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Golden Temple illuminated, less Fireworks this year to mark the ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas’ and Diwali

The festival spirit for Diwali could also be seen in Chandigarh and towns and cities in Haryana

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Golden Temple, Pixabay

Amritsar, October 30, 2016: The Golden Temple complex, where the holiest of Sikh shrines, ‘Harmandar Sahib’ is located, was illuminated on Sunday and fireworks display took place to mark the ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas’ and Diwali.

There was festive spirit at the shrine complex in this Sikh holy city as tens of thousands of people came here to offer prayers and seek blessings.

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With millions of lights around, the whole complex presented an attractive look.

However, due to environmental and pollution concerns, the fireworks display by the shrine management was a reduced one.

“We had less fireworks this year due to pollution concerns. But all traditional and religious rituals were followed. There were concerns about damage to the sanctum sanctorum and other buildings from chemicals of fireworks,” said a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) official.

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The domes, buildings and floors of the shrine complex were cleaned for the festive occasion.

The shrine complex wore a new look on the outside as the whole market and residential area around the shrine has been renovated and given a fresh look.

“Dal roti ghar di, Diwali Amritsar di (food from home and Diwali of Amritsar) is the popular saying. Lakhs of people have come to mark the occasion. There is festive spirit,” said SGPC member Manjit Singh.

The day is celebrated in Sikh religion as ‘Bandi Chhor Diwas’ (prisoner liberation day) as on this day in 1619, the sixth guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind, returned to Amritsar after being released along with 52 princes by Mughal Emperor Jahangir from Gwalior prison.

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The guru and the princes arrived in Amritsar during Diwali festivities. Since then, the Bandi Chhor Diwas and Diwali celebrations coincide at the Golden Temple complex.

Elsewhere in Punjab, markets wore a festive look on the occasion of Diwali. Hundreds of people thronged various markets in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and other towns.

The festival spirit for Diwali could also be seen in Chandigarh and towns and cities in Haryana. (IANS)

  • Ruchika Kumari

    Firework is not good for environment and for health……there should be total ban on firework

  • Shivam Thaker

    It is uplifting to know that while some parts of our country are ignorant when it comes to festivals and environmental concerns, some of us are still cautious enough to enjoy without polluting our motherland.

  • Shivani Vohra

    It’s great to celebrate Bandi Chhor Diwas along with Diwali in such a beautiful way.

Next Story

Fireworks Might Extinguish the Flame of Laxmi Puja

We can have various kind of festival enjoyments on Festivals but without ever causing problem to others and the environment

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Fireworks
There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. Pixabay

BY SALIL GEWALI

If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong. There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. To disturb others’ tranquility falls under the heading of vices. Preserving the sanctity of the environment, and more importantly, inner purity of mind and heart is the “prime doctrine” of SANATAN DHARMA which is popularly known as Hinduism. This Hindu culture now seemingly run the risk of having been defined by other communities with what is not very pleasant to hear.

Fireworks
It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so.  We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment without Using Fireworks.

I’ve overheard many toxic comments against this blatant desecration of auspicious “puja celebrations”. During Holi festival, many people fear to move out of their homes, particularly in certain the plane areas in India. You might be blasted with a bucketful of dirty water by pranksters from the 5th floor of the building. Is this sadism the part of the puja and holi celebration? One is afraid, with each passing year, this festival of color of joy, though having strong spiritual significance, has only painted the very face of Hindu culture with vulgarity and depravity.

Fireworks
If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers, Fireworks and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong.

Matter of fact, peace in one’s life and his efforts to help bring peace in others’ lives is essentially the fundamental basis of Hindu culture and festivals. Practically speaking, there is no devotion to God without “peace”.  Therefore, “Shanti” (peace) is one of the most paramount peace mantras in Sanskrit, not “Ashanti” which, of late, is the hallmark of such Hindu puja celebrations. The profound objective behind this peace mantra, as propounded in Upanishads, inspired even one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century – TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land. That poem finally ends with the same peace mantra — Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Fireworks
TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land.

It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so.  We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment. There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna LilaRam Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”. Ancient sages in their meditation conceived and authored a number of treatises in which we find the elaborate approaches and procedures to evolve oneself spiritually through fun-filled dances and music. There are “ragas and layas” (musical modes and rhythm), which are meant to “recharge” the mind for the meditative concentrationThe objective behind being to climb up the ladders of realization of oneness and universal uniformity.

Fireworks
There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna Lila, Ram Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation and not Fireworks. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”.

However, there is absolutely no scope or prescription for deriving pleasure or fun by causing pain and anxieties to others? How come bursting high decibel fireworks at 2 AM or 3 AM or 4 AM is puja? In fact, it is called “adharma” or irreligion leading to self-degeneration.

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Therefore, it is DIYA, as per Vedas, which symbolizes the LIGHT to dispel the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of vices, and bring forth the light of knowledge to awake the “inherent” divinity. Goddess Laxmi is the “flame” of feminine ENERGY in the infinite cosmic creation. So, indulging in earsplitting fireworks and causing continuous problem to HER creatures, and HER environment, is totally against the fundamental principle of the devotion in Hinduism. Very sadly, with the blasting of the fireworks in the name of Goddess Laxmi we have invariably set off the tank of vices alone.

Salil Gewali is a well-Known Writer and Author of ‘Great Minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali