Recently alert Hindus notified Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) regarding a Diwali Ball to be held under the auspices of the City Hindus Network (CHN) in London on November 13, 2014. In their advertisement for the ball they mentioned that this event will be one of the most important and extravagant events of the Hindu festival calendar and will feature breath-taking entertainment and DJ music.
HJS sent a letter to the organisers of this event explaining that Diwali is a sacred and dharmik festival. It should be celebrated with devotional songs instead of DJ music or Bollywood style music. The organisers were also urged to visit the HJS website to learn about the correct way of celebrating festivals according to the science of spirituality. HJS requested them to celebrate Diwali in the spiritually correct way to obtain the benefits of the festival. However there was no reply from them.
Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) appeals devout Hindus to protest against this celebration on the website
email the organisers at [email protected]
Below is the email sent by HJS
Namaskar dear organisers of the CHN Diwali Ball 2014
We, at Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, are writing to you in reference to the Diwali celebration to be held on the 13th of November, 2014 by the City Hindus Network in London. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti is a registered NGO in India, doing social, Hindu Dharma related and national welfare work. The Samiti is also active throughout the world, educating people about Hindu Dharma in a scientific way, campaigning against malpractices done as Hindu Dharma related practices and solving problems related to misrepresentation of Hindu Dharma. For further details please refer to our website www.HinduJagruti.org.
We are emailing you today because it was brought to our attention by some Hindus that the Diwali celebration called ‘one of the most important and extravagant events of the Hindu festival calendar, the CHN Diwali Ball’ to be held by your organization will feature breath-taking entertainment and DJ music.
Diwali is a Dharmik festival that is sacred to Hindus. The main aim of this Dharmik festival is to go towards sattvikta (spiritual purity) and to celebrate the principle of progressing from spiritual darkness or ignorance to spiritual light or knowledge. If there are alcoholic drinks, non-vegetarian food, Bollywood or other type of non-classical entertainment or DJ music, then the true essence of the festival is lost in the celebration, as it will take the audience towards tamasikta (spiritual impurity). The main purpose of celebrating festivals is to gain sattvikta and reduce rajasik and tamasik components. Sattvikta is obtained only by doing spiritual activities. Alcoholic drinks, non-vegetarian food, Bollywood style entertainment and DJ music are raja-tama predominant; hence the audience can gain raja-tama rather than gaining sattvikta.
There are 365 days for other such party type celebrations. When Shri Narendra Modi became prime minister he did not throw a party but he went to do Ganga Pujan. Diwali Celebration has to be Dharmik and a spiritual celebration. So, we can derive happiness from it. It is to experience the inner light. How can we experience it with such a celebration with drinks and DJ music? Instead, with a Dharma-based celebration, we will be able to experience the significance of Shreekrushna destroying the demon Narakasura and Goddess Lakshmi entering our lives.
On your website we noticed that you do arrange programs on Vedanta, bhajans and discourses on Bhagavad Gita. Such programs are ideal for Diwali celebrations.
Diwali celebrations should be organized based on spiritual principles so that the Hindus living abroad can derive its spiritual benefits. Some ways this can be accomplished are –
1.Playing more traditional, devotional music (bhajans) about Deities and Hindu or Indian classical music.
2. Educating the participating Hindus about the spiritual roots of Diwali.
3. Encouraging Hindus to celebrate Diwali and other Indian festivals in a traditional manner.
4. Presenting Hindu classical dances for adults and children.
5. Organising drawing competitions about Diwali and rangoli competitions.
We have educational materials such as videos and posters on Diwali and Hinduism that can help your organization implement the above points; please let us know if you are interested in these materials. We have experienced that many Hindus are tired of the trend of abandoning Hindu culture and replacing it with Bollywood and westernised stereotypes. Younger Hindus often show genuine interest when they are exposed to Hindu traditions and older Hindus also feel relieved. We have lost the depth and meaning that Hinduism naturally offers by diluting it with Bollywood and western culture, and many are looking for this depth and meaning somewhere. Diwali celebrations are widely attended by non-Hindus interested in Hinduism; hence it becomes even more important to present Diwali in a way that will reflect Hinduism in correct way so the non-Hindus will understand the greatness of Hinduism. Otherwise, they will be left with an incorrect understanding that in Hinduism festivals, it is ok to have alcohol, non-vegetarian food, Bollywood style entertainment, DJ music, etc.
Hence, we urge you to consider the above and make changes to your Diwali celebration if you are planning on having alcoholic drinks, non-vegetarian food, Bollywood style entertainment and DJ music. This would ensure adherence to the true spirit of Diwali and help all attendees to share and experience Hindu traditions as they were meant to be experienced.
We stress that our aim in bringing this up is to educate and ensure that Hinduism gets accurately represented in society. Hinduism has been misrepresented at many levels from the level of school textbooks to popular media. Though it is an ancient tradition, Hinduism has a lot to offer the modern world and we want children and adults alike to be able to understand and live it without it being misrepresented. We hope you would take one step towards ensuring that Hinduism gets represented accurately and make necessary changes to your Diwali celebration as we have mentioned above.
If you would like to learn more about the spiritual principles of Diwali, we encourage you to visit our page on it at : https://www.hindujagruti.org/hinduism/festivals/diwali/
To read about the spiritual impact of alcohol and non-vegetarian food, please visit the following links :
Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.