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International Dignitaries

HRH Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, London –
28 February 1996.

After seeing Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, Prince Charles opined, "It really is an enormous pleasure and privilege to see you all this evening. I am particularly pleased to have seen something of this beautiful Mandir, something which is I think very special indeed. But what I really wanted to do this evening more than anything else was to find a way of congratulating you all for your really remarkable achievement, and it is a great achievement; I realise that having met so many of the volunteers who have put so much of their lives into this project, in creating this very remarkable and special temple, inspired as it is by Pramukh Swami Maharaj with all its breathtaking craftsmanship and its attention to detail."

The Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, London,
6 June 1997

After her visit at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, Princess Diana commented: "Even before entering the Mandir, it is impossible to feel the enormous love and devotion that has gone into the building of this magnificent house of prayer for the Hindu faith. I was touched by the peacefulness and tranquillity that surrounds one when passing through the doors of the temple, and it is astounding that such beauty was constructed in only three years.
My visit was a journey in learning and memory that I will always treasure and I send you, and all who helped to make this such a special time, my heartfelt best wishes."

Former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, Gandhinagar, 5 April 2001

After his visit to Akshardham in Gandhinagar, Bill Clinton commented:

Thank you -
for welcoming me.
for making me feel at home.
for reaching out to all God's children.
for helping the people hurt by the earthquake.
for working for peace and reconciliation.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip,
15 October 1997

After seeing the Akshardham complex in Gandhinagar, India, he asked that his message be conveyed to HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, "Thank him and tell him that I am extremely pleased for this remarkable opportunity of visiting Akshardham. He is doing great work and may he be supremely successful in achieving his goal of curing and creating peace in this world."

Former President of the United States of America, George Bush, Edison, New Jersey, 1991

During his vist to the Cultural Festival of India in Edison, NJ, George Bush reflected: "The Cultural Festival of India provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to learn more about this fascinating land in South Asia and the unique music, art, craftsmanship, and folklore that Indian Americans have brought to the United States. Featuring a number of conferences that address the challenges before our young people today, this month long festival also reflects its organizers hopes of building a better tomorrow for our children and, indeed, for our Nation. I applaud the many volunteers who have made this event possible, and I congratulate all Indian Americans on what is sure to be a proud and joyous series of events."

Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Group, London, UK, 1995

Richard Branson was flabbergasted during his visit to Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London. He said: "It's so inspiring what you have all achieved. I am left speechless. Your words have touched us as much as the building – but without the building, we would never have heard the words. Thank you for your sacrifice."

Prof. Jaroslav Fric, Renowned Multimedia Director, Czech Republic, 1996

"Compared to Swamiji’s work, my work is even less worthy than shoes. Akshardham in Gandhinagar and the Mandir in London are his 2 miracles of this century. O Swami, you alone are our hope. When we look at you we get energy, find answers and feel at peace."


Prime Minister of Great Britain, Rt. Hon. John Major, 9 March 1997

During his visit to Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, Hon. John Major was overwhelmed: "I remember talking to an architect a few years ago who was looking at some of the great buildings in Europe and he said that the tragedy is that the great buildings were built in the past, they are not being built in the present for the future. I am going to suggest he comes here and sees how wrong he was. The beauty is not just in the building, it is perhaps in the way the building came about, and in the people who voluntarily, for years, dedicated themselves without pay, here to construct this beautiful mandir. I shall go today with a memory that will be unforgettable, of one of the most beautiful mandirs I have ever seen, built in the latter part of the 20th Century, entirely by voluntarily endeavour in the heart of London. If that had been suggested to me some years ago, I would scarcely have credited that it could have been possible, but it has been done, and to those who carried out the work I offer my warmest congratulations."


The Late Ronald Patel, Managing Editor, “Philadelphia Enquirer”, and Pulitzer Prize winner, 1993

"As a journalist, I'm used to searching people through their eyes. When I encountered Swamiji's eyes, I found them honest, trusting, intelligent, and above all comforting… At 75, most people reflect upon the money and status they have acquired. But today, Swamiji has no money, but the wealth of devotion he has, and the respect he has earned - no one can amass that wealth."

During his visit to the CFI, Edison, NJ, 1991, Ron Patel was impressed by the exhibition pavilion. He said: "What I see Pramukh Swami doing in these exhibits is in a sense reminding India that there was a time of great pride. Now, as the century closes, Pramukh Swami has given India a new reason for pride – rooted in the past but looking much more to the future... The magic of the exhibit is that it points back at you – You say, 'I’ll make my life better. I will be something more important than I was before.' And this is the magic part of the exhibit, something that is very precious. "

H.E. Samson Kisseka, Vice-President of Uganda, 1992

During his visit to the Centenary Celebrations of Yogiji Maharaj in 1992, H.E. Samson Kisseka commented: "I am truly happy and very delighted to have come all the way from Uganda to attend this celebration. This is so important that though I had State duties I thought I must come. And I have found that I have done the right thing in coming here. This Movement has done so well and so much for India. You are retaining unity, moral behavior and respecting all religious beliefs. The Swaminarayan devotion, spiritual values and unity of various people – this is a wonderful and commendable job you have done. I have been very impressed to see Akshardham and the service your people are rendering."

H.E. D. R. Hasselman, Consul General of Holland,
1 July 1994

After seeing Akshardham monument, H.E. D. R. Hasselman commented: "A masterful blend of philosophy and modern technology offer the visitor the opportunity of deeper reflection. I wish this exhibition to contribute to the betterment of the people of India and the world."

H.E. Anatoli M. Drukol, Ambassador of Russia,
23 March 1993

During his visit to Akshardham, H.E. Anatoli M. Drukol commented: "Excellent! Magnificent temple in a splendid park - one of the most beautiful places of modern and ancient India."

H.E. Walid Mansoor, Consul General of Israel,
11 November 1997

During his visit to Akshardham monument, H.E. Walid Mansoor wrote in the visitors' book: "I have never during my life in a very short time had such a wonderful and huge experience as the one I have had here. Please come and visit Israel."

H.E. Lech Walesa, President of Poland,
February 1994

Impressed on his visit to Akshardham Honorable Lech Walesa prayed, "O Lord! Please guide my generation!"

Jimmy Carter, Former President of USA,
10 October 1999

During his visit to Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, in 1999, Jimmy Carter wrote in the visitors' book,
" A truely beautiful and inspirational place!"



Richard Gephardt, President of Democratic Party, USA, 1991

During his visit to the Cultural Festival of India, July 1991, Edison, NJ, Richard Gephardt said: "After seeing this festival I wonder if such a festival will be possible on America's doorstep for the next 25 years! I am extremely proud to be here today. Your work of instilling moral values in the youth of today is to be thanked. I am deeply impressed."

Jack Ladd, Prominent Lawyer in Midland, Texas, 1991

Jack Ladd was tremendously impressed by his visit to the Cultural Festival of India, Edison, NJ. and said: "There are 2,600 volunteers here. Many have given up their careers, their family, and their home life for several months and anyone who can inspire that kind of leadership is not only a wise person, a creative person, but a person who is divinely inspired to lead people."
Shri Manubhai Madhvani, Industrialist, Mandir Mahotsav, Nairobi, August 1999

"Whenever I see Pramukh Swami I am reminded of Yogiji Maharaj. The people of Kenya are fortunate and blessed today to have a beautiful mandir here through the inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. A mandir can be built when you have a mind and heart. And we can see the synergy of mind and heart in this mandir. The exhibition will play a major role in preserving our culture and traditions here."
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Edison, NJ, 24 May 1998

During his address to an assembley at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Edison, NJ, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said: "When you leave this place you maybe an engineer, a doctor, lawyer, a nurse, a teacher, but here in the temple you'll find common ground that you're somebody, you're God's child and that's enough. The only basis for looking down on someone is that you're going to stop and lift them up. Here you'll find in BAPS that sense of moving from working individualism to collectivism, you'll find moving from the battleground to commonground and moving onto a higher, moral ground - this is a great organization!"
Tony Blair, Leader of Labour Party, UK,
21 June 1996

The Hon. Tony Blair was amazed during his visit to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, in the presence of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He said: "I have never seen such a magnificent work of modern architecture as this. It is a magnificent Mandir built thanks to the love and devotion of countless people. It is a place of beauty, a source of inspiration to worship and to reflect. It is a veritable pavilion of peace and of promise. I have been so honoured too, to spend some moments before coming to speak to you with your Holiness. And I say from the bottom of my heart that even in those few moments I could see your inner spirit, your devotion, your humility and your Godliness... I believe that Hinduism is perhaps India's greatest contribution to harmony and peaceful coexistence in this world, and no other country, none, has such a proud tradition of welcoming people from all faiths as India..."

Dr. Subramanian, Renowned By-pass Surgeon, USA

On 6 September 1998 an assembly was held at Westchester County Center to honor Dr. Subramanian and his team of doctors and specialists. In his address he said: "Lord Swaminarayan descended on us at Lenox Hill Hospital to bless us to be able to help Swamiji in his bypass surgery... Swamiji was an extraordinary person for me to meet. Everyday after the bypass surgery, I would go to visit him. It was like seeing God everyday!"

During the Fuldol Festival at Sarangpur on 2 March 1999, Dr. Subramanian said: "God's greatest gift to me, Lord Swaminarayan's greatest gift to me, was in July last year when I operated on Pramukhji. It was a divine moment when I met Pramukhji for the first time. Two things impressed me when I met Pramukhji and which my father taught me. The first is karma - do your duty. The second is that we are born to give..."


H.E. Dr. Andra's To'th, Ambassador for Hungary in Nairobi, Kenya, August 1999

Impressed by the Mandir Mahotsav in Narobi, H.E. Dr. Andra's To'th reflected: "For a long time I have had a desire to visit India. After seeing this mandir the feeling has grown intense. The atmosphere here is very spiritual."

Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, Leader of the Conservative Party, UK, 2 November 1999

On his visit to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, Hon. William Hague noted in the opinion book: "One of the most remarkable places I have ever visited in this country - a truly inspiring example of what can be achieved and the hope and faith that can be given to new generations.:





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