"UAE has written a golden chapter in history of humanity": PM Modi on BAPS Mandir

Prime Minister Narendra said that the UAE has written a golden chapter in the history of humanity by allowing the construction of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, adding that it will bring the whole world together in culture and harmony.

The iconic BAPS Hindu Mandir, which is the first Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi, was inaugurated on February 14 by Mahant Swami Maharaj in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the eminent Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence for the UAE, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, an official press release stated.

The temple, constructed on land generously gifted by the UAE president and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was guided and inspired by Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a global Hindu fellowship.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, and stands as a testament to the enduring friendship between India and the UAE, embodying the spirit of cultural inclusivity, interfaith harmony, and community collaboration.

Prime Minister Modi was warmly welcomed upon his arrival at the temple, by community members from across India and the UAE as well as religious leaders from diverse faith communities.

PM Modi along with Mahant Swami Maharaj conducted the first grand arti (ceremony of light) of the deities which was simultaneously performed by thousands at BAPS temples and homes across the world, with millions more watching online through the live webcast.

After meeting volunteers, children, artisans and others from all over the world who have supported the construction of this magnificent temple, Prime Minister Modi carved 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' into a piece of stone.

"The message of 'The world is one family' has been the foundational principle of the Mandir, guided by the life and work of Mahant Swami Maharaj," the release added.

In his keynote address, PM Modi said, "Today, the UAE has written a golden chapter in the history of humanity through this Mandir."

The Prime Minister further said that the BAPS Mandir will bring the whole world together in harmony and collaboration.

"The BAPS Hindu Mandir is for all of humanity. So I have every faith that the Mandir will usher in a new age of faith and hope, bringing the whole world together in harmony and collaboration," PM Modi said.

He added, "The magnificent mandir that we see today in Abu Dhabi is because it was first envisioned years ago [in 1997] by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Today, Pramukh Swami Maharaj's heart will be glowing with joy at its fruition."

He also thanked UAE President Al Nahyan for his assistance in the building of the temple.

"We must also thank my brother, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, because it is his generosity that has made possible a mandir so beautiful and magnificent. On behalf of all Indians, I thank Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the UAE Government," he said.

Mahant Swami Maharaj emphasised the importance of the new Mandir as "an abode of love, peace and harmony."

"Harmony can be achieved when we do not expect harmony from others, but instead when we strive for harmony ourselves. For that, we must ask ourselves: 'What can I do, what can I say, and what can I think to nourish harmony," he said.

"Harmony is the power of God, and humility is the way of God. With this understanding, we can serve humanity," he said.

Sharing his sentiments on this momentous occasion, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan first thanked Prime Minister Modi for visiting the UAE. "We are proud to welcome a great friend from a great and friendly country."

The Tolerance and Coexistence Minister also thanked the Mahant for building the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi.

"Today marks the beginning of something special. The new Mandir will be a place of worship and also a community centre," he said. "I share in your optimism. I share in your pride."

In his address earlier in the assembly, Brahmaviharidas Swami, who has been leading the Mandir project from conception to completion, also thanked the generosity of the UAE leadership and the leadership of PM Modi. He applauded the friendship between the two that helped make the Mandir possible.

On February 14 morning, Mahant Swami Maharaj performed the Vedic consecration ceremony that ritually infused the sacred images with the divine presence of God.

"Together, the consecration ceremony and dedication assembly formally opened the BAPS Hindu Mandir to the world as a gift to generations, to nations, and to the future," the release added.


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