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Symbol of Unity: PM Modi to Inaugurate UAE’s Historic First Hindu Temple

On February 14, Prime Minister Modi will open the UAE’s historic BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Abu Dhabi, a watershed event for the city’s Hindu population. Public access begins on March 1st.

PM Modi further stated that he is looking forward to joining the Indian diaspora in the UAE for the Ahlan Modi program.

PM Modi expressed his joy on social media, saying, “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.”

Sadhu Brahmaviharidas recognized the importance of UAE leaders’ kindness and goodwill prior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s opening of the temple. 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 exactly is BAPS?

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

Based on the ideas of practical spirituality, BAPS seeks to solve the spiritual, moral, and social concerns that confront our society today. Its power comes from the integrity of its goals and intents.

BAPS’s global network of over 3,850 centers has earned several national and international honors, as well as connections with prestigious organizations such as the United Nations.

In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Modi visited the UAE to build a temple in Abu Dhabi, marking the first visit since Indira Gandhi’s 34-year visit. The UAE allocated land for the temple, which was praised by Modi as a “landmark” move. Ambassador Sudhir praised the dedication of thousands of Indian artisans and devotees, who actively participated in the construction process through “Shramdan,” or voluntary labor. The temple’s completion is seen as a collective achievement, demonstrating the unity and affection of the community.

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