New Delhi: Prominent religious and spiritual leaders representing diverse faith on Thursday gathered at 'Aastha Kunj' here to celebrate the decision to bestow the country's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna on former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and also prayed for his good health.
Vajpayee as Prime Minister had laid the foundation stone of Aastha Kunj, a multi-religious centre, on 1 February 2003.
On the occasion of the former Prime Minister's birthday today and to celebrate conferring of Bharat Ratna on him, the Aastha Kunj family organised a grand 'havan' which was performed by Shankarcharya Swami Divyanandji.
The religious leaders, present on the occasion, offered their support in turning Aastha Kunj into a global centre for all the prominent religions of the world.
Addressing the gathering, chief guest and Speaker of the Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan said there is a sense of gratification among all Indians after Vajpayee was conferred with Bharat Ratna.
"Vajpayeeji brought India to the fore of the world and mooted our country to be 'World Guru'. Now I wish to see Aastha Kunj's effort turning into reality - as a world peace centre, for which a proposal has been submitted," Mahajan said.
The event was organised by Bhupendra K Modi, Founder- President of Global Citizen Forum, for speedy recovery of Vajpayee.
The gathering also paid tribute to Madan Mohan Malviya, another Bharat Ratna awardee, on his birth anniversary.
After performing the 'havan', the Shankarcharya said, "Vajpayeeji was already Bharat Ratna... The government has simply completed the formality, quite late."
Terming Vajpayee's contribution in the making of India as remarkable, Imam Umer Ahmad Ilyasi said that it has been the former PM's wish to build Aastha Kunj into a world level religion centre and promised every possible support.
Jain Guru Lokesh Muni, Father Dominic Emmanuel and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.