On 1 February 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to the world that the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister, HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, has allotted land to build a Swaminarayan Hindu Temple in Bahrain. It marked a seminal and historic moment for Hinduism, for relations between India and Bahrain, and for international harmony as a whole.
HH Mahant Swami Maharaj expressed his sincere gratitude to both world leaders, “We truly thank the Prime Minister of India and the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain for this historic gift, which underscores the close ties between both countries and the timeless belief of religious harmony that the Kingdom of Bahrain practises as a pathway to world peace. I offer my sincere prayers for the swift completion of the mandir and that millions can find peace through its creation.”
Swami Brahmaviharidas, who is leading BAPS activities in the Middle East, said, “I was a witness to when the late Emir Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa received His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj at the Royal Palace in Bahrain in 1997. In their conversation, Sheikh Isa asked Pramukh Swami Maharaj where he lives. I explained to Sheikh Isa that Pramukh Swami Maharaj has no home of his own but constantly travels to spread the message of spirituality and moral living, and that he had visited and blessed 15,000 villages and over 250,000 homes. At that moment, Sheikh Isa lovingly and instantaneously told Pramukh Swami Maharaj, ‘Make Bahrain your home.’
“Then, 20 years later, on 19 October 2017, the Crown Prince & Prime Minister HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa was present at the BAPS Bahrain Diwali celebrations. Upon seeing the picture of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and late Emir Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, he told me, 'Our love extends to three generations. Make Bahrain your home.'
“In between, over the years, several such goodwill meetings between HRH The King, The Prime Minister, The Crown Prince of Bahrain, and BAPS representatives touched upon the need of a Hindu place of worship.
“And today, 25 years since that very first historic meeting in 1997, it gives us all great joy to know that these three generations of love will blossom into a beautiful mandir that will last for thousands of years. I’m sure both Sheikh Isa and Pramukh Swami Maharaj will look upon this historic moment with great joy, knowing that their friendship will materialize into a beautiful place of harmony, devotion, and peace for not only the people of Bahrain, but for citizens of the world.”