Diwali and New Year celebrations in Maninagar and around India
The festival of Diwali marks the end of the Hindu year. It is a time of celebration and also, a time for reflection; to think about how much of the previous year has been spent worshipping the Lord, and how much of His commandments have been obeyed. The New Year is the time to pray for forgiveness for all the misdemeanours of the past year and to start afresh. Disciples of the Lord spend this holiday period serving the Lord in numerous ways, and praying for forgiveness of past misdeeds and for spiritual strength and wisdom for the coming year so that he can please the Lord more and more.
This year, Diwali fell on Thursday 23 October 2014. In the divine presence of Acharya Swamishree, a special assembly was held in the Brahm Mahol of Shree Swaminarayan Temple Maninagar. After performing the Sadguru Din meditation, singing devotional songs and receiving the divine ashirwad of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, Acharya Swamishree bestowed His divine blessings over all the Sants and disciples.
On this day, the traditional chopda poojan ceremony was conducted, and Acharya Swamishree mercifully signed the accounts books of the disciples. Chopda poojan is the ceremony that is performed before the start of the New Year, during which the account books for the New Year are sanctified, and prayers are offered to the Lord to make the coming year financially successful.
On New Year’s Day, Samvat 2071 Kartik Sud 1, Friday 24 October 2014, a magnificent Annakut, an array of food dishes, was beautifully arranged before the Lord. Acharya Swamishree performed aarti and offered the thaal to the supreme Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa.
For the duration of this festive period, the vast grounds of Maninagar Mandir had been decorated with splendid rangoli patterns by Sants and disciples. The Mandir too had been illuminated with brightly coloured lights. Thousands of people from all over the Ahmedabad region came to experience the divine joy of the Lord at His eternal home, Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Maninagar.