In an address to the assembly, Mr Baird praised the positive impact of the Indian community in NSW and reflected on his recent visit to the Indian state of Gujarat on invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I have had much opportunity to reflect on the Hindu faith and I know on the journey that Hindus have come from India and East Africa, to Sydney and one of the great things about the faith is its focus on unity and harmony,” Mr Baird said.
“Despite us being close to an election I did go the Vibrant Gujarat Festival in January and what a treat and pleasure it was. I had the opportunity to again meet the Prime Minister and he shared his ongoing vision for India.”
Mr Baird also praised the spirit of volunteerism and selfless service shown at the BAPS Mandir which is thanks to its spiritual leader His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
As a part of his visit, Mr Baird performed an auspicious and sacred abhishek (bathing with pure water) of a sacred murti (idol) of the Nilkanth Varni and received blessings.
A number of other dignitaries were also present in Sunday’s gathering, including Liberal State MP’s, Dr. Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta and Tony Issa, Member for Granville.
The BAPS Mandir in Rosehill has been a part of Sydney’s multicultural landscape since 1996 and moved to its current location, 40 Eleanor Street, Rosehill, in 2000.
“It was a wonderful experience to welcome the Premier to our Mandir and into the community, he’s one of thousands of visitors and guests who regularly come to our Mandir throughout the year,” BAPS spokesperson, Yogi Savania said.
The Mandir is open from Monday to Saturday from 7am to 11.30am and 4pm to 8pm and Sundays from 7am to 9am. Daily aartis (ceremony of light) are held at 7.15am and 7pm.
For more information on BAPS, its activities and centres please visit baps.org.