Pujya Swamiji Speaks at Event for Aastha Kunj: An Oasis of Interfaith Harmony
On the auspicious birthday of Respected Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji and Mahamana Pt Madan Mohan Malaviyaji, Pujya Swamiji lauded the Government of India, led by the able leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji, in honouring these visionary and patriotic souls with the prestigious Bharat Ratna Award.
Pujya Swamiji especially wished Respected Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji a long, healthy and happy life and one that continues to be dedicated to the welfare of the nation. He spoke about His wonderful memory of Shri Vajpayeeji’s presence at the contract signing ceremony for the Encyclopedia of Hinduism in 1998 in New York, and Shri Vajpayeeji’s commitment to the historic project.
Pujya Swami Divyanand Teerthji and Pujya Swamiji graced a special celebration in Delhi on this occasion at which Ms. Sumitra Mahajanji, Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha, Dr. BK Modiji, Global Citizens Forum, Respected Interfaith Leaders, Father Dominic, Imam Umer Ilyasiji, Lokesh Muniji, Shri AK Merchantji, Mahamantra Dasji and many others were present.
During the occasion the interfaith leaders planned for creation of an Aastha Kunj- an Oasis of Interfaith Harmony Centre- in which all major faiths of India would find representation and a sacred space that would exemplify interfaith harmony and peace. As a symbol of their pledge they collectively planted a sacred Rudraksh sapling.
A special kalash (sacred pot) filled with soil of many countries of the world was mixed with the soil of the Aastha Kunj as a powerful symbol of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam- One World Family. The kalash was from an extensive Dharma Yatra carried out in the year 2001 and 2003 by Pujya Shankarcharyaji, Pujya Swamiji, and many other revered saints and leaders, sponsored by Dr. B.K. Modiji, in which they traveled all around the world and inspired and encouraged people from all walks of life and all faiths to serve together for Interfaith Harmony and World Peace. During the yatra, some of the sacred soil of the countries they had visited were collected and brought back in the kalash as a symbol of our harmony amidst our diversity.
Pujya Swamiji said, ‘Let this Aastha Kunj be dedicated to Respected Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, a man of great faith and vision, and let it serve his great mission to bring all people, of all faiths together in a spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. I hope that this sacred space for interfaith worship will also bring much reflection and introspection on our inner faith. May everyone who experiences the center learn to become better human beings and find deeper meaning and purpose in their lives.”
Pujya Swamiji also gave the beautiful mantra, ‘Atal Bharat. Sabhal Bharat. Akhand Bharat.’ He shared, ‘It is fitting that this center is being started in the capital of India, the heart of the nation. Let it stand as a symbol of our great heritage, culture and values. Let India not only be an economic capital of the world but let it also be a spiritual capital of the world. This center will help serve this purpose by being a international spiritual knowledge center. In this way it will be a great gift to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji’s vision.”
Referring to Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modiji’s slogan ‘Sabka Saath. Sabka Vikas,’ ensuring everyone’s participation in progress and development of the nation, Pujya Swamiji added that we must also ensure that progress should be sustainable and secure, therefore ‘Satat Vikas and Surakshit Vikas’ were also vital. He said the secret to India’s formula to sustainable, secure and consistent growth will be based on the foundation of interfaith harmony and mutual understanding.