Neasden temple honours late Dr Abdul Kalam by launching his book: Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji

London Swaminarayan temple and HCI to UK Ranjan Mathai pay special tribute to late Dr Abdul Kalam

India News Bulletin Desk

One of Europe's most traditional and popular temples, BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir (temple) in London has honoured the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam by launching his book - Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji. His Excellency Ranjan Mathai, High Commissioner of India (HCI) to the UK also attended the special memorial ceremony at the temple.

London's Swaminarayan Mandir and High Commissioner of India to UK Ranjan Mathai pay tribute to late Dr Kalam

The ex-Indian president tribute event in London Neasden temple was made an integral part of the year-long celebrations to mark Swaminarayan Mandir’s 20th anniversary. It was dedicated to Dr Kalam's lifetime service and contribution to India and the world.

Among the high-profile people present at the tribute ceremony were senior BAPS swamis, including Sadguru Pujya Mahant Swami, Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami and Pujya Atmaswarup Swami, as well as other highly distinguished guests, civic leaders and community representatives alongside Indian High Commissioner Mr Mathai.

After the holy lamps were lit traditionally at the start of the auspicious occasion, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami introduced the work of the Mandir in London over the past 20 years in serving worshippers, well-wishers and the local community. Later, Pujya Atmaswarup Swami, the current head of Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi introduced the book Transcendence highlighting Dr Kalam’s spiritual and philosophical transformations during his fourteen-year friendship with His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

High Commissioner Mathai paid tribute to both Dr Kalam as statesman, scientist and rishi, and the London Mandir calling the temple “the great jewel of Indian tradition and culture on British soil,” citing Dr Kalam’s description of it in Transcendence as “an incredible combination of heaven on earth.” He added: “You have provided a shining example of the greatness of India’s highest spiritual traditions in this foreign land. This extraordinary artistic achievement is a contribution to British and indeed world culture. Your commitment to social causes, betterment of lives and encouragement to the young has made you a living centre for the wider Indian community in the UK. Your example has helped to build the image of Indians in this country, and much credit goes to you for being open to both Indian and British traditions.”

Concluding the ceremony and citing several passages from Transcendence, especially an interview of Nelson Mandela, Pujya Mahant Swami urged the audience to not only read the book, but to imbibe its messages. “It is a universal book, for people of all faiths, nations, ethnicities and vocations, because it is about higher values such as peace, spirituality, tolerance, patience and service.” This, he explained, would be the highest tribute to Dr Kalam’s life, work and legacy.

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