More than 980 people gathered for the Vishwa Samvadita Yagna (Vedic prayers for global harmony) at the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi on 11 February 2024.
The event formed part of the ‘Festival of Harmony’ – a celebration of cultural diversity and spiritual unity – organised to commemorate the historic inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi.
Ancient Hindu scriptures describe a yagna as a powerful devotional offering that serves to seek blessings from God. The yagna – the first of its kind in the Middle East – brought together dignitaries, spiritual leaders, and members of the community to pray for peace, harmony and the well-being and success of everyone in the UAE and across the world.
Seven expert priests had travelled from India to officiate the ancient ceremonial rituals, which connected participants through offerings and prayers that inspire pure and virtuous thoughts and actions. They were supported by more than 200 devotees who helped conduct the ceremony to provide an enriching experience for all the participants.
Swami Brahmaviharidas, leading the Mandir project under the guidance of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, explained, “A yagna of this significance rarely takes place outside of India. The occasion served as the perfect way to pay tribute to the Mandir’s message of global unity, a value that His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is deeply passionate about. The peace and coexistence that was evoked throughout the morning embodied a beacon of hope for future generations that the Mandir will reinforce.”
The auspicious flame of the yagna symbolised the dispelling of darkness and emergence of spiritual enlightenment. This was a wonderful sight to see amongst the rare backdrop of the raining skies that showed all the five elements of nature coming together.
Despite the wet weather, the joyous spirits of the participants could hardly be dampened. Jayshri Inamdar, a 70-year-old devotee who had travelled from London to attend the event, shared, “The rains made the historic event all the more memorable and enjoyable. Never in my lifetime have I witnessed a yagna take place in the rain! It felt especially auspicious.”