Hindu Guru Arrives in California; Many Seek Blessings

September 17, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 17, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that Gil Garcetti, who is seeking reelection as Los Angeles County district attorney, accepted a blessing from Pramukh Swami Maharaj. "'I am here...because of my feelings for your community,' Garcetti told the Indian American crowd sitting cross-legged in a vast hall at the Swaminarayan Hindu temple in Whittier on Thursday night. 'This is also my community...' The crowd was not there for Garcetti so much as for the swami, who is visiting from India and is the spiritual leader of an estimated 1 million people worldwide. But as Garcetti slipped on his shoes outside the hall afterward, a group of worshipers surrounded him. 'The blessing will really help you,' one man confided.'I accept it,' Garcetti said, with a broad smile animating his face."