This year’s Diwali festivals began on Sunday, October 27th welcoming our devotees with beautiful Rangolis at the entrance of Hare Krishna Temple of Austin! Starting the Diwali festival was a beautiful Kirtan and a presentation given by Shikha Mataji. Explaining the origins and the connections with God during the festival of Diwali. Giving a sense of curiosity to the young generation, Shikha and Rekha Mataji hinted a difficult quiz over the celebrations of Diwali soon to be asked later in the program. Aarti and Damodarastakam took place afterward, with Ananya and Poornamasi Mataji singing Aarti bhajan. For damodarastakam, every devotee took blessings and lit the gheelamp.
Then Rekha Mataji conducted the quiz about Diwali, Samanvitha and Gopal correctly answering as many questions as they can! Teaching the devotees more about the Diwali celebrations, Gurwani Mataji narrated the story of the beginning of the festival of lights, entertaining everyone with the mischievous acts of the Lord. Celebrations ended off with prasadam prayers from Driti, and a variety of food arrayed on the tables for everyone to enjoy. All the devotees sat in groups around the temple, communicating with joy how well the program went. Children sat in groups in the big room, while adults sat in the main hall, and children getting fed by their mothers and playing around. But soon was an unforgettable moment many would always remember.
At the end of the celebration came an astonishing act as the little girl Sumanvitha got trapped in one of the outside bathrooms. SathyaSara Prabhu attempting to unlock the door, but it had not opened. Everyone petrified on how to unlock the automated code, Radha Damodhara Prabhu hurried to get the master key to unlock the unwilling and stubborn door. The highlight of this incident is the little girl Sumanvitha’s courage and patience to stay calm until the door had been opened with the master key. It is definitely a trait that was very important to have during a situation like this, and Sumanvitha had portrayed it very well preventing this incident from being much worse. As the night went onwards, many of the children and teens were laughing and rejoicing their memories while lighting fireworks that sparked the night. Lighting small and big fireworks, and popping firecrackers on the floor, it was a night that was full of absolute fun and enjoyment!
On the upcoming day,there was a Kirtan sung by Supriya Mataji, and another wonderful narration by Gurwani Mataji finishing their story on the celebrations of Diwali. Also, adolescents and children had a curiosity on a question that was asked by Sathyasara Prabhu the previous day, “Who is the sister of Krishna?”, in which response had a difficult answer that many adults had not even known. It was“Uthava”(not sure this is the name) As the day went on, there was Aarti done to a wonderful cake done by a group of Matajis, depicting the scenery and the mountain that was held up by Lord Krishna for 7 consecutive days. Finally, the Diwali celebrations ended with prasadam and cake, rejoicing another year of the Festival of Lights.
Written by Akshaya.