A wave of religious fervor and festive atmosphere has taken over Abu Dhabi’s BAPS Hindu Mandir (temple) ahead of its inauguration on February 14. Hundreds of community members and devotees lined up at the temple to greet the spiritual leader His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
The prominent personality is the current spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and arrived as a state guest in Abu Dhabi on a special flight. Mahant Swami Maharaj will lead the Vedic ceremony to inaugurate the Middle East’s first traditional stone temple.
After arriving at Al Bateen Executive Airport from the Indian state of Gujarat, Mahant Swami Maharaj was received by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence of the United Arab Emirates.
Pujya Swami Brahmaviharidas, who has been supervising the temple project under the leadership of Mahant Swami Maharaj, and other representatives of the temple were also present.
“Welcome to the United Arab Emirates. Our nation is blessed with your presence. We are touched by your kindness and feel your prayers,” Sheikh Nahyan said.
A group of dancers, drummers and singers performed the traditional Al-Ayyala at the airport. Appreciating the warm reception, Mahant Swami Maharaj noted, “We are touched by your love and respect. “The leaders of the UAE are great, good and big-hearted.”
Yusuffali MA, Second Vice President of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) and Chairman of LuLu Group International, was also present on the occasion.
Once at the temple, hundreds of people, saints and volunteers greeted Mahant Swami Maharaj with heartfelt applause, showering flowers and chanting slogans and hymns. Some of the community members were visibly moved to see the global Hindu spiritual leader, known for inspiring millions of people around the world through his virtues of devotion, humility and service.
A brief ceremony was organized to welcome Mahant Swami Maharaj to the temple, where last-minute preparations for the inauguration are underway.
Pujya Swami Brahmaviharidas stressed that the temple serves as a “spiritual oasis for global harmony that celebrates the past and recalibrates the future.”
“The BAPS Hindu Mandir is a timeless testimony to the spirituality of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the generosity, sincerity and friendship of the leaders of the UAE, India and BAPS.”
This ambitious project was conceived by the late spiritual leader of Sanstha, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, during his visit to the UAE in 1997. The project has been made possible by the kindness and generosity of the UAE government and its rulers.
The inauguration will be celebrated through the ‘Festival of Harmony,’ a series of engaging community programs and events from February 10 to 21 that will focus on strengthening faith, mobilizing community service and inspiring harmony among people of all generations and origins.
The general public who have not yet registered have been urged to visit the temple next month as there is high demand from registered foreign visitors. For more information and registration, visit the official website or app.
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