A new year, a fresh new start
STAFFORD, TX – The ancient tradition of lighting lamps, or divos, during Diwali, symbolizes the transition from darkness to light. The physical act of lighting lamps on Diwali symbolizes an individual’s efforts to remove the darkness from one’s self in forms of anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and resentment. Through its thought-provoking customs and traditions, Diwali presents a time to reflect and introspect for individuals, families, and communities.
Hindus and community members gathered at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, TX to celebrate Diwali from October 19 -28 Diwali is known as the festival of lights and holds special significance to Hindus. 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’s day October 28th.
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.
Offering his prayers to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, BAPS guru His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj prayed for devotees’ spiritual, personal, and professional growth in this new year. This Diwali, Mahant Swami Maharaj emphasized the importance of leading spiritually centered lives, grounded in strong values and increased attachment to God for individuals and families.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, Tx is part of a more extensive network of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America. The auspicious five days of Diwali were celebrated with elaborate Annakut, lighted divos and rangoli, fireworks, and even a special children’s Diwali celebration.
This year Kids Diwali Celebration was theme around “Bhagwan by Our Side.” This was an interactive celebration where both parents and children got to learn how God is always with us through the good and bad times. The celebration included family time where both had a chance to participate in the fun.
Meghal Bhatt noted “my kids enjoy Diwali at the mandir because it gives me a chance to celebrate Diwali and show the how rich and colorful our culture is.”
The celebrations were open to all members of the local community. Attendees participated in celebration activities, offered prayers for new beginnings, and had the opportunity to partake in the delicious offerings of the Annakut.
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.