St. Francis of Assissi

While I had heard a lot about the immense popularity of Dr. T. D. Singh, widely known as His Holiness Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swamiji, I had my first personal encounter with him during a meeting of the United Religions Initiative in San Francisco. I was greatly impressed by the modesty, humility and the profundity of knowledge of this extra-ordinary human being. Dr. T. D. Singh is a unique personality - highly learned with a Ph. D. from the University of California at Irvine and still modest about his knowledge. Greatly loved and venerated by his followers and friends, he carries his greatness lightly. This I discovered on two occasions, first during the charter signing ceremony of the URI in Pittsburgh and later when I was invited as a guest during the International conference on ‘Culture of Peace’ organized by Dr. T. D. Singh in Manipur in November, 2000. The love and affection shown to me by Swamiji and his followers remains my best memory.

The other thing that most of us connected with the URI cannot forget is the cultural performance given by Swamiji’s followers in Pittsburgh during the charter signing ceremony and the peace march during the Asia Assembly of the URI in Bali in December 2001. To our pleasant surprise we learnt that the great sea of humanity that participated in the peace march was no other than the dedicated band of followers of Dr. T. D. Singh. The finale of the Bali assembly ended with a performance by Dr. T. D. Singh’s followers and a sumptuous vegetarian dinner hosted by Swamiji.

It is heartening to note that a Felicitation Volume is being presented to Dr. T. D. Singh on his 65th birthday. We wish him many more years of meaningful life in the service of humanity.

Dr. Mohinder Singh
Council member of the United Religions Initiative
Director of the National Institute of Punjab Studies, New Delhi, India


Abundant thanks to God for the birth of Dr. T. D. Singh! And congratulations, Dr. Singh, on your 65th birthday! You are not only a genuine religious leader of profound esteem in your own tradition but you are an important interfaith leader who is held in high regard throughout the world. The United Religions Initiative recognizes you as a dear friend and as a pioneer in bringing people of faiths together to pursue peace among religions.

Have a wonderful celebration. In Peace and Friendship,

William E. Swing
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California
Founder of the United Religions Initiative

“St. Francis received bhakti because of his pure
heart. His mood of humility, simplicity and prayer
is like that of Narottama Das Thakur.”

Sripada Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Maharaja