Abu Dhabi [UAE]: The spiritual leader Mahant Swami Maharaj arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday ahead of the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu temple.
The spiritual leader reached the Gulf nation as a state guest to preside over the historic inauguration of the UAE’s first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi on February 14.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the BAPS Hindu temple there.
Upon arrival at the airport, Mahant Swami Maharaj was warmly welcomed by Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance for the UAE, as stated in an official press release of BAPS Hindu Mandir, Abu Dhabi.
“His Excellency said to His Holiness, ‘Welcome to the UAE. Our nation is blessed with your presence. We are touched by your kindness and we feel your prayers.’ In response, Mahant Swami Maharaj warmly replied, ‘We are touched by your love and respect. The leaders of the UAE are great, good, and large-hearted’.” the release added.
The BAPS Hindu Mandir is set to become the Middle East’s first traditional Hindu stone temple. Situated in the Abu Mureikhah area, this majestic structure embodies the spirit of cultural peace and collaboration and is a testament to the enduring friendship between India and the UAE.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, donated 13.5 acres of land in 2015 for the construction of the mandir.
“The UAE Government, during its Year of Tolerance, allocated a further 13.5 acres of land in January 2019–making a total of 27 acres of land gifted for the Mandir,” the release read.
“Reflective of his status as a state guest, Mahant Swami Maharaj was welcomed in honorific Arabic style by a troupe of dancers, drummers and chanters performing the Al-Ayyala, an expressive traditional cultural performance usually reserved for national holidays and welcome ceremonies of visiting heads of state,” it added.
Mahant Swami Maharaj is the guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), an international community-based Hindu fellowship affiliated with the United Nations.
According to the press release, Brahmaviharidas Swami, who has been overseeing the Mandir project under the guidance of Mahant Swami Maharaj, underlined that the BAPS Hindu Mandir serves as a “spiritual oasis” for global harmony.
He said, “It is a timeless testament to the spirituality of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the generosity, sincerity and friendship of the leaderships of the UAE, India and BAPS.”
The “Festival of Harmony,” a collection of programs and community events aimed at fostering harmony among people of all ages and ethnicities, energizing community service, and fortifying faith, will commemorate the opening of the BAPS Mandir.
On February 14, the “Festival of Harmony” will feature the Mandir’s inauguration event in front of distinguished dignitaries, including PM Modi.
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, preparations for the Indian community event titled ‘Ahlan Modi’ are in full swing.
During his visit to the UAE, PM Modi will address the Indian diaspora at ‘Ahlan Modi’ on February 13, a day before the temple inauguration of the temple. Earlier in January, India’s Ambassador to UAE, Sunjay Sudhir visited the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi to see the progress of its construction. The temple announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 is nearing its completion.
Recently, PM Modi accepted the invitation extended by Swami Ishwarcharandas and Swami Brahmaviharidas, along with the board of directors for the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi on February 14, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha said in a press statement.
In December, PM Modi and the BAPS Swami Ishwarcharandas met at the Prime Minister’s residential office and PM Modi graciously accepted the invitation, expressing his enthusiastic support for the historic and iconic temple.