The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, visited BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London (popularly known as ‘Neasden Temple’), on Sunday 21 May 2023.
The Mayor was welcomed by Yogvivekdas Swami, head swami for BAPS in the UK and Europe, as well as trustees of the Temple.
The highlight of the Mayor’s visit was a personal meeting with His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. This exchange involved fruitful discussions during which the Mayor thanked His Holiness for the contributions made by Neasden Temple and asked for his blessings.
Addressing the evening assembly, the Mayor said: “I am here to show my respects to His Holiness, but to also ask for his blessings on the capital city of our great country.
“His Holiness and I met earlier, and I was explaining the massive contribution you [Neasden Temple and its congregation] make to our City – whether it is in business, public service or charity. I explained to His Holiness that the ripples of good you do are felt by everybody – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, those members of an organised faith and those that aren’t.
“Please continue to be an example to the teachings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. Please continue to be a source of inspiration. We’ve had an awful two or three years because of the [Covid-19] pandemic and during those dark times, you and your community were the light. Me and my family, you and your family, our city, our country needs the teachings and the blessings of His Holiness.”
Before departing, the Mayor added, “I came here to ask for his [His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj’s] blessings. I hope the next time he comes isn’t so far away and he comes again, and again and again – sooner rather than later.”
Dr Mayank Shah, a trustee at the Mandir, also shared: “We extend our gratitude to the Mayor for his visit to our Temple, his generous words and his enriching exchange with His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.”