With the inspiration of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the collective efforts by the BAPS volunteers from Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, the capital of Australia witnessed the biggest ever Diwali-Annakut celebration on Monday, 23 November 2015 at the Parliament of Australia.
To mark the 10th year Diwali celebration at the Australian Federal parliament, the event was organised in the Great Hall at the centre of the Australian Federal Parliament.Great Hall is used for ceremonial and state occasions that reflect the unique multicultural society and lifestyle all Australians celebrate and cherish. More than 40 Parliamentarians and over 500 invited guests attended this celebration. The highlight of the festivities was a spectacular Annakut display in Indian tri-colours setup with around 80 food items offered to deities.
Among the guests present were, Senator the Honourable Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, representing the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull – Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable Bill Shorten – Leader of the opposition, Senator Richard Di Natale – Leader of the Australian Greens, His Excellency Navdeep Singh Suri – High Commissioner of India to Australia, the Honourable Philip Ruddock MP, Senator Zed Seselja, Ms Michelle Rowland MP, Senator the Honourable Lisa Singh.
The event was organised by the Hindu Council of Australia and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), Australia in conjunction with Senator Zed Seselja.
The event began with thal and arti followed by deep pragatya by the distinguished guests. Chief guests and other Indian community leaders conveyed the importance of diwali celebrations at the Parliament House and how festivities like this help to Australian-Indian population to share their culture and heritage.
Indian culture and festivals were presented through various programmes, such as prayers, traditional dance performances and speeches on this occasion. Attendees were presented with a core message of love, peace and harmony for a prosperous and progressive society. Guests left with a lasting memory of these core beliefs and values of Indian culture.
At the end of the event, all the attendees were presented with a gift bag containing Annakut prasad, BAPS Australia brochure and a copy of “Transcendence – My spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swamiji” book written by India’s former President, late Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam.