Blessed Divinities,
Om Namo Narayanaya!
Homage unto the Lord!

My loving pranams to all those who have gathered here to attend this Interreligious Retreat. In the name of Worshipful Sat Gurudev Sri Swami Shivananda Maharaj and Revered Sri Swami Chidananda Maharaj I humbly place before you this brief message for the auspicious occasion of the Birth Centenary of Sri Swami Abhishiktananda Maharaj.

It is a great joy for me to mention that Sri Swami Abhishiktananda and Sri Swami Chidananda were great friends and often used to discuss together matters pertaining not only to spiritual but also secular affairs. There was a close spiritual bond between them.

Dissemination of spiritual knowledge was the first priority for Gurudev. Swami Abhishiktananda, during his life time, has done a great contribution to this by enabling numerous French speaking people to have insights into Advaita and the wisdom of the Upanishads. To mention one among them is Marc who, inspired by the writings of Swami Abhishiktananda, renounced everything, took sannyasa from Swami Chidananda after having first hand experience of what he had read and, by becoming Swami Ajatananda, plunged himself into complete seclusion. I am glad that we are able to hold a function in order to commemorate the Birth Centenary of such a great saint who has left a legacy for the world of spirituality.

Saints are universal. They may be from varied backgrounds but their goal is the same though they may be taking different means. It is a welcome thing that saints from different order gather together to know about each otherís background. This would definitely end up in building more harmony and greater understanding among all. The traditions of different orders are to be respected and recognized. May all this lead to one common goal i.e. prevailing of peace and happiness among humanity.

I wish this interreligious meeting a grand success. May the choicest blessings of all saints of the past as well as the present be ever upon each one of us.

With kind regards, Prem and Om,
          Yours in the service of Gurudev,