Sunday March 18, 2018
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Hundreds visit Swindon’s ‘Sri Srinivas Balaji Kalyanam’ celebration

Photo: Swindon Advertiser

Swindon, UK: More than 600 people turned out for Swindon’s biggest and most successful Hindu community event on Sunday.

The Swindon Hindu Temple Trust organized the auspicious Hindu religious event “Sri Srinivas Balaji Kalyanam” for the second consecutive year. The event hailed an outright success and the biggest religious congregation in the town with families from different communities gathering to witness and participate in the Divine Marriage of Lord Vishnu, one of the holy trinity in Hinduism.

The sheer scale of the six hour long event was evident in the grand cultural extravaganza with its colorful decorations and sumptuous Indian vegetarian food.

Photo: Swindon Advertiser
Photo: Swindon Advertiser

The live event was projected on to big screens starting with the traditional welcoming of guests.

“The emotional outpouring, warmth, excitement and devotion was palpable in particular during the Palanquin procession of the Lord, when scores of people lined up to take turns, 20 at a time to carry the deities’ platform and also the traditional garland exchange wedding ritual ceremony accompanied by melodious music,” said Pradeep Bhardwaj chairman of the Swindon Hindu Temple Trust.

” A drummer and scores of women in traditional attires walked in front of the procession carrying traditional lamps, singing devotional songs.

“And there were special activities for children bearing testimony to all the hard work put in by dozens of volunteers for well over three months planning this event.”

Several Hindu rituals and ceremonies were performed amidst the chanting of Sanskrit shlokas by the official priests of Balaji Temple, Birmingham, one of Europe’s biggest Hindu temples.

Mr Bhardwaj delivered a passionate speech to the congregation narrating the positive role of religion in our lives and compared it to that of an elite coach for any aspiring/budding sportsperson and how places of worship can make immense contributions to art, culture, cuisine, economy, social upliftment and harmony in our society.

He then announced the news the Hindu community has been waiting for the last 50 years – that Swindon’s first Hindu Temple & Cultural Centre is now imminent in the next few months. This was greeted with loud cheers, fanfare and rejoice by the big congregation. This should further strengthen the multicultural fabric of Swindon town. Around £10,000 was raised for the building at the event.

The story was first published in Swindon Advertiser

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Life Lessons We All Should Learn From Lord Shiva

There are lot's if life lessons that one can learn from this Hindu deity

There are many life lessons that one can learn from the philosophies of Lord Shiva. Wikimedia Commons
There are many life lessons that one can learn from the philosophies of Lord Shiva. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • Lord Shiva is the supreme Hindu Deity
  • He is a symbol of peace and tranquillity
  • There are lot’s if life lessons that one can learn from this Hindu deity

Lord Shiva as everyone knows is a Hindu God. He is one of the Trinity and is the principal deity of Hinduism.  God Shiva is considered the “destroyer of evil and the transformer” of the world. The Birth and history of Lord Shiva are topics of great discussions and confusions.

Lord Shiva is one of the principle deity of hinduism. Wikimedia Commons
Lord Shiva is one of the principle deity of Hinduism. Wikimedia Commons

Lord Shiva is known to have no end and no beginning, yet, the origin of his birth is a much sought-after topic for several generations. Many ‘Puranas’ claims Shiva to be ‘aja’ meaning the one who has no birth. Some other scriptures claim that Lord Shiva was born out of Lod Narayana or Lord Vishnu. However, the authenticity of all the claims remain unclear, and there is still a solid mystery which surrounds the origin and birth of Shiva.

Shiva is also known Mahadev, i.e., the gods of all gods and rightly so. Throughout the Hindu mythology, Shiva has been portrayed as a tranquil and peaceful figure who grants all prayers of his followers and devotees. His another name is ‘Bhole Bhandari’ because of his innocent nature.

Lord Shiva is known for his peace and tranquillity. Pixabay
Lord Shiva is known for his peace and tranquillity. Pixabay

However, other than his peaceful nature, the other thing Lord Shiva is famous for is his flaring temper. Indian mythology is full of stories about Lord Shiva causing mass destruction due to his anger. The opening of his third eye is said to cause mass destruction.

Also Read: Enigmatic Mount Kailash: The abode of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva’s appearance is a beautiful shade of blue because of him consuming the poison from the sea to save the world. However, just like his body is shades of blue there are many shades to his personality as well. Here are few life lessons of Lord Shiva that we all need to take a note of.

  • Come what may never tolerate the evil. Being destroyer of the evil himself, Shiva teaches us to never tolerate or bow down in front of the evil.
  • Self-control is the key to living a fulfilled life. Excess is of everything is bad and losing control ourselves is worse. One should always have a control over themselves to live a successful and fulfilled life.
  • Materialistic happiness is temporary. To be happy, be adjustable like water. Shiva says that attaching our happiness to earthy, material things won’t give us long-lasting happiness.
  • Keeping calm is very important. Lord Shiva used to meditate for hours and is easily the epitome of calmness and that’s what he advocates too.
  • Desires lead to destruction. Shiva believes that desires lead to obsessions which in turn leads to destruction. Never desire more than what you deserve. Be happy with what you have and work hard for what you want to achieve.
  • Respect your family. Lord Shiva is husband to Goddess Parvati and father to Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. He respected his children and especially wife a lot. Respecting one’s  family is very important for living a successful life.
  • Control your ego and let go of pride. Ego prevents us from achieving greatness. Let go of your pride and control your ego to live a fulfilled life.
  • Everything is temporary. Everything in this world is temporary. Time changes as do we and our choices and desires. It is better to let go of all the ‘moh maya’ and live in the moment happily with what we already have.