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VHPA Diwali 2018

Mona Khaitan
10/25/2018

VHPA Diwali was held on Saturday, October 20 at Priya restaurant hall in Lowell, Massachusetts. Families and friends gathered to wish each other joy and prosperity during this most festive season of Hindus.

Dr. Abhaya Asthana, President of VHPA, conducted Ganesh and Sri Lakshmi poojan with great ceremony explaining the significance of each of the steps. The word Deepawali is a sandhi of deepa which means lamplight and avali meaning row. With God’s grace and blessings, the light of wisdom removes the darkness of ignorance. It is customary to light a first row of 64 lamps representing the purification of 64 faculties in man. The second row of 64 lamps is lighted from the previously lit row to signify the spread of the original light in man to others in the community.

The pooja was followed by a short presentation by Mr. Pawan Roy on the 2nd World Hindu Congress 2018 held in Chicago, organized by the World Hindu Foundation in cooperation with other Hindu organizations worldwide, with one clear purpose: project the presence and strength of the Hindus as a people, as a collective, as a change agent on the world stage. A confluence of Hindu leadership to connect, share ideas, inspire one another, and impact the common good - Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah. The mega conference with 2,500 Hindu delegates from 60 countries encouraged Hindus to ascend to the highest levels of excellence in different fields. The 2nd World Hindu Congress marked the commemoration of 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s dazzling address at the World’s Parliament of Religions introducing the unique Hindu thought and philosophy into the consciousness of the Western world. The conference theme was Sumantrite Suvikrante (think collectively, act valiantly).

Two prominent classical singers, Mr. Ujjwal Parikh and Ms. Suzana Naik, conducted a professional performance of four bhajans to the accompaniment of music that transported all to Vrindavan and the villages of Bharat uplifting spiritually. This self-effacing duo are gems of Boston, to be valued for their beautiful voices and for their adherence to the practice of the classical song form.

 

There can be no festivities without delicious food. Snacks with chai were served upon arrival and a sumptuous dinner followed the spiritually uplifting classical bhajans. After dinner, the versatile classical singers sang a number of Bollywood duets accompanied by appropriate music which was as professional as it gets at any concert in Boston. As the audience tapped their feet to the rhythm of their favorite songs, Ujjwal ji and Suzana ji led the audience into a game of antakshri. The audience readily divided into two groups and there was a spirited display of knowledge of Bollywood songs which seemed to always end in ya and ra. But both sides were not to be outdone with their exhaustive list of memorized songs and were still going strong until discreet signals were being made that the venue was closing. So, the outcome was that both sides won the antakshri.

(VHP of America is a national organization which has among its objectives to unite Hindus by instilling in them devotion to the Hindu way of life, to cultivate self-respect and respect for all people, and to establish contacts with Hindus all over the world. For more information please visit http://www.vhp-america.org/ )

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