gathering to celebrate Diwali in Trafalgar Square
Volunteer guiding at the exhibition
of BAPS singing Shanti Path – Vedic Peace Prayers
On Sunday 19 October, for the
third year running, Diwali celebrations were held at Trafalgar
Square, in the heart of central London. The event was open
to all nationalities, races and religions, to come and enjoy
the sights, tastes and spectacles. It was organised by Ken
Livingstone, The Mayor of London, who was represented by
Deputy Mayor Ms. Jenny Jones who paid tribute to London's
multi cultural society and re-emphasised the value of "
the light of Diwali removing the darkness of ignorance".
The children (balaks) of BAPS Swaminarayan
Sanstha took an active part in proceedings as part of the
Suvarna Sandesh project. The occasion was opened by two
of our balaks, aptly singing the Shanti Path – a prayer
for peace. There was also an exhibition on anti-addiction,
and bal karyakars were there to guide all. There were many
who brought their children to view the exhibition to make
them aware of the dangers of addiction. People from all
kinds of backgrounds came to view the exhibition and many
went away with intentions to visit our Mandir having heard
about the activities that take place there.
The BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, had
also set up an exhibition on ‘Understanding Hinduism’
and this brought about much interest.
There were also many food stalls and the
Mandir contributed by handing out free samosas.
BAPS had its very own exhibition set up
which was entitled 'Towards Better Living', an anti-addiction
exhibition highlighting the dangers of smoking and alcohol
along with the mind-wrecking hazards of television.
What grabbed the audience’s attention
the most was our social work.
The Diwali event was truly one for the books.
With lots of free food and a family atmosphere, along with
great traditional music, the day was a success for Hindus
& all. More than 10,000 participated in the Diwali celebrations.
It also emphasized the great values of Hinduism, anti-addiction,
vegetarianism and Ayurveda.