A PROFESSOR, speaker and spiritualist has died at the age of 91.
Surendranath Bhardwaj, who was a follower of Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement founded in India, was a renowned writer, philosopher and thinker.
Known as Professor Surendra, he strived to live a life of purity and wisdom, following and reciting Vedic literature and often performing cross-cultural marriage ceremonies based on the ancient sacred Indian texts.
Prof Bhardwaj was the president of the Arya Samaj institution in Argyle Road, Ealing from 1973, and gained respect and popularity among Hindus around England and abroad.
Born on January 5, 1918 in India, Surendranath Bhardwaj was still a child when his father died.
A thinker and very focused from an early age, he went on to teach younger children maths and English, before being awarded a scholarship to study at College.
He met his future wife Nirmala, and the couple moved to Ealing in 1962 before settling in Ennismore Avenue, Greenford.
Mr Bhardwaj wanted to spread the Vedic vision and culture in the West, and once in England he wrote journals and leaflets and gave speeches on the principles of Arya Samaj.
An eloquent speaker special-ising in history and philosophy, people flocked to him to seek answers to their searching questions and to hear the translations of sacred texts.
He participated in seminars in Moscow and Kenya, and later was privileged to meet the Queen at a Buckingham Palace garden party.
Mr Bhardwaj also visited ill people in hospital and began learning Arabic.
He celebrated his golden wedding anniversary before his wife died a few years ago.
Long-term friend and follower Manju Dhiri said: "I had a sacred bond with him for the last 42 years after meeting him at the congregation where he performed my sister's wed-ding.
"He was well respected and very well known and it will take a lot to replace his leader-ship at Arya Samaj.
"We were told messages of condolence came from MP Stephen Pound and Sir Harry Greenway."
Mr Bhardwaj died on June 28 and his life was celebrated at the Argyle Road Institution on Sunday.
Prof Bhardwaj leaves four children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.