Sanskrit Scriptures gifted to the Parliament of Victoria

On Tuesday, 2 August 2022, the Parliament of Victoria invited and received a senior swami of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Mahamahopadhyaya Swami Bhadreshdas as a special guest recognising his academic achievements. He is respected globally as an eminent scholar and philosopher of Indian philosophy, beliefs, and culture. With the inspiration of his gurus and the current spiritual leader of BAPS, Mahant Swami Maharaj he has been immersed in the study of Vedic literature and texts for the last 40 years. He has attained five master’s degrees in classical schools of Hindu thoughts. Furthermore, he has achieved a PhD and has also been conferred with a D.Litt in philosophy.

Amongst his many achievements, the most significant has been his writing of the Swaminarayan Bhashyam which is a classical-style Sanskrit commentary on some of the most prominent scriptures of Hinduism namely the ten Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras. Through this commentary, he expounds on the scriptural insights revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan and establishes a distinct school of philosophy known as the ‘Akshar-Purushottam’ Darshan. This unique Vedantic philosophy has been recognised by institutions worldwide.

On this historic day, Swami Bhadreshdasji was welcomed by Members of Parliament in the Queen’s Hall. He delivered a special message in Sanskrit derived from the insights of the Satsang Diksha scripture to the Parliament of Victoria wherein he appreciated the promotion of multiculturalism in the state of Victoria.

Thereafter, the Parliamentary Library of Victoria was gifted the Swaminarayan Bhashyam and Satsang Diksha scripture by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha highlighting the growing bond between the Hindu Community and Victoria Government.

The former President of the Legislative Council, Hon. Bruce Atkinson, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Mr Craig Ondarchie, and the Speakers Advisor, Mr. Jason McDonald, all accepted these gifts on behalf of the Parliament of Victoria. BAPS representatives also offered the books to the Manager of Parliamentary Library and Information Service, Mrs Carolyn Macvean.  After the exchange of gifts, Members of Parliament and Swami Bhadreshdas had an intriguing discussion about the importance of the Sanskrit language and how it is applicable to the world today. They personally showed Swami Bhadreshdasji around the library and informed him about the grand collection from all around the world.

Swami Bhadreshdasji is currently in Australia as part of the birth centenary celebrations of Pramukh Swami Maharaj to share his message of peace, love, and tolerance to foster global harmony.

During the Legislative Council sitting, the Hon. Nazih Elasmar, President of the Legislative Council, acknowledged Swami Bhadreshdasji and the delegation in the President’s gallery. The President also gave a certificate of honour to Swami Bhadreshdasji for his rigorous academic study, remarkable contributions, extensive travels, and saintliness. A global ambassador of the Hindu faith and Indian philosophy, and today serving society to foster interfaith respect and global harmony.

Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Mr Craig Ondarchie also congratulated Swami Bhadreshdasji for the inauguration of the BAPS Swaminarayan Research Institute in Australia, which exemplifies the contribution and future contributions of the Hindu community weaving another thread in embracing diversity and nurturing multiculturalism.

Swami Bhadreshdasji showered his blessings and prayed for the prosperity and progress of everyone in unity. He also gifted a memorable memento to the President and Members of Parliament with a special message inscribed from His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. He wrote, “In the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, let’s reach out to extend the circle of global harmony,” inspiring us all to unite and nurture global harmony collectively.