On Sunday, 17 August
2003 Janmashtami festival was celebrated in the evening at
the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Sydney. The festival was also
celebrated on the actual day; Wednesday, 20th August 2003
with an evening program of bhajans, speeches, drama and dance.
To mark the celebration
of Janmashtami and the Golden Jubilee celebrations of BAPS
Bal Mandal, many dignitaries attended the mandir on Sunday,
17 August 2003. There were representations from the Federal
and local Governments together with a representation from
the Indian Government.
who graced the occasion were: Hon Laurie Ferguson who is Federal
MP for the Reid electorate, Consulate General of India Mr
M. Ganapathi, Deputy Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr. Julia Finn,
and Ms Rachel Morris from the Daily Telegraph. The Consulate
General of India and the Deputy Lord Mayor inaugurated the
BAPS exhibition-`Understandin Hinduism'.
A very young achiever,
17-year-old Ankit Fadia, an intelligence consultant who has
written books on digital security, was also present in the
The program started
with a preview of all the Bal Mandal activities that will
occur during the year long celebrations. It encompasses all
aspects of our lives from an "Ideal Family" to cultural
and spiritual facets; and through these, the children all
over the world will launch various programs to convey this
A skit was enacted
by the members of Sydney Kishore Mandal about a young migrant's
teenage years and as a young adult. The skit showed the influence
of peer pressure and how he succumb to it and without spiritual
guidance went astray.
Finally, all the
participants managed to get the opportunity of rocking the
beautifully decorated cradle and show their devotion for Lord
The festival concluded
with mahaprasad for all.