Indian spiritual leader in Kenya with message of peace

November 24th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Nov 24 (IANS) On a mission to spread the message of spiritual brotherhood in Kenya, Acharya Purshuttompriyadas, a Swaminarayan sect leader based here, has met Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga as well as a large number of ethnic Indian followers.After reaching Nairobi last Thursday, Purshuttompriyadas met Odinga at the Shree Swaminarayan Temple and the two lit candles of peace signifying world peace, Mahant Bhagawatpriya told IANS here Monday.

Purshuttompriyadas, who heads the Swaminarayan sect’s Gadi Sanshtha at Maninagar, honoured Odinga with a turban, shawl and flower garland and a memento of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Smruti Mandir - a centre for world peace.

In his speech, Odinga appreciated the efforts of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, the founder of Swamibapa Sports Club, which since its formation in 1974, has formed the backbone of the Kenya National Cricket Team, according to Bhagawatpriya.

Purshottampriyadas in his speech said that saint Jeevanpran Abji Bapashree had a century ago inspired the Patels from Kutch region of Gujarat to venture out to new horizons.

“Over 100 years ago, the Patels came and settled in the coastal regions of Kenya. Since then the trade links between Kenya and India have strenghthened,” he told hundreds of followers gathered at the temple.

Bhagawatpriya said Purshottampriyadas will visit Mombasa later this week before leaving for Kampala in Uganda and Tanzania.

There are about 100,000 ethnic Indians in Kenya’s population of 28,600,000, a significant number of them from Gujarat.

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