His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj

Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj, the global leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, has passed away aged 78.

The founder of world’s first eco-temple in northwest London, who died on Thursday (16), was a spiritual leader with thousands of disciples across the world.

Acharya Swamishree Maharaj was described as an “ocean of compassion” and “ultimate humanitarian” for his assiduous endeavours to promote equality, social mobility, sustainability and world peace.

Many global faith, community and thought leaders have lauded his feats, and paid homage by conferring several honorary titles upon him. In 2018, he was proclaimed as a ‘world peace ambassador’ by more than 120 leading peace workers from over 30 countries.

Acharya Swamishree Maharaj with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter: “We will always remember Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj for his noble service to society. He worked hard to alleviate human suffering and further compassion. He will be remembered by countless people, not only in India but globally.

“I will never forget my many interactions with him. Om Shanti.”

Then London mayor (now UK Prime Minister) Boris Johnson seeks Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s blessings during the grand opening of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury – the world’s first eco-temple – in 2014.

As London mayor in 2014, Boris Johnson had met Acharya Swamishree Maharaj during the opening of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, Kingsbury, in northwest London.

Current London mayor, Sadiq Khan, too, had visited Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury before he took office, and again soon after.

Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s grief-struck followers have announced that a 11-day period of remembrance and devotion will be observed in his honour.