Visit to Premier of South Australia, His Excellency Mr. Mike Rann
On March 25th 2004, His Holiness Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda Ji was invited to Parliament House by the Premier of South Australia, His Excellency Mr. Mike Rann. Two years ago, His Holiness Swamiji met Mr. Mike Rann at a multifaith gathering in Adelaide, when Mr. Rann was still an MP (minister of parliament) and at that time Swamiji prophesised that on their next meeting he would be Premier of the State. True to that prophecy Mr. Rann won the next election and since then has been a highly successful and progressive Premier in working for social justice, aboriginal rights and the environment for the state of South Australia.
As is customary, gifts were exchanged at this auspicious meeting. The Premier gave His Holiness Swamiji an authentic Australian Aboriginal handcrafted picture and Swamiji presented the Premier with a statue of Lord Ganesha.
Visit to Premier of South Australia
Water conservation and the environment was a topic of much discussion between His Holiness Swamiji and Premier Rann. Both share a common concern for methods of water conservation and rainwater harvesting, since India and Australia experience similar drought conditions. In South Australia, Premier Mike Rann has just passed a law that every new house constructed, must have a rainwater tank built into the plumbing of the house. His Holiness Swamiji also shared with Premier Rann photos of the massive Rainwater Harvesting Project that he has implemented in the desert region of Pali district, Rajasthan. Premier Rann was very impressed and praiseworthy of Swamiji’s great efforts in helping the people of this desert community receive fresh, clean drinking water.
Premier Mike Rann requested His Holiness Swamiji to return to South Australia in 2005, to take part in a ceremony in his honour, where a complete forest will be named after Swamiji. Premier Rann also requested Swamiji that together they plant a “Peace Tree” to signify and promote global tolerance and world peace.
During the meeting, Premier Rann told His Holiness Swamiji, that he drew much inspiration from the life of Mahatma Gandhi Ji and that he is looking forward to visit India in the near future to pay his respects and visit Gandhi Ji’s holy shrine.
His Holiness Swamiji has been visiting Australia for 3 weeks as part of his annual World Peace Tour. Swamiji was also invited to speak at a multi-faith dialogue in Adelaide, with spiritual leaders from Christianity, Islam & Buddhism. The dialogue was chaired by Swamiji’s close friend from the Catholic Church, Monsignor David Cappo.