The first official engagement of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran's four-day visit to England was a visit to a Hindu Mandir - temple - on the outskirts of London.
13 June 2013 – Morning
Cardinal Tauran, Pope Francis’ senior advisor on interreligious dialogue, enjoyed a tour of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden.
Having received the traditional welcome at the bottom of the temple’s main steps, Cardinal Tauran was escorted around the Mandir by Pujya Paramtattva Swami.
The Cardinal met with monks before making the short journey to the conference rooms to take part in a Hindu-Christian seminar titled: ‘Catholics and Hindus: The Practice of compassion as a contribution to peace’.
The seminar opened with both Hindu and Christian prayers before Pujya Satyavrat Swami’s opening address and Cardinal Tauran’s keynote speech.
Hindu perspectives on compassion and world peace were provided by Pujya Paramtattva Swami. Dr Martin Ganeri OP reciprocated by offering Christian perspectives on the same subject.
The visit concluded with the exchange of gifts.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London was created by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the current leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide Hindu organisation rooted in the Vedas and dedicated to the service of society.