PRINCE Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain, on Tuesday (31) met a delegation of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha as the administration formally granted a piece of land for the construction of a Hindu temple.
The gift of land was announced in February in a move welcomed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
At Tuesday’s meeting in Manama, BAPS international coordinator and Middle East head Swami Brahmaviharidas delivered Modi’s message to the Crown Prince and conveyed the blessings of the spiritual leader of the global BAPS movement, His Divine Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
He thanked the administration for the “historic gift of land” which represented the “warm relations and an exchange of ideas between Bahrain and India”.
He also recalled the moment when the late Emir Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa told HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1997 to “make Bahrain your home.”
Swami Brahmaviharidas said, “the building of this BAPS Swaminarayan Temple marks a seminal and historic moment for Hinduism, for relations between India and Bahrain, and international harmony as a whole.”
He assured that the temple and the surrounding cultural and spiritual complex shall strengthen universal understanding and interfaith harmony, and “nurture the children of today and coming generations towards a brighter future”.
The BAPS, a global spiritual Hindu movement, said, “the Swaminarayan temple in Bahrain will represent the timeless values of Hinduism and the vision of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for an inclusive world that will nurture peace and interfaith harmony.”
Indian Ambassador Piyush Srivastava, Swami Aksharatitdas, BAPS Bahrain president Dr Praful Vaidya and community leaders Ramesh Patidar and Mahesh Devji were also present on the occasion.