Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights and the New Year, were celebrated with much fanfare at the New York B.A.P.S. Mandir.
Discourses by Pujya Santo on the necessity to unite for good causes and the reestablishment of family values, singing of kirtans, pujas and a display of different kinds of homemade delicacies prepared for Annakuta offered to the Lord Swaminarayan, were highlights of the two-day celebrations. Invitees, including a number of leaders from different communities, praised the offerings, decorations and the spirit of brotherhood during the celebrations. An audio blessing for the New Year, given by Pramukh Swami, was welcomed by a loud applause by the attendees.
The guests who graced the occasion included: Honorable Councilman John Liu, Ambassador-at-large Bhisma K. Agnihotri, MP from India, C. P. Radhakishnan, Ms. Uma Sengupta, Overseas Indian Congress president Dr. Malhotra, Kiran Mehta, Bipin Sangankar and a number of leaders of various Indian cultural organizations.