Neil Basu, Britain’s counter-terrorism lead, and the Metropolitan Police’s most senior officer of Asian origin, visited Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury for the darshan of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj during a special event in celebration of Rakshabandhan.
While Rakshabandhan is a Hindu festival that is traditionally a reminder of the bond of protection between a brother and sister, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj has a long-standing tradition of using the festival to extend blessings and gratitude to all protectors of society – in this case, the police. Basu was joined by fellow senior ranking officer, Chief Superintendent Simon Rose, the tri-borough Commander of Brent, Harrow and Barnet. Other guests included Barry Gardiner MP.
During the event, both senior ranking officers were adorned with a white paagh and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj tied a sacred rakhdi to their wrists as symbol of the community’s gratitude for the protection provided by all police around the country.
Addressing the congregation, Basu said, “I couldn’t possibly compare myself to Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, but I too joined the police force to serve. If I ever need a reminder of the importance of serving the community, all I will have to do is remember this day and this visit”.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj is the spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. He is the current and fifth heir in the lineage of ascetic Acharyas, which descends directly from Lord Shree Swaminarayan. He is the incumbent Acharya of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi.