Saturday, October 25, 2014


WARMEST WISHES FOR DIWALI - On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, Barack Obama, President of the United States wished a Happy Diwali to all those who celebrate the festival of lights. It is the sixth time that the Obama administration celebrates Diwali. President Obama wished a happy Diwali to Indians around the world, keeping up a tradition of increased cultural and religious awareness that his administration has been practicing since it took office in 2009. Here  is the transcript of the President’s video message: 
“I want to wish a Happy Diwali to all those who are celebrating the festival of lights here in the United States and around the world.  For Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, lighting the lamp - the diya - is a chance to remember, even in the midst of darkness, that light will ultimately prevail.  Knowledge will defeat ignorance, and compassion will triumph over despair.”

Diwali is also a reminder that we must each do our part to achieve that victory, by dedicating ourselves to service to others. If we affirm our commitments to one another and strive to lift each other up, then together, we will continue moving closer to that brighter future we all seek. America is a great and diverse nation, strengthened by the contributions of all our people.  I was proud to host the first Diwali celebration at the White House back in 2009.  Since then, we’ve continued to mark this holiday to honor the rich traditions that define the American family. ” 
And I know Michelle and I will never forget the wonderful time we had celebrating Diwali in Mumbai with food, dancing, and the company of friends.  So, to all the families gathering together this Diwali to reflect on all the blessings of the past year, I wish you a joyous celebration and Saal Mubarak.”

As in previous years, United States President Barack Obama has greeted Indians, especially Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, celebrating Diwali this weekend in the US, India and across the globe. This year President Obama gave his greeting on the Observance of Diwali, saying “lighting the lamp - the diya - is a chance to remember, even in the midst of darkness, that light will ultimately prevail.” This article is an official publication from the White House, written by Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Ashley Allison, Associate Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement. On October 14, 2009, President Obama expressed, “the Festival of Lights symbolize the victory of light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. And while this is a time of rejoicing, it's also a time for reflection, when we remember those who are less fortunate and renew our commitment to reach out to those in need.” And in his last year greetings, President Obama said, “Here in the United States, Diwali also reminds us that our nation is home to many faiths and traditions, and that our diversity makes us stronger.” This marks the sixth time that the Obamas have celebrated Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights. Our spiritual teachers have taught us that during this holiday season, people clean their homes and wears new clothes, and similarly, we must clear our minds of harmful thoughts, grudges and past hurts, to bring renewed air and new light into our hearts, site within us where the Supreme Lord resides.  (Editor's note).

Diwali also marks the New Year. For some, the day of Diwali itself is the first day of the New Year, and for others the new year's day is the day following Diwali. But for all, this season is one of heralding in the New Year. In the joyous mood of this season, we clean our homes, our offices, our rooms, letting the light of Diwali enter all the corners of our lives. We begin new checkbooks, diaries and calendars.  It is a day of "starting fresh." On this day we clean every room of the house; we dust every corner of the garage, we sweep behind bookshelves, vacuum under beds and empty out cabinets.  But, what about our hearts?  When was the last time we swept out our hearts? When did we last empty them of all the dirt and garbage that has accumulated throughout our lives? That is the real cleaning we must do. That is the real meaning of "starting fresh." We must clean out our hearts, ridding them of darkness and bitterness; we must make them clean and sparkling places for God to live.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Hindu Festivals”  -

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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