On October 7, 2023, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham was honored to host a distinguished delegation of ambassadors and representatives from the United Nations ahead of the grand dedication ceremony on October 8, 2023. Coinciding with a week-long celebration, the visit brought together leaders from Cambodia, Eritrea, Grenada, Guyana, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Timor Leste, Mongolia, South Africa, Maldives, as well as delegations from Poland, Costa Rica, Brazil, Lebanon, Bhutan, and the UN Office of Counterterrorism.
The presence of these esteemed diplomats, including H.E. Mrs. Sophea Eat of Cambodia, H.E. Ms. Sophia Tesfamariam of Eritrea, H.E. Mr. Ché Ajamu Phillip of Grenada, H.E. Mrs. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett of Guyana, H.E. Mr. Akan Rakhmetullin of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mrs. Sarah Safyn Fyneah of Liberia, H.E. Mrs. Agnes Mary Chimbiri Molande of Malawi, H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale of Morocco, H.E. Mr. Lok Bahadur Thapa of Nepal, H.E. Mr. Mohan Pieris of Sri Lanka, H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King of Saint Vincent and Grenadines, H.E. Mr. Karlito Nunes of Timor Leste, H.E. Mr. Enkhbold Vorshilov of Mongolia, H.E. Ms. Mathu Joyini of South Africa, and Ambassador Hala Hameed of the Maldives, underscored the universal message of peace, unity, and cultural preservation that Akshardham represents. H.E. Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj of India, who led the delegation, extended this unique opportunity to her fellow ambassadors and representatives.
When H.E. Mr. Mohan Pieris, UN Ambassador to Sri Lanka, asked what message the delegation could take to share with other leaders, BAPS volunteer Kunj Pandya from Atlanta shared a simple yet powerful reply. “You’re all professionally trying to pursue external world peace – a mighty endeavor. But I think we all understand that to achieve world peace, we must first find inner peace. I invite every member of the United Nations to seek their own home of inner peace here at Akshardham to let that ripple and generate world peace,” he said.
The delegation’s visit highlighted their commitment to fostering peace, understanding, and cultural preservation on a global scale, the same messages and values underscored by Akshardham.
Later that evening, devotees, well-wishers, and dignitaries gathered at the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, for a heartfelt program celebrating the extraordinary life and enduring legacy of Mahant Swami Maharaj. Mahant Swami Maharaj, the revered spiritual leader of BAPS, has been a guiding light and source of inspiration for countless individuals worldwide. His unwavering commitment to spirituality, selfless service, and universal love has touched hearts and transformed lives.
Swami Paramatmanandaji, Founder Acharya of Arsha Vidya Mandir, addressed the assembly, “I had the fortune to meet Mahant Swami Maharaj nearly 48 years ago. … I stayed with him. All these years, one thing I observed, he is nothing but the embodiment of Hindu culture, Hindu values, and Hindu dharma.”
On the eve of the grand dedication ceremony of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, this celebration of Mahant Swami Maharaj’s life serves as a reminder of the profound impact he has had on individuals and communities worldwide. His unwavering commitment to the values of faith, unity, and selfless service continues to inspire and guide countless souls on their spiritual journeys.