“Light the lamp of love in our hearts …” says Consul General at BAPS Diwali
“Diwali, the festival of lights, … a celebration that heralds knowledge over darkness, wisdom over ignorance,” shares Ajit Kumar, Consul General of India in Atlanta. “It is this Diwali that marks the victory of good over evil, light over darkness. This is the time Ram Bhagwan returned to Ayodhya. We must remember to light the lamp of love in our hearts so we can also give our love to those who do not have much.”
It is with this spirit that millions of Hindus celebrate the festival of Diwali every year. This Diwali welcomed several thousand visitors to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn, Georgia from October 23 to 24, 2014, to mark the festivities of the holiday.
Volunteers helped with the grand annakut on New Year’s Day, October 23, to offer the first harvest to the murtis of God. This conveyed a sentiment of gratitude towards God because He is the giver of all fruits. Throughout the day, people observed the annakut in admiration as they conversed about their favorite dish.
On Saturday, October 24, the annual Kid’s Diwali Program was held. Children enjoyed beautiful decorations and carnival rides. This was followed by the Chopda Pujan as well as spiritual discourses by Swamis reiterating the stories and messages from decades ago of the Ramayan into current day familial scenarios. The amazing fireworks inspired responses of awe, while the brightness filled the dark sky symbolizing the prevalence of good over evil.
Atlanta City Councilman, the honorable Quanza Hall shared, “I have never seen such an atmosphere filled with love and excitement." Congressman Hank Johnson was also able to attend.
In an age where traditions and morals are challenging to maintain, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj invests time to build the roots of ancient rituals for generations. On the surface, Diwali is the most colorful holiday with fireworks, rangolis, beautiful decorations, variety of mithais, fancy flowers, and lit diyas. However, the true essence of Diwali is an internal journey of dispelling darkness in the forms of ego, anger, jealously, greed, and envy and invoking the light to bring in positive virtues of patience, contentment, compassion, and inner stability. Pramukh Swami Maharaj is a living example of positive virtues that we can strive towards with sincere efforts. Through introspection at this auspicious time, we can overcome our negative aspects and bring out the light from within.
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The 2014 Diwali Fireworks at The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta
Ming Han Chung
Published on Oct 27, 2014
The 2014 Diwali Fireworks at The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta - Shot handheld with my Olympus EM-1
Music: "Rudire Rangeele (From "Coke Studio @ MTV Season 3: Episode 4")" by Salim-Sulaiman;Karsan Sagthia;Salim Sadruddin Merchant (Google Play •AmazonMP3 • iTunes)
Diwali Fireworks at BAPS Swaminarayan Temple Atlanta
Published on Oct 26, 2014
Diwali Fireworks at BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, Atlanta - October 25, 2014. • Music o "Rudire Rangeele (From "Coke Studio @ MTV Season 3: Episode 4")" by Salim-Sulaiman;Karsan Sagthia;Salim Sadruddin Merchant (Google Play •AmazonMP3 • iTunes)
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