The evening assembly, titled ‘Day of Harmony’, was graced by leading representatives from the major religions of the world: His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, Spiritual Leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and Creator of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi; Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj, President of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha; His Excellency Dr Abdulrahman Alzaid, Deputy Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, Mecca, Saudi Arabia; Rabbi David Rosen, Special Advisor to the Abrahamic Family House, Abu Dhabi; His Eminence Bishop Paolo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of the Catholic Vicariate of Southern Arabia; His Holiness Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji, Spiritual Leader of the Namdhari Sikh Community; Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena, Founder President & Spiritual Director of the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre; and Brahmaviharidas Swami, Head Swami, BAPS Hindu Mandir, Abu Dhabi. They were joined by Bawa Jain, Secretary General of the World Council of Religious Leaders.
Compèring the proceedings was His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE Ambassador to the Holy See, Assistant Minister of Cultural Affairs for the UAE, and Religious Advisor to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Before they entered on stage, Swamishri greeted all the spiritual leaders individually in the green room and engaged in dialogues with them. Thereafter, on stage, all the leaders were honoured with garlands and shawls.
A short video on the faith each speaker represented was shown before their speech. All the distinguished guests voiced their admiration for how His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj has inspired the BAPS Hindu Mandir, a spiritual sanctuary where people of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds are welcome to learn, benefit and contribute.
His Excellency Dr Abdulrahman Alzaid emphasized the importance of coexistence and peaceful behaviour. He stated, “For social and spiritual harmony, we should coexist and behave peacefully with each other. We must be able to work towards coexistence; we must be able to work to that which leads to peace between humankind.”
His Eminence Bishop Paolo Martinelli said, “This new temple is a place for my brothers and sisters to pray and strengthen harmony with God.”
Rabbi David Rosen reminisced about his interactions with His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his visit to Swaminarayan Akshardham in Delhi. He recalled his joy in witnessing the inauguration of the BAPS Mandir in Chicago in 2004 and expressed his delight for the wonderful Abu Dhabi Mandir.
Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena said, “We are all friends, we are not strangers, we are not different, we are members of one family; the human family.”
His Holiness Sri Satguru Uday Singh Ji said, “We are all one, but we are also wonderfully different, that is where we can enjoy the oneness of creation.”
Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj said, “I have no doubt this mandir will be the spirit of communal harmony and interfaith collaboration not only in Abu Dhabi but around the world.”
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj blessed, “If we are united with harmony, then love and peace will flourish everywhere; it will flourish in our hearts and everyone’s hearts.”

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