WBF Press Release
WBF Mid Atlantic Chapter Celebrates Deepaavali 2010
Some scenes from the event (click below to open pdf files)
Arati 1 Arati 2 Arati 3
Dr Prasad addressing children -1 Dr Prasad addressing children - 2
By Nirmal Choubey, President of the World Brahman Federation
COLUMBUS, NJ (November 21, 2010)- The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the World
Brahman Federation (WBF) celebrated Diwali on Sunday, November 14, 2010 in
Plainsboro, NJ. It was truly a fun-filled event for people of all ages. The program
included a diverse array of community members gathering to celebrate Diwali,
ranging from children’s participation in Laxmi Pooja to talk by renowned artists and
professors. The Laxmi Pooja was conducted by Dr. M G Prasad, Professor, Stevens
Institute of Technology, NJ, a premier institution. The Pooja was followed by a
lecture by Retired Professor Dr. Champa Sharma, Jammu University, India, who was
also founder head of the Post Graduate department of Dogri, and then a cultural
program put on mainly by the children. This segment was followed by a lecture on
Bharat Nrityam technique by Smt. Bala Devi Chandrashekar, a world renowned artist
and an Artist in Residence at the - Carl A Field Center, Princeton University, NJ. The
program ended with a Kavi Sammelan in which the lead poet was Manoj Kumar
'Manoj' visiting from Meerut, India.
Nirmal Choubey, President of WBF, began the celebration with a welcome and an
update on recent developments within WBF, particularly the Life Membership Drive
which had been an enormous success. He was thankful for the support he had
received since his return to the WBF once again in the capacity of the President. He
was overjoyed to see very young children lining up enthusiastically to participate in
the Laxmi Pooja.
Dr. MG Prasad started the Laxmi Pooja. In the Laxmi Pooja, the children had a plate
with a small picture of Laxmi and flowers and nuts to offer during the Pooja. In the
main altar, a picture of Laxmi and Narayana with eight different forms of Laxmi was
kept. The simple Pooja consisted of 16 Offerings to Goddess, namely,1) Invoking
God into the altar through sculpture or picture, 2) a seat, 3) washing feet, 4) washing
hands, 5) water for sipping, 6) sacred bath, 7) sacred cloth, 8) sacred thread, 9) sandal
paste, 10) flowers, 11) incense sticks, 12) waving of oil lamp, 13) food, 14) betel
leaves and coconut, 15) waving of camphor light, and 16) clockwise
circumambulation and prostration. Mantras and prayers in Sanskrit accompanied the
offerings, as did sounds of the bell and conch. The children repeated the 108 names
of Goddess Laxmi. Prior to the Arati, Rudrashtakam was led by Dr. Ram P. Tewari,
Professor of Microbiology, Rutgers University. Mrs. Geetha Prasad led the Arati to
Goddess Laxmi (with Jaya Laxmi Mata) and the Arati with Om Jaya Jagadish Hare.
She awarded each child participant with books that dealt with Hindu scriptures.
Dr. Champa Sharma spoke about significance of Deepavali as the festival of lights. She
said, Deepa means light and Avali means rows so Deepavali means rows of light. The
festival is celebrated for several days not only by Hindus but also Jains and Sikhs. On
this day, Lord Krishna along with his wife Satyabhama killed dictator Narakaasura. It is
also a day of celebration commemorating the triumphant return of Lord Rama after
defeating the Rakshasa king Ravana. The festival is celebrated to glow the inner light.
Dr. M.G. Prasad delivered the keynote address following the Pooja. In his address, Dr.
Prasad described that Laxmi refers to the goal of life which is to be happy all the time.
This ever-happiness is based on the four-fold goals of life namely Dharma, Artha,
Kama and Moksha. Dharma refers to the knowledge, values and laws that governs and
protects all. Artha refers to wealth earned by good means. Kama refers to all good
desires that makes one noble and spiritual. Moksha refers to achieving pure mind which
leads us to spiritual bliss and peace.
The theme that Smt. Bala Devi Chandrashekar chose for this special evening was the
story of Nandanar, whose moving saga is immortalized by Shri Gopalakrishna Bharathi
in his operatic social commentary “Nandanar Charithram”. She talked about the Bharat
Nrityam technique, and provided an introduction to Gopalkrishana Bharathi’s
“Nandanar Charithram” and spoke of the highlights of the magnum opus. She then
screened a pre-release of the DVD which brought this wonderful epic to life with an
unforgettable presentation, celebrating music and dance.
Anoop Bhargava, an eminent poet himself, presided over the Kavi Sammelan in which
the lead poet was Mr. Manoj Kumar 'Manoj' visiting from Meerut, India. Manoj ji is
considered one of the most promising upcoming poets in the world of 'Kavi Sammelans'
in India. He enthralled the audience with his poetry of love, devotion and national pride
that he sang in his melodious voice. Manoj ji has an excellent command over
many traditional forms of poetry such as 'Chhand' , 'Kavita' , 'Muktak' , 'Doha' and
'Ghazal'. The audience enjoyed his poetry way past the scheduled time and late into the
World Brahman Federation is a Not-For-Profit organization registered in the state of
New York with affiliated organizations in India, Nepal and Mauritius. For those who
want to learn more please visit the website www.brahmanworld.org. They can be
reached via email: email@example.com or phone: 609-792-5927.
For any querries or further information, please
contact: Nirmal Choubey, President WBF,
Phone 609-792- 5927 (cell) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.