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Diwali Report from Shanti Niwas, Dehradun

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6 November 2002

Radiant Divinities,

Om Namo Narayanaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya!

We all of the sevaks to Pujya Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj at Shanti Niwas, Dehradun want to share our joyful experience on the Auspicious Deepavali dayís evening, with all of you.

As 4th November approached we planned to have some fireworks and got some for all of us. From the morning, everyone was busy preparing the earthen diyas (lamps). In the afternoon they were filled with oil and threads. Just before sunset they were lit up. The whole Shanti Niwas was looking very beautiful as the Diyas were aligned all along in a straight line on the boundary, on the terrace, on the garage, on the ground where Swamiji Maharaj goes around the building during His usual stroll on the wheel chair.

Now-a-days Swamiji Maharaj comes out only during the evening after sunset around 7 pm. Hence, on the Diwali day also Swamiji Maharaj came out just after the evening. Swamiji took a few rounds on the wheel chair. And then Swamiji stood up and walked 2 rounds. By then we were ready with our fireworks. Swamiji Maharaj was sitting on the wheel chair. Saranagatanandaji and Chitswarupanandaji were ready with the video and still cameras. Myself, Guruprasadanandaji, Paramalakshanandaji were with the fireworks (in fact we exchanged our duties many times. They also did fireworks and we also took video and photographs). Then we went on lighting all the different kinds of fireworks we had brought. I know only their names in local terms. One is called Anar (once lit it gives splashes of fire upwards. We had few varieties of them.) The other one is called Rocket (it booms into the sky upwards like a rocket). Chitswarupanandaji brought some different kinds of fireworks which goes up and then gives a splash of light. Swamiji Maharaj enjoyed them very much. I donít know how to express. I hope I am making any sense. And then you know what happened. Swamiji asked us to bring a firework to Him. It is a long stick like thing which has some stuff on it pasted. It is called Fuljhari. Swamiji Maharaj told me to bend it in right angle. I was wondering what Swamiji is planning. And then the candle was brought near Swamiji Maharaj. Swamiji Maharaj lighted it and then He spun it round and round and round. It was so joyful to watch HIM cracking Fuljhari like a small child (of 86 years old)!!!!!. Swamiji Maharaj was there out with us for almost 30-45 minutes. Of course Swamiji was all covered up and it was not so very cold. After that Swamiji Maharaj went inside to take rest. And we cracked some more firecrackers outside. Then we all did Laxmi Puja.

It was the best Diwali of our lives. We had heard that earlier Swamiji Maharaj used to do fireworks on Diwali celebration in the Ashram but had never seen it. The pictures are enclosed. I hope it gives you that much happiness and joy that we experienced. May be you can understand about the kind of fireworks I was talking about from the pictures.

I am not a so very good writer. Whatever way I have written please accept it as my seva at the feet of the entire Divine Life Parivar (family).

With prayers and goodwishes.

In the service of our Beloved Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj,

Swami Yatidharmananda & all the sevaks at Shanti Niwas, Dehradun

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