• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Abu Dhabi BAPS Mandir

Ashok Kotecha: “The temple project will bring civilisational change”

Kotecha has been a key figure in the construction of the Abu Dhabi BAPS Mandir

Ashok Kotecha (left) with Pujya Swami Ishwarcharandas, PM Narendra Modi, and Swami Brahmaviharidas

By: VISHNU RAGEEV R

ASHOK KOTECHA, the chairman of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, has been a key figure in the herculean effort that went into the construction of the Abu Dhabi BAPS Mandir.

Kotecha’s decades-long association with the Mandir dates back to the visit of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj to the UAE on April 5, 1997

“On that day, we took him to have a desert ride to Al Khawaneej. As we reached the desert site, there was a heavy wind blowing sand into our eyes and we could not even speak to one another. And there was Pramukh Swami Maharaj sitting in the middle of that desert, smiling! He says to us ‘this is all the divine leela of God and worshipping God is the prime and most important thing in life. We have come here today and this day must always be remembered. Come now’. And then Swamiji started chanting the name of God and said, ‘May peace prevail here and everywhere. May all the religions of the world and all the countries develop greater love for one another. May all the countries be free of internal enmity and prejudice towards each other and may all they progress in their unique ways. And may there be a temple in Abu Dhabi,” Kotecha recalled the special moment at the Pramukh Swami Maharaj Shatabdi Mahotsav (PSM100) in January 2023.

“Those words were a prophetic prayer, a divine prayer. The first ever traditional Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is the result of that prayer in the desert. None of us could have ever imagined this could be possible. This temple project is going to bring in civilisational change in the world,” he added.

At Dubai Expo 2020

Kotecha was among the few who received special recognition from Indian prime minister Narendra Modi for significant contributions to the BAPS Hindu Mandir project in Abu Dhabi, which the prime minister termed as a source of pride for India.

Kotecha envisions further accomplishments for the BAPS Middle East community in the coming years. He is actively involved in the construction of BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir in Bahrain.

He says, “We thank the great leaders for their historic decision to grant land for BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir.”

Kotecha underlines that BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha will build a “spiritual oasis for global harmony” in Bahrain in line with similar aspirations in Abu Dhabi.

“We look forward to working together to create a place of harmony, peace and service in Bahrain.”

Related Stories

Videos

Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…