Courtesy of Pt Vamdeva
Celebrating the spiritual festival of Lights
“Tamaso Maa Jyotir gamaya....lead us from darkness to the Light!
May we hold the highest Dharma in our hearts and lives!
May this Deepavali guide us in drawing the deepest jnana holding the Light of our ancient Seers in our hearts. May we aspire to draw the Divine Light of wisdom and compassion into our lives.
In Sanskrit ‘Deepavali’ means 'a row of earthen lit lamps heralding auspiciousness'. Diyas or earthen oil lamps are the sacred tradition of India’s Diwali celebrations. Light signifies purity, jnana and auspiciousness. Lighting diyas guides us through the darkness to seek the eternal truth.
The auspicious week of Diwali celebrations are-
Dhanteras, Choti Diwali/Naraka Chaturdashi, Deepavali/Diwali , Govardhan Puja and Bhai Duja.
Choti Deepavali is celebrated on the auspicious dark night of Kartik Amavasya where Maa Kali is worshipped. It is also known as Narakchaturdashi.
Lakshmipuja is celebrated on the Amavasya or New Moon.
Deepavali celebrates the return of Lord Rama (of the Ramayana) to his native city of Ayodhya after completing fourteen years of exile in the forest with his wife Sri Sita and brother Lakshman. The common folk of the kingdom of Ayodhya honor him with lighting diyas.
Deepavali is marked as a traditional New Year by many communities in India. The auspicious event on Diwali in most households is the riti of Lakshmi-Ganesha Puja – homage to Lakshmi and Ganesha. Diwali puja draws in the divine grace and abundance of Goddess Lakshmi.
Goddess Lakshmi is seated on a lotus, with four hands signifying her power to grant us the four purusharthas (aims of human life) – dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (bodily pleasures), moksha (beatitude). As the Consort of Shri Vishnu, the deity of preservation, Goddess Lakshmi’s grace manifests as abundance, auspiciousness, nurturing, well-being, power, stability and divinity. She grants her devotee every siddhi in the field of arts, learning and sadhana.
The home is cleaned and decorated with flowers, rangoli and diyas. Special sweets are taken as prasada
Sankalpa is the deeper manifestation of a sacred vow, intention and desire. Our sankalpa should connect us to the universal dharma of peaceful sacredness and abundance for all. May we aspire to draw the Light into our lives reflecting the enlightenment of the Soul and eliminating the darkness which shadows our vision and experience in life. One can make a personal sankalpa or sacred wish for the family’s well-being.
Ritualistic worship of Sri Lakshmi
All offerings and prayer with deep shraddha (faith) and reverence paves the way for the Devi’s benevolence and divine grace.
Lakshmi Puja is a sacred time of consecrating and worshipping five deities:
Sri Ganesha is worshiped at the beginning of every auspicious beginning as Vighneshvara
Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped in her three forms – Sri Mahalakshmi (the goddess of wealth and money), Sri Mahasaraswati (the goddess of jnana or learning), and Mahakali The powerful Shakti who steers us from darkness to Light!
Kubera (the treasurer of the gods) is also worshiped.
Five diyas or ghee lamps are lit honoring the Gods and Goddesses.
Ghatasthapana For the puja we place a Kalash, the clay or metal pot filled with water and decorated with a coconut and Mango or betel nut leaves. Tie the moli or red thread around its mouth. Place a coin, betel nut, rice grains in the kalash.
Sri Lakshmi pujan begins with honoring Sri Ganesha after the achaman and pranayama. In the puja one sanctifies the asana followed by offering water (arghya), Snana (ritualistic bath), vastra, sandalwood paste, flowers, Durva grass, turmeric, vermilion, incense, diya or oil lamp, Holy sacrament are offered.
Sri Lakshmi is placed on a plate of rice in the center of an 8 petalled lotus with consecrated rice grains (akshata). The Lotus can be made with kumkum or turmeric powder. An offering of Naivedya is made to the Devi Lakshmi with milk, cloves, cardamom, coriander seeds, betel leaves, betel nut, battase (traditional sugar sweets), khilay (puffed rice) is made to the Mother Goddess. Flowers, incense and Arati are offered to the Devata.
Coriander seeds and puffed rice are offered in this ritual of worship, the reason for this being that coriander seeds symbolize wealth and well-being and rice represents prosperity. Offer the Goddess something auspicious like money or a silver coin.
Arati consecrates the auspiciousness of Deepavali celebrations.
It is the shraddha or deep faith which holds sacred with simple rituals and prayers for universal and personal well-being. Our prayers must invoke the Divine Grace of the Mother Goddess into our lives.
Living with awareness in the Light of Dharma!
Om srim hrim klim glaum gam ganapataye svaha
Vakratunda mahakaya surya koti samaprabha
Nirvighnam kur me deva sarvakaryeshu sarvada
Om namah bhagyalakshmi cha vidmahe
Ashtalakshmi cha dheemahi
Tanno lakshmi pracodayat
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, matra rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, shakti rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, laksmi rupena sansthita
Ya devi sarva bhutesu, shanti rupena sansitha
Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha!
Sarva mangala maangalye shive sarvaartha saadhike
Sharanye trayambake Gauri
Om srim hrim klim hrim srim mahalakshmayai namah
The word yoga as most people know means unity, but no one can possibly understand the word unity until that unity has been experienced. Therefore until one has achieved the unity of being connected to our inherent nature, yoga cannot be understood and the word is only used in reference to all the methodologies that may or may not bring about that ultimate unity.
Within the texts and Scriptures about yoga, the thrust of those teachings is to inspire and direct people towards that cosmic unity whereby individuals who achieve that unity can understand the nature of existence as that is there inherent nature and they are enlightened.
Yet within the codified writings known as Vedanta, the nature of reality is clearly defined. But until such time as the individual reading that information has become enlightened, it is an interesting philosophy and often largely meaningless.
So within Vedanta the nature of existence is clearly described to those who know how to read. While this information attracted a certain amount of curiosity outside of India and a few people got hooked, to the casual observer it was just some eastern mumbo-jumbo unworthy of much serious thought and labelled as Hinduism. But could not be easily understood or commercialised, it was disparaged and lead not only to the ridicule of Hindus, but this McCarthyism has caused many Hindus to turn against themselves.
The evolution of Western science
Western science has evolved in an era of haughty arrogance and deemed itself superior to all other traditional forms of knowledge including the knowledge and wisdom of India. However some scientists have looked to India for insight and inspiration. These included Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla amongst many others.
When we step forwards into the 21st century, the idea of Shiva the underlying reality of existence became more widely known in the fields of physics, quantum physics and advanced mathematics. In fact Vedanta has so influenced scientific thought that Shiva as Nataraj, the Lord of the dance is displayed at the large Hadron Collider facility in Cern, Switzerland. In fact this knowledge has advanced so far that I’ll leave it to Dr John Hegelin to explain in more detail.
As you watch this video, you will see the exact correlation between Vedanta and modern physics. As it is presented, this is an intellectual experience whereas the exercises referred to as yoga are designed to take us into that unified field so that we can directly experience the true nature of existence.
Over the past 15,000 years or so, yogis have been merging into this unified state and on returning to daily consciousness, they have influenced the lives of ordinary people in accordance with the true nature of existence.
Can you see why Hinduism was and is not a religion?
For thousands of years enlightened men and women have helped the peoples of the Indian subcontinent and beyond to appreciate life and to live a life based on the laws or principles of nature.
One of the primary truths of life from a human perspective is that everything we ever experience takes place only within our own consciousness because the senses of the body transmit information to our mind which then interprets what we are sensing.
As a consequence, the land that we call India has been a region of relative peace and an exuberance of joy and colour for many millennia. Before the invasions and subsequent occupation by the British, most of the people we may refer to as Hindu had not necessarily achieved enlightenment, but they had a strong intellectual appreciation coupled with their ability to observe cause-and-effect (karma in action).
Today Indian outsiders and even many Hindus themselves who accept the Western views see the Temple deities as worthless pagan idols. But from the perspective of the enlightened, those people who are in touch with the underlying reality of the universe, these deities like Krishna and so many others are actually sophisticated pieces of technology that help to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of life.
Within the concepts labelled as Hinduism, there is no need to believe in anything. But the fact that so many hundreds of millions of people have found a joy in living far beyond the normal experience of most Westerners is a testament to the effectiveness of these ancient traditions.
The civilisation of India is almost timeless and there is even some evidence to suggest that the principles of Sanatana Dharma existed way before the first known transmission of yoga some 15,000 years ago.
If you have watched the video, there is a brief discussion on health and that allopathic medicine is primarily chemical or surgical in treating symptoms whereas Ayurvedic medicine treats disease much nearer its root whereas the transcendental experience of yoga takes you into that primordial state of ultimate reality and all disease can be eliminated from within.
Therefore yoga offers solutions to solve the problems of every individual and what we call as Hinduism along with the healing arts of ayurveda and the appreciation of life is a solution for all the world’s problems.
Welcome to the Website of the
National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NCHTUK).
The National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NCHTUK) was established in 1978. It is the oldest and one of the largest Hindu umbrella bodies linking over 200 Hindu Temples and Faith Organisations and works with them for the benefit of the Hindu community across the UK. To find out more about us click here.
Our main focus is to support the Temples of the UK, their Management Teams and their Employees in their work of helping Sanatan Dharma to flourish so that all the people of the UK have access to the oldest, and many have called it the wisest and deepest, religious and spiritual heritage that humans have ever percieved. Especially dear to our hearts is the sharing of our ancient Vidya with youngsters and helping the Temples to inspire their congregations to actively explore their Religion and Heritage.
NCHT UK also advises and consults on matters relating to interfaith dialogue, community consultations and capacity building in Temples, and advises and challenges legislation and policies that may affect the Hindu Community in the UK. Every Hindu should know the following about their religion and Traditions:
The truth of who we are lies beyond the lies of all imposed Religious identity
The Video that caught the Lords a Lying.... over 20,000 views!
The second in the "Lying Lords" Video Series - exploring the "Divide and Rule" process
still in use in 21st Century Britain - Against British Hindus.
Please note that the views of the National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NCHTUK) are not represented by any other Hindu Umbrella Organisation in the UK. Also please note that views expressed on this site may be of the contributors and not of the NCHTUK.
It is now globally accepted that India, its culture, religion and philosophy will influence and help shape the 21st Century. What is also accepted is that the NRI Diaspora, especially in the UK, has the potential to inform, influence and shape the manner in which India engages with the European establishments.
This evening will present an opportunity to personally interact with one of India’s thought leaders and with other British NRI’s committed to a vision of a strong and vibrant “Indo British” Cultural, Spiritual and Religious dialogue.
The British Board of Hindu Scholars have reserved a place for you at this “invitation only” gathering and would be grateful if you could let us know if you are able to participate in shaping the future development plans of the British Hindu Community.
“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. ” Pericles (c425 BCE)
British Hindus are notorious for not seriously engaging in the British Political scene but ever since the Caste debacle when the House of Lords heaped contempt and vilification upon British Hindus, Pericles’s wise words have become all too relevant.
The British Board of Hindu Scholars presents a unique opportunity to hear in conference, four of the most prominent and respected Hindu Scholars of our age, Dr Subramanian Swamy, Prof Balagangadhara, Dr Koenraad Elst and Dr Gautam Sen.
These academics, intellectuals, scholars are all major contributors in preserving and presenting the social, religious, political and spiritual contributions of the Indian sub continent. They have shaped the dialogue between Hindus and non Hindus in Europe for over 20 years and in the last 2 years have each brought the Hindu contribution to Europe and the world into the centre stage in every forum.
We hope to be joined by British Hindu Politicians and thought leaders as well as representatives of all the major Hindu Organisations in the UK.
If you’d like to know whats happening in the Hindu world, whether from an Inter Faith, Historical or Political perspective, this is the gathering for you. If you’d like to take an active part in shapnig the British Hindu future and the future of the United Kingdom, join us.
Please come along and help shape the future and if you are unable to join in, please spread the word.
If you would like to accept this invitation, please contact us or purchase tickets online below
(£100.00 single dining ticket, £150.00 double dining ticket)
For more information please call
Satishji 0208 123 8272, Madhuji 07763 178628, Madhavaji 07876 616883
The event will be conducted under “Chatham House Rules” and your acceptance of this invitation indicates acceptance of this condition.
29th July 2013
Caste Amendment “Timetable”
The NCHT UK warmly welcomes the Government publishing its Consultation Timetable for the implementation of the “Caste amendment” to the Enterprise Bill.
The NCHT UK wholeheartedly supports the Government position in believing that it is important to establish whether caste-prejudiced discrimination already exists in the areas covered by the legislation and if so, the degree and prevalence, especially as the NIESR report itself correctly identifies that the existing legislation (Equalities Act 2010) could be used to provide suitable protections against caste-prejudice based discrimination and harassment.
This consultative process will guard against unintended legislative consequences and suffering that may have ensued as a result of the previous position. We further appreciate that the Government has accepted our submissions that detailed and thorough analysis of this issue is a prerequisite to satisfactory implementation. As a matter of principle, the NCHT UK is against prejudicial discrimination in all its forms and is committed to its eradication.
We also strongly and unreservedly support the Government’s objective of improving the understanding of Caste for the first time. We especially welcome that the Government consultation will for the first time also decide whether and how ‘caste’ should be defined, with clarity and accuracy; the NCHT UK feels that it is of paramount importance to have a common and working definition of this matter before the introduction of legislation and will be fully engaging with the Consultative process to ensure that the definition is NOT Hindu specific, as rightly stated by Rt Hon Maria Miller in her communication to us.