Holi Dhuleti Celebration by Gayatri Mandir of Piscataway, NJ
Inspired by Pandit Shriram Sharma Achrya who is the patron founder of All World Gayatri Parivar, the local chapter Gayatri Chetna Center, Piscataway performs Hindu rituals and cultural activities for the upliftment of community.
On March 8th, 2020, Sunday, the special occasion of Holi was completed with lots of joy and color at Gayatri Chetna Center (GCC) also known as Gayatri Mandir. More than 3,500 attendees participated in the Holi rituals with colorful outfits with family and kids.
The celebrations for Holi started in the evening around 4:30 pm with Holika Dahan, also called Navanmeshti Yagya. The rituals for igniting the fire were performed by Respected Subodhbhai & Bhartiben Nayak, temple priests from Shantikunj, Haridwar, with the prominent & well known Dr. Indravadan Patel (Dr. I.T) & Rashmiben Patel.
The volunteers and the visitors at the center wholeheartedly participated in the fire ceremony. Devotees offered freshly harvested crops and coconuts to the fire in the process of worship. The divine feelings of offering the first food grains of the harvest to the Almighty before consuming them ourselves, as a blessing, are the emotions that reside in the hearts of all the worshippers. The story of Holi ends with Holika, a demon, dying and Prahlad, the hero, surviving. Holika symbolizes the evils within us such as jealousy, while Prahlad symbolizes the virtues and pious feelings within us. Along with the rituals, Priest Subodhbhai lectured everyone that this is the festival where we seek for our evils to be burnt in the holy fire and that we all be enhanced with good quality feelings of life.Holi is the festival of colors.
During Holi- Dhuleti celebration, everyone present at the Gayatri Mandir premises were blessed and enjoyed playing with a huge variety of colors. Everyone was filled with joy and happiness. The faces covered in colors were hard to identify. This sends a very subtle message of equality on the basis of caste, creed, social and economical status. Everyone looks the same and just one. The traditional Holi music & songs performed by local Umesh Patel & Group, on the stage added joy in the festivities.
As the sun was setting, it was time for the evening Aarti in the main hall of the Mandir, which was packed with devotees who were present to worship the holy fire, to play with colors, and to enjoy the festive mood, gathered in the main hall, and attended the ritual Aarti. All attendees were offered Maha Prasaad (Dinner) free of charge after the end of the colorful festivities and Aarti. All participants were anxious to inquire and learn more about the Gayatri Mandir’s daily activites. During the yearlong activities, temple devotees and kids come to attend cultural and community projects like “Save the Planet”, “Food Pantry for the needy” , “Recycling and Cleaning “, “Blood donation Camp” for the local community and surrounding tri state area.
The volunteer team of the Gayatri Mandir, outperforms its duty to serve others in the community as part of the Seva, means Service to Humanity. Gayatri Chetna Center, Piscataway is a registered tax-exempt religious institution and is devoted to increasing cultural, ethical, moral and spiritual awareness. The Center is unique place for Gayatri Sadhana, Yoga & meditation, scientific spiritual studies and Youth Development. For more information, you may call (732) 357-8200 or visit the website, www.GayatriCenter.org for details.