On behalf of BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, Pujya Swami Ishwarcharandas and Swami Brahmaviharidas, along with the board of directors, extended a heartfelt invitation to the Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the inauguration ceremony scheduled for 14 February 2024.
Delighted by this gesture, Prime Minister Modi graciously accepted the invitation, expressing his enthusiastic support for the historic and iconic temple. Pujya Swami Ishwarcharandas traditionally honored the Prime Minister by adorning him with a garland and draping a saffron shawl over his shoulders, acknowledging his significant contributions to our nation and the world. The Prime Minister was specially commended for the remarkable renovation and development of pilgrimage sites across India, a feat unparalleled in recent centuries.
The almost an hour long, warm and informal meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residential office at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg from 6:30 to 7:25 PM, was a moment of significant dialogue. Discussions revolved around Abu Dhabi temple's significance for global harmony and Modi's vision for India's spiritual leadership on the global stage. The BAPS delegation prayed for the Prime Minister’s health and acknowledged his exceptional global achievements, notably strengthening relationships with the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries. They also discussed the pride and inspiration Modi’s leadership has instilled in Indians worldwide.
Recalling his personal and immortal memories of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his glorious centenary celebrations, the Prime Minister was deeply moved and expressed prayers for Mahant Swami Maharaj's health. He also appreciated the efforts of key individuals, volunteers and supporters, involved in the BAPS Hindu Mandir project in Abu Dhabi, including those present before him such as Chairman Ashok Kotecha, Vice Chairman Yogesh Mehta and Director Chirag Patel, recognizing their contributions as significant sources of pride for India. In a light hearted exchange, the Prime Minister asked Chirag Patel about his love for tennis and his father Rohitbhai Patel and grandfather P D Patel; and also encouraged his children to continue working hard and achieve success in the sport.
Swami Brahmaviharidas showcased the latest update of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, emphasizing its intricate carvings and all-inclusive grandeur, saying that “the inauguration ceremony will be a great event, a millennial moment of celebration for time to come.” To which PM Modi added, “It will reflect the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - an ideal spiritual space, not merely rooted in beliefs and traditions, but a confluence of diverse cultures and civilizations. The essence of spiritual harmony, symbolizing the path forward.”
In the concluding moments of the meeting, Prime Minister Modi shared his personal vision for greater spiritual growth and India’s emergence as a global leader. Despite his packed schedule, he spent 20 more minutes alone with the Swamis sharing a personal bond of over 40 years. Pujya Swami Ishwarcharandas and Swami Brahmaviharidas both offered prayers for the Prime Minister's health and great leadership and the country's continued well-being. The Swamis conveyed the love and spiritual intent embedded in Mahant Swami Maharaj's personal invitation, describing Modi as "Pramukh Swami na Priya Putra Modi Saheb" or "The most beloved son of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Modiji", speaking volumes about the Prime Minister’s spiritual dedication, and the genuine grace and affection he has garnered from saints and sages.