Auckland, November 23, 2018
Diwali, as the Festival of Lights, marks an auspicious and celebrative time for Hindus.
Diwali marks the triumph of good over evil and is a reminder to dispel inner darkness with the light of Almighty’s presence.
It is a time in which rich cultural traditions and rituals symbolize charity, goodwill, family values, new beginnings and most importantly, love for everyone and of course towards God.
To mark the occasion, volunteers of all ages came together to prepare Rangolis (colourful patterns), decorations and Annakut (various types of food including sweets and fruits) offerings at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Avondale.
Amidst this festive spirit, over a thousand devotees and well-wishers attended the celebrations held on November 7 and 8, 2018.
Hindu New Year
On November 8, many from the community came together to celebrate the Hindu New Year, participating in the first Arti of the year at 7 am.
Throughout the day, visitors engaged in Annakut darshan.
Annakut, meaning ‘Mountain of Food’ is an expression of love and gratitude from devotees to God. It is a special sight of devotion wherein devotees prepare vegetarian delicacies, thus taking the opportunity to offer their first and finest meal to God.
Over the course of the day, over 500 members of the community engaged in darshan of as many as 892 items offered and displayed to the sacred images in the sanctum of the Temple. The celebrations drew to an end on the same evening with over 1000 devotees and well-wishers joining together for a Sneh Milan, the first spiritual congregation of the New Year. During this evening, attendees joined together in devotional songs and discourse.
Ragavan Rengachariar writes on Hindu Religion and events for Indian Newslink.
Offerings to the Main Deities at BAPS Swaminarayan Tempe
Mountain of food on display