Devotees and well-wishers gathered at BAPS Mandirs across North America to celebrate the five auspicious days of Diwali. The traditions observed during the Diwali period present an opportunity to reflect and introspect on one’s personal, professional, and spiritual growth and start anew.
Diwali traditions are founded on a deep spiritual meaning and encourage participants to reflect on each step of the celebrations. The ancient tradition of lighting divos, or traditional lamps, symbolizes the passage from darkness to light. The festival’s rich traditions and rituals help individuals reflect and remove the darkness within in the forms of anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and resentment.
This year, thousands of individuals convened at BAPS Mandirs across North America to mark the auspicious festival of Diwali including the celebrations of Chopda Pujan and Annakut. The glow of lights, bright colors of the Rangoli, and festive ambiance at the mandirs welcomed visitors. Inside, they witnessed an elaborate offering of food before the sacred images of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his ideal devotee, Gunatitanand Swami. Hundreds of vegetarian food items were offered decoratively - complete with intricate fruit carvings and towers of sweets. Visitors offered prayer, expressed their wishes for the year ahead. On the dawn of the new year, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj also sent his blessings for the New Year from Gondal, India.