Colors, lights and food fused with joy and tradition as Diwali – The Festival of Lights – was celebrated at the BAPS Mandirs across North America. Diwali is the most widely celebrated festival by Indians and Hindus around the world. October is being celebrated as Hindu Heritage Month, and community leaders, as well as policymakers, including US President Joe Biden, participated in lighting lamps and offering best wishes for the festivities.
The multiple days of Diwali are steeped in traditions and rituals that symbolize new beginnings and a renewed commitment to family. The bright colors of Rangoli, the lamps, the elaborate offering of Annakut to Bhagwan, all mark a renewal of the good within and the goodwill towards all around us.
In preparation for the festivities, many devotees, young and old, gave their time to help create decorations, prepare for children’s Diwali, and set the stage for the most significant ritual of Diwali, ‘Annakut’. Annakut, which literally means ‘a mountain of food’, is traditionally offered to God to celebrate the beginning of the Hindu New Year. Annakut was celebrated on October 26, 2022, with over hundreds of food delicacies being offered to Bhagwan.
This year, millions of devotees and well-wishers across the globe are taking part in the centennial celebrations of His Holiness Pramukh Swami. Many mandirs had an exhibition giving an immersive experience into the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj celebrated Diwali and Annakut in Gondal. He blessed the devotees for a happy and peaceful new year. He also stressed that since this year is also the centennial celebration of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, may all be blessed to live according to his virtuous life.