Grande Dev Diwali Celebrations in Varanasi
On the auspicious occasion of Kartik Purnima, when the people of Varanasi celebrate their annual Dev Diwali, Pujya Swamiji led an inspired Ganga Aarti on the famous Assi Ghat of Varanasi. The grand event was organized by the Indian Council of Religious Leaders, was led by businessmen and film-producer, Dr. BK Modi, in association with the Ganga Action Parivar, Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), of which Pujya Swamiji is the Founder and President.
Pujya Swamiji said as the world-famous Ganga Aarti started on Dashashwamedh Ghat in 2000, blessed and inspired by HH the Dalai Lama and many other revered saints, it has gone on to become one the highlights of “Incredible India!“ He wished that such Ganga Aartis would happen on all 84 ghats of Varanasi, one of the most historic and sacred cities of the world.
He also expressed His vision for the city to develop as the world’s first ”Spiritual Smart City,” being clean, green and serene for all, complimenting and strengthening Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji’s, flagship programs, such as Namami Gange, Swachh Bharat and Smart Cities initiative.
As part of this vision, the special Dev Diwali celebrations symbolized a commitment to tenaciously serve in bringing this dream to fruition and to light a lamp of unity and harmony.
Pujya Swamiji shared, “India has always been a culture of not only tolerance but truly acceptance, embracing everyone in the spirit of Vashudhaiva Kutumbakam.”
With this message, the evening was started with the Ganga Aarti joined by faith leaders from India’s major spiritual traditions, including:
- Dewan Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, Ajmer Sharif
- Acharya Dr Lokesh Muni, Jain Faith Leader
- Paramjit Singh Chandok, Sikh Faith Leader
- Venerable Sumedha Thero, President, Indo-Sri Lanka International Buddhist Association, High Priest, Jambudvipa-Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple of the Sarnath International Buddhist Association
- Maha Mantra Das, ISKCON, Hindu Faith Leader
- Meher Master Moos, Zoroastrian Faith Leader
- Dr A K Merchant, Bahai Faith Leader
- Isaac Malekar, Jewish Faith Leader
- Ravi Kumar Iyer
- Syed Abbas Murtaza Shamsi, Managing Trustee, Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Foundation
World-renowned, Bhajan singer (devotional singer), Smt Anuradha Paudwal, enthralled the audiences with her melodious and divine voice, as she sangnumerous popular songs. Joining her were Shri Rajiv Chopra and popular tabla maestro Shri Pandey.
Hon’ble Shri Shivpal Yadav, Minister of Irrigation & PWD, Government of Uttar Pradesh (UP), and Hon’ble Shri Om Prakash, Tourism Minister, Government of UP, Shri Saroj Patel, Hon’ble Minister, Shri Dipak Shinghal, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Irrigation, Government of UP and Hon’ble DM of Varanasi also joined on the occasion to show their support of Pujya Swamiji’s efforts to bring all the faiths together and His vision to bring everyone together for a clean, green and serene Uttar Pradesh.
Thousands of people, including Mrs. Veena Modiji’s large group of pilgrims from all over the world, joined for the spectacular event and pledged to join their hands and their hearts for a healthy, harmonious ad hygienic India, one that continues its legacy to accept and include all, excluding none.