Diwali, Hindu New Year and Annakut - October 23, 2022 | Shree Swaminarayan Temple New Jersey

The word Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali and literally translated means a row of lights. For this reason, the Diwali festival is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Lights.

The Diwali festival lasts for five consecutive days. Each day has a significance that was derived from various episodes of Hindu legends. Depending on the region of India, these legends will vary. However, the essence behind each story is the abolishment and conquering of evil and darkness, replaced by the goodness and light.

The temple will be open for Annakut darshan on Sunday, October 23, 2022 from 12pm to 3pm. Annakut Aarti will be held hourly.

Annakut, Thaal, Aarti Donations

This year’s celebrations, while much close to normal than has recently been possible, will still be different due to the current circumstances. For the convenience and safety of all, and in order to minimize congestion at the Mandir during the Diwali and Hindu New Year period, we are pleased to take donations online via the donations page.

Schedule and Openings

Raama Ekadashi

Friday, October 21

7:00pm - 8:30pm - Sandhya aarti, niyams, katha followed by Ekadashi Oochav

Rama Ekadashi is one of the important ekadashi fasts observed in the Hindu culture. Rama Ekadashi falls four days before the celebrations of Diwali. It is a popular conviction that Hindu devotees can wash away their sins by keeping a sacred fast on this day.

Dhan Teras

Saturday, October 22

7:00pm - Sandhya aarti and niyams

The first day is called Dhan Teras. It is also sometimes called Dhantrayodashmi. Dhan literally means wealth. In the past, the number of cattle that was owned determined one's wealth; therefore, the cow was offered worship on this day. Over the centuries, this has evolved to offering poojan to Laxmi, the deity of wealth. In this context, Laxmi is personified through currency and a ceremony involving money is traditionally performed on this day. The sentiments behind this are that we must remember never to obtain money in any manner that contravenes the path of morality, of dharma.

Dhan poojan times:
8:07 AM - 9:33 AM
12:24 PM - 4:40 PM
6:07 PM - 7:41 PM
9:15 PM - 1:57 AM
5:07 AM – 6:41AM (Sunday, October 23, 2022)

Annakutotsav, Open House and Kali Chaudas

Sunday, October 23

12:00pm - 3:00pm - Annakut Darshan, Aarti, Open House and Tours, Interactive Fair and Children's Activities
3:00pm - Cultural Celebrations

This day is the final day of the Hindu year and Kali Chaudas. Kali is the deity of strength. Hence this day focuses on acquiring the divine strength to abolish idleness and immorality. Historically people offered poojan to Hanuman. It is said that this removes all fear of evil spirits and establish auspiciousness within us. By eradicating evil, we become internally enlightened. This internal evil refers to the evil spirits that reside within us, lust, anger, greed, avarice, etc. Once these have been banished from within us, we can offer true devotion unto the Lord.

Diwali, Sadguru Din and Chopda Poojan

Monday 24th October

7:00pm - Sandhya aarti and niyams
8:00pm - Chopda Poojan

Traditionally the New Year's accounts ledgers are sanctified on this day. Fireworks are exploded; a symbol of the burning of evil, and the resurrection of good light, the truth and divinity of the Lord. Divas are lit in homes and temples. Rangoli, elaborate patterns are artistically created using powdered paint at the entrance of homes as a welcoming symbol. The sky during this night would be moonless, therefore the lighting of the divas eradicates this darkness; yet another symbol of good over evil. The sentiment for a disciple of the Lord when lighting a divo is to pray 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.

Nidar Sidhantvadi Sadguru Shree Ishwarcharan Swamibapa relinquished His human darshan on this day in Samvat 1999. Therefore, disciples of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan also commemorate Shree Sadguru Din on this day.

Hindu New Year

Wednesday, October 26

7:00am - 5:00pm - Annakut darshan
7:00pm - Sandhya aarti and niyams

Today is Samvat 2079 the 1st day of the New Year, Kartik sud 1. 

The new crop that had been planted after the monsoon season would have grown during the final month of the year, Aso, and would now be ready. This crop is harvested and first offered to the Lord on the first day of the year. This is the origin of annakutotsav, the offering of a vast array of elaborate dishes to the Lord. Ann literally means food (grain) and kut translates as mountain. Hence a vast mountain of different foods is placed before the Lord.

This auspicious day is filled with happiness and joy. It is said that he who remains joyous on this first day will also remain so for the rest of the year. But he, who wastes it by being miserable, will encounter the same sentiments for the forthcoming 12 months. For a disciple of the Lord, the sentiments are slightly different. They would spend the day visiting the Mandir, take part in the singing of kirtans, and performing devotional practices to the Lord. That way, the rest of the year would also be filled with the same divinity.

Bhai Beej

Wednesday, October 26

7:00pm - Sandhya aarti and niyams

The final day of the Diwali festival, Bhai beej falls on the second day of the year. Traditionally, a sister would serve her brother with food on this day. Disciples of the Lord come together in the Temple and partake in the prasad of the Lord, as all of the Lord's children are brothers and sisters.