic leaders and representatives of religious communities.
The Mayor, Yann Dubosc, shared, “There are projects that mark a life. This Mandir is one such project. In my time on earth as mayor, I will be able to tell my daughter that I have participated in the building of a remarkable place of worship! Prior to this, I did not know anything about Hinduism, but with you, I have discovered this light that enlightens humanity. There is nothing more essential in our time. May the Bussy Mandir help to enlighten humanity and reveal the best in each of us!”
In his keynote address, Ishwarcharandas Swami reflected on the fruits of patience and dedication for the project and encouraged worshippers and well-wishers not only from France but also from the UK and the rest of Europe to participate in this project.
The auspicious occasion concluded with video blessings from Mahant Swami Maharaj, who shared fond memories of his flight with Yogiji Maharaj in 1970 and enthused everyone to fulfil that divine vision for Paris and the whole of Europe.