Sharad Purnima festival celebrated on Saturday 15 October 2016, in the grounds of Maninagar Mandir

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The traditional festival of Sharad Purnima is celebrated on the full Moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Aso. It marks the official end of monsoon. It is also believed that on this day, as the Moon and Earth are very close to each other, the rays of the moonlight have cooling, calming and soothing properties. Consequently, the Lord is seated amongst a display of steel utensils, so that the moonlight is reflected in all directions. For a disciple of the Lord, this symbolises how we should remain alert that the mundane worldly desires of passion, lust, anger, greed and the other internal enemies are not entered within us but are reflected back. Just as the moon is pure, our hearts must remain pure for the Lord to reside there. Just as the silver reflects the lustre of the moon, we too are vigilant to remain faithful to and true reflections of the Lord's wish and abide by His commands. But, if the silver plates are tainted, the light cannot be reflected. Similarly, if our minds and hearts are marred, the Lord's commands cannot be abided by.

Just as the cooling, refreshing moon disperses a tranquil peace, the Lord's divine murti seated amongst the silver ornaments pervade a divine peace within all who come for this darshan. In celebration of such divine darshan, the disciples dance and sing the glory of the Lord.

This year, the Sharad Purnima festival was celebrated on Saturday 15 October 2016, in the grounds of Maninagar Mandir. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj presided throughout the festivities. Sants and disciples sang devotional dance kirtans from the stage, whilst disciples of all ages danced around the splendid centrepiece display of steel utensils. The dancing this year took the form of a competition. External judges awarded points to dancers for their costumes, dance styles, facial expressions and make-up. The winners were given special prizes, and all the participants were also a token prize to remember this joyous occasion.