Diwali is an auspicious time for Hindus to come together and celebrate the auspicious return of Bhagwan Shri Ram to Ayodhya, as well as the timeless values of love, compassion, courage, and unity.
To provide children an opportunity to celebrate Diwali and partake in festive traditions, BAPS hosted Kids’ Diwali Celebrations at mandirs across North America. This year’s Kids’ Diwali Celebration theme, Life Of Shanti, was created to commemorate Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s Centennial Celebrations. Through various programs and activities, kids learned about the life and values of Pramukh Swami Maharaj (who’s childhood name was Shantilal, or Shanti for short). In addition, fun & engaging skits showed the priorities, discipline, and choices of Shantilal and helped kids understand simple actions they can take every day to ensure a life of success and joyous experiences.
A special Diwali Showcase and narration of stories rooted in Hinduism reinforced how children can incorporate Shantilal’s values into their daily life. Children also enjoyed interactive games, moon bounces, and other activities and in select centers, saraswati pujan was conducted to pay homage to Saraswati Devi, the Hindu deity of knowledge, arts, and wisdom.
Children left the event with a greater appreciation and understanding of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life and values, as well as the significance of Diwali. Through the guidance of the current guru of BAPS, Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS North America continues to strengthen and reinforce spiritual knowledge for children.