The Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Bolton community is leading efforts to unite the community of Bolton in sending our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria, which has already claimed over 46,000 lives. Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj explained that it is our duty as children of God to help those in need, as this is fundamental to humanity, regardless of our own personal religion or belief.
In light of the recent devastation, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band Bolton participated in a fundraising initiative on Saturday 25th February 2023. The Pipe Band performed and melodious sounds resonated the streets of Bolton town with the aim to raise essential funds for the displaced families and those suffering.
Thereafter in the afternoon, disciples and the wider community alongside honoured guests gathered in the Mandir for the Earthquake Peace Vigil to pray for peace, and to offer support to all affected.
In His special message conveyed to the multi-faith prayer assembly, Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj said, “Let us all unite, in prayers for the spiritual peace of all the deceased souls. May the survivors be given the courage to face their hardships; and may we all, be, even a small part of sharing their misery, by providing them with whatever kind of help and support that we can give”.
The vigil also encompassed heartfelt speeches from two disciples as well as special guests including: Yasmin Qureshi (MP), Chimanbhai Tailor (Bolton Hindu Forum), Indiraben Tailor (on behalf of Chan Parmar) and Dr Mustafa Alachkar (on behalf of Rethink, Rebuild Society, a Manchester based Syrian charity and community organisation). The guests delivered words of solidarity and compassion during this challenging time.
Additionally, this crisis prompted a group of five disciples to travel to Turkey, to ensure charitable donations reach those who are most in need. One of the volunteers spoke about their experience and the sheer volume of devastation present, particularly in areas where help had not been reached.
The guests and all present concluded the assembly with a two-minute silence followed by the lighting of candles symbolising peace.
The devotees of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Bolton are deeply saddened by the news of the devastating earthquakes and send their deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones or are suffering. Compassion is one of Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s essential teachings, and it is this, which inspires the congregation to follow Him and hold a peace assembly in this manner.
Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj instilled the members of the community with the tenet, “society before self”. This latest charitable venture has been inspired by His legacy and strongly encouraged by our current spiritual leader, Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj.