Diwali Puja at India Center - 2016

Diwali Puja 2016..............................................Sarita Deshpande

This year's Diwali Puja was held on October 29th at India Center. The hall was decorated with red and golden valances on the windows and the backdrop of Goddess Laxmi was draped with beautiful pink and purple curtain. The festive atmosphere was in the air by sprinkles of these beautiful and colorful decorations. The decor got an added pinch of sugar of wonderful diyas arranged in a creative manner. Attendees gathered with festive clothing and more importantly with a great, happy vibes. 

The program started by Diwali Laxmi Puja. The puja was guided by Shri. Prabhakar Phanase and was performed by Rajiv and Priti Dayal. After Puja, Shrimati Shubhada Phanase introduced the concept of "Keerthan" - Keerthan is a sankrit word and it means 'narrating, reciting,telling and describing' an idea or a story. The story telling is presented through different current issues,some humor, social education and music to make it more entertaining. It also include chanting by all attendees to get them involved in the presentation. Shri. Prabhakar ji Phanase presented actual Keerthan where he did talk about our festival of lights- Diwali. He enfolded days of Diwali such as Dhanatrayodashi, Narak Chaturdashi and Laxmipuja. Dhanatrayodashi is a day when we worship Dhanwantari (God of Ayurveda) and seek his blessings for a good health which is ultimate Wealth of human being. On Laxmi Pujan we pray Goddess Laxmi for having prosperity in our homes. It is believed that Laxmi enters the cleanliest house first and hence the tradition of doing puja of Brooms. The keerthan consisted of some in between chanting, bhajans. 

On a parallel track our kids were busy working on their ragoli decorations for the Ragoli Contest. Three winners were recognized by prizes sponsored by Pushpa Tai Joshi.
Arati of 'Om Jai Jagdish Hare' was sung by all the attendees with devotion and our Diwali Puja event was successfully concluded by Prashad Bhojan. 
We wish all of you a very Happy Diwali and Happy New Year!
Thanks to Dr. Jagan Srinivasan for taking pictures of the event. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PICTURES