BAPS Diwali lights the New Year
A new year, a fresh new start.
A time to come together to reflect and introspect for individuals, families, and communities.
“I can count on BAPS every year,” said Congressman Rob Woodall as over 6,000 Hindus and community members gathered at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn, Georgia to celebrate Diwali. “This is why I am at Diwali again this year. When I crossed through the gate at the very front of the facility, I feel the warm embrace of family that this community has given to me time and time and time again.”
The ancient tradition of lighting lamps, during Diwali, symbolizes the transition from darkness to light. That physical act of diyas symbolizes an individual's efforts to remove the darkness from one's self in forms of anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and resentment.
Diwali is a five-day celebration that culminates with the annakut celebration (a decorative offering of vegetarian sweets and food) on the Hindu New Year on October 28th, 2019.
The five days of Diwali include a set of joyous cultural traditions that symbolize new beginnings and a renewed commitment to family and society. Individuals take this time to start anew and commit to spiritual growth and familial harmony. Diwali presents Hindus an opportunity to connect with and celebrate the traditions of their roots with fanfare and a sense of community.
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj prayed for devotees’ spiritual, personal, and professional growth in this new year.
Similar celebrations took place at over 100 mandirs across North America. The auspicious five days of Diwali were celebrated with an elaborate annakut, lighted diyas and rangoli, fireworks, and even a special children's Diwali celebration. Attendees participated, offered prayers, and had the opportunity to partake in the delicious offerings of the annakut.
The celebrations were open to all members of the local community and attendees included U.S. Representative Rob Woodall (R, 7th District); Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Lou Solis; attorney Mike Levengood, Chair of the Gwinnett Health System, Partnership Gwinnett, and the Gwinnett Parks Foundation; Peggy Levengood, President of Gwinnett Parks Foundation; Lois Allen, Board member Gwinnett Parks Foundation; Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson; and Rome City Commissioner Wendy Davis.
Website Bonus Feature
"Diwali Fireworks 2019, Atlanta, GA"
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a worldwide spiritual and humanitarian organization that is dedicated to community service, peace, and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families, and individuals. Through various spiritual and humanitarian activities, BAPS endeavors to develop better citizens of tomorrow with high esteem for their roots and culture. Its 3,300 international centers support these character-building activities. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is free of addictions as well as morally, ethically and spiritually pure. For more details, please visit www.baps.org.
About Mahant Swami Maharaj
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is the sixth and current spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was ordained a swami by Yogiji Maharaj in 1961 and named Sadhu Keshavjivandas. As he was appointed the head (Mahant) of the Mandir in Mumbai, he became known as Mahant Swami. His devout, humble and service-focused life earned him the innermost blessings of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Mahant Swami Maharaj travels throughout the world inspiring people through his insightful spiritual discourses and disciplined conduct. His virtuous lifestyle and profound devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and gurus are ideals toward which devotees strive. Mahant Swami Maharaj became the guru and President of BAPS upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s passing in 2016.
About Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Under his leadership, BAPS grew into an international spiritual and humanitarian organization with over 3,300 centers worldwide. He dedicated his life to the well-being of others, traveling throughout the world to foster love, peace, harmony, righteousness, faith in God, and service to humanity. With genuine care and compassion, he reached out to all members of society irrespective of class, color, or age. Recognized and respected as one of India's greatest spiritual teachers, he lived by and promoted the principle: “In the joy of others, lies our own.”
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