British politicians and Hindu organisations will come together on 18 July at the House of Commons to commemorate the 750th birth anniversary of Vedanta Desika, one of India’s stalwart spiritual masters, in the line of the medieval Vaishnava teacher, Ramanujacharya.
This is the first time in the world that a Vaishnava leader of the stature of Vedanta Desika, who has been described by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi as ‘shining jewel in the Indian spiritual tradition’ will be felicitated inside a Parliamentary institution.
The reception is hosted by the Hindu Forum of Britain, Sri Vedanta Desika Sampradaya Sabha Mumbai and facilitated by Bob Blackman, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus. Delegates attending will include several British MPs, politicians, business leaders, academics, community spokespersons and interfaith heads.
The proceedings will include speeches by dignitaries, key-note presentations on Vedanta Desika, a Bharatanatyam dance recital on a composition of Desika called ‘Gopala Vimshati’ and the release of a book on Desika by a senior cabinet secretary.
In a message to the organisers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Sri Vedanta Desika enthralled thousands of people with his adeptness at handling both simple, practical realities and sophisticated theological concepts. I hope that the function on 18 July will make more people aware about the great contributions of Sri Vedanta Desika, and motivate them to follow his teachings as well as imbibe his quality of seeking knowledge tirelessly.”