On 12th October, Saturday Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Her Excellency Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam, joined worshippers for a special assembly at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London.
At the event, she was welcomed by volunteers and trustees of the Mandir where she was introduced to the various social, community and outreach activities that are organised by the Mandir.
The evening celebrated the concept ofvegetarianism, organised as part of the Mandir’s contribution to World Vegetarian Day – an annual day of celebration established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977. This is endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union established in 1978. The programme also paid tribute to the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who was a passionate advocate of embracing a vegetarian diet and lifestyle.
Children, youngsters and swamis delivered powerful discourses which explained the spiritual and health benefits of a pure vegetarian diet. They also drew upon Hindu scriptures which explain that vegetarianism is vested in the lofty principle of ahimsa – not causing any pain to any living being through one’s actions, words or even thoughts.
Mrs Ghanashyam addressed the congregation, expressed her gratitude and said,
“Thank you to BAPS for helping bring his message of vegetarianism to life. Your presence here in the UK is inspiring for people in India. Your Mandir here is a living monument of your success in this country.”