Swamishri's presence is
always a reason to celebrate.
Special days of festivals, then, are especially enriched with
joy and jubilation whenever celebrated in his divine presence.
And among all celebrations perhaps,
nothing arouses more auspiciousness and elation
than the end and beginning of a year.
This year, in the presence of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the 2-day festival
associated with Diwali, including the Annakut festival on New Year's
day, were held as usual in Gondal, India.
Significance of Festivals
Diwali is the last day (Aso vad Amas; 12 Nov. 2004) of the year
in the Hindu calendar, and celebrations begin two days before Diwali.
festival is called Dhanteras (Aso
vad 13; 10 Nov. 2004). On this day, money is worshipped (Lakshmi Pujan)
as a symbol of appreciation to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Lakshmi
Pujan is also performed with sentiments of purifying ones wealth
and that it be utilized for noble purposes during the New Year.
On the next day, Kali Chaudas
(Aso vad 14; 11 Nov. 2004), Shri Hanumanji is worshipped to drive
away all inauspicious and ill-omened elements. On this day, Shri Krishna
destroyed Narkasur and released the 16,000 damsels that the demon
Diwali (Aso vad Amas; 12 Nov.
2004), the last day of the year, is celebrated because Bhagwan Shri
Ram returned victorious to Ayodhya from his 14 year exile in the forest.
On this day, lamps are lighted as a symbol of jubilation for Shri
Rams return to Ayodhya and a sign to kindle the light of knowledge
and divinity within ones heart.
Chopada pujan or the ritual for the sanctification of account books
for the New Year is also held on this day.