PM Modi to inaugurate UAE’s first Hindu Temple. 5 points about BAPS Mandir in Abu Dhabi

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First Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate UAE’s historic BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Abu Dhabi on February 14, marking a significant moment for the city’s Hindu community. Public access begins March 1st.

PM Modi further emphasized that he looks forward to being among the Indian diaspora in the UAE at the Ahlan Modi program.

Sharing his excitement on his social media, PM Modi stated, “We are very proud of our diaspora and their efforts to deepen India’s engagement with the world. This evening, I look forward to being among UAE’s Indian diaspora at the #AhlanModi program! Do join this memorable occasion.”

Before the temple’s inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sadhu Brahmaviharidas acknowledged the crucial role played by the generosity and friendship of UAE leaders. He also expressed profound appreciation for the rulers and leaders of the UAE and highlighted the strong friendship between India’s Prime Minister and the UAE rulers.

“Well, symbolism is clear, and I don’t hide it. For a ruler, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to have space in his heart to allow the first traditional stone temple in this part of the region in the history of humanity, I think all of us need to join our hands and applaud the rulers and the leaders of this nation,” he said addressing a press conference in Abu Dhabi.

He added that this friendship, rooted in trust, transparency, and truth, has been instrumental in bringing this architectural marvel to life.

“So, the BAPS Hindu Mandir has been built because of the generosity of the rulers. And I also say because of the friendship that our honourable Prime Minister has been able to generate with the rulers, the leaders, through the trade, through the great events that have happened. It’s because of trust, transparency, and truth that this entire Mandir has been made,” he said.

Sadhu Brahmaviharidas also revealed the rich symbolism embedded in the temple’s design. Adorned with seven spires, the Mandir symbolizes gratitude towards the unity of the seven emirates, reflecting the harmonious relationship between India and the UAE. The seven spires also pay homage to seven important deities, underscoring the interconnectedness of cultures and religions.

“Normally, our temples are either one spire, three, or five, but come here, the seven spires express our gratitude to the unity of the seven emirates. But at the same time, the seven spires enshrine seven important deities,” he said.

What is BAPS?

-BAPS, an acronym for the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, represents a socio-spiritual Hindu faith rooted in the Vedas, pioneered by Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830) in the late 18th century and formally established in 1907 by Shastriji Maharaj (1865-1951), according to its website. 

-Built upon the principles of practical spirituality, BAPS endeavours to address the spiritual, moral, and social challenges prevalent in our world today. Its strength lies in the purity of its objectives and intentions.

-BAPS, through a global network comprising over 3,850 centres, its universal outreach has garnered recognition with numerous national and international awards, as well as affiliations with esteemed organizations like the United Nations.

-During PM Modi’s two-day visit to the Gulf nation in 2015, the UAE allocated land for constructing a temple in Abu Dhabi. This visit held significant diplomatic importance, as Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister since Indira Gandhi to visit this strategically vital Gulf nation in 34 years. Modi thanked the UAE leadership on behalf of 125 crore Indians for their decision to build the temple, hailing it as a “landmark” move, according to various reports.

-Ambassador Sudhir underscored the remarkable dedication and efforts of thousands of Indian artisans and devotees throughout the temple’s construction phase. He noted that many devotees and members of the Indian diaspora actively participated in the construction, symbolizing their commitment through “Shramdan”, or voluntary labour. The completion of the temple stands as a collective achievement, demonstrating the unity and affection invested by the community.

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Published: 13 Feb 2024, 12:08 PM IST

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