Sadiq Khan gives message of love conquering hate at Kingsbury Temple's Hindu New Year celebrations
PUBLISHED: 15:36 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:14 29 October 2019
"Love will conquer hatred" was the message from the Mayor of London at the colourful Hindu new year celebrations in Kingsbury.
Sadiq Khan was guest of honour at the Diwali and Hindu New Year 2076 celebrations at the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury on Monday.
The eco-temple, in Kingsbury Road, was marking the Gujarati New Year or Vikram Samvat 2076, which is usually falls the day after Diwali in parts of North India.
Addressing the packed Mandir, Mr Khan, said: "As I walked up towards the Mandir, the word 'wow' springs to mind, even though I've been here many times before.
"This Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in Kingsbury is literally of the best Mandirs not just in our city, not just in our country, not just in Europe, but in the world."
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On previous visits the Mayor has praised Acharya Swamishree Maharaj - the global spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan - for building the environmentally friendly traditional Hindu Temple.
Acharya Swamishree Maharaj teaches that simply be good to others is the true fundamental of being human.
In November of last year, he was awarded the title of 'World Peace Ambassador' by the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) - a global peace research organisation.
Fellow dignatories at the celebrations included Mark McEwen, the Met Police Commander for crime prevention, inclusion & engagement. "This is my first visit to this amazing temple, and it is stunning, it is beautiful. Words fail me. It's a very inspirational place to come to see, so thank you for the opportunity," he said.
"It strikes me that in some ways there are parallels between what we at the Metropolitan Police Service are trying to do in building a safer London for everybody and what you have managed to achieve here. You have done this through the efforts of the community."
Closing the ceremony Mr Khan said: "One of the wonderful things about the teachings of this Mandir, is the teaching that love will conquer hatred, the teaching that we have far more in common that unites us than divides us."
The Mandir will close out its Diwali celebrations by hosting a Blood Donation session on Sunday November 3.