Look: BAPS Hindu Temple's 12-day festival ends with diverse Indian, Emirati dances

The ‘Day of Inspiration’, organised by the women’s wing brought together more than 2,000 women at the temple this week


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 23 Feb 2024, 7:34 PM

A vibrant celebration of Indian culture through diverse dance performances concluded the unique 12-day ‘Festival of Harmony’ held to mark the inauguration of the iconic BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi.

The ‘Day of Inspiration’, a themed day organised by the women’s wing of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, brought together more than 2,000 women at the temple this week.

A ‘Walk of Harmony’ promoting religious tolerance, love, and peace set the tone for the proceedings. Women playing traditional drums revved up the celebratory mood. There were folk dances from Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, West Bengal, Maharashtra, and more Indian states covering all regions of the country.

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Bharatanatyam, one of the traditional dance forms of south India and an Emirati fusion dance, was among the other highlights. All dancers dressed in colourful and distinct costumes gave lively performances.

A captivating video titled ‘Faces of Inspiration’ highlighted the remarkable stories of multifaceted individuals who have served the temple. The special assembly underlined the pivotal role of women in uplifting society and their invaluable contributions to humanity.

Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati, a spiritual leader, author and motivational speaker; Vandana Sudhir, the wife of the Indian Ambassador to the UAE; Poonam Bhojani, CEO of Innoventures Education, were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.

Saraswati highlighted the significance of the temple in fostering unity among communities.

“This Mandir is a testament to ‘Bhakti ki shakti’ (the strength of devotion). It serves as a symbol of global harmony, akin to the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers in Prayagraj, (Uttar Pradesh). The whole (of this temple) is greater than the sum of its parts, and it can be seen in everyone coming together for this Mandir.”

Sudhir noted: “This Mandir has connected different cultures and religions making this world a better place. What can be a better place than here to inspire unity and love in society.”

Bhojani, in her address, said: “My father used to teach me to work without expecting any results. This is the first time I have seen it in action here at the BAPS Hindu Mandir, where every individual has served without any expectation. This is true service with compassion.”

Through a video-recorded message, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS, conveyed the message of love and the power that lies within one and all.

“Dearest friends, you are not ordinary. You are great souls. You have an infinite power within you, so take great pride in this,” he said.

The event brought together diverse groups representing various prominent communities in the country, including the Jain Samaj; Art of Living; Ame Gujarati in UAE; Indian Women in Dubai; Rising Stars Group; Maharashtra Mandal Abu Dhabi; South Indian community, Indian Ladies Association, Abu Dhabi and more. After the event, the attendees took a tour of the temple complex, marvelling at the intricate carvings and the inspirational stories of ancient civilisations.


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