By Vishnu Bisram
The NY-based Guyanese Arya Samajists observed Foundation day last Sunday in Jamaica. It was a perfect day for an outdoor religious event. The sun was shining in all its glory with a cool soft breeze blowing across a holy site. Hundreds showed up at 94 Avenue at 150th Street for the outdoor Havan, one of the largest ritual celebrations as each family conducted their own ceremony assisted by Guru Dr Satish Prakash.
The Arya Samsj Gurukula is located there, surrounded by a diversity of small industries and the railroad. Guyanese Samajists transformed the area with their temple and religious service. That unique location of the multi-kundhavan was transformed into a spiritual rendezvous. The constant crackling sounds generated at the industrial site on a workday was absent. There was instead an ordered chorus of Hindu mantras in praise to the Almighty.
Hundreds of men, women and children, gathered to participate in this ceremonial multi-kundhavan. The avenue was closed by the City for several hours to allow devotees of the Gurukula and others to pay tribute to the Arya Samaj’s 142nd Foundation Anniversary observance. There were over 25 separate havankund with groups consisting on average of 8 devotees, performing the requisite traditional rituals. Swami Dayananda Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj movement on April 10, 1875 in Bombay (now Mumbai). The weekend was chosen for the ceremony because of convenience.
Periodically, the officiating priest Vyakaranacharya Satish Prakash, the Maharishi Dayananda Gurukula’s Spiritual Leader, paused to make the program ‘personal’ by recognizing devotees who have been celebrating their birthdays, their wedding anniversaries, or those who had recently lost loved ones. Goodwill messages were delivered by representatives of various organizations.
Dr Satish Prakash issued periodic messages on morality and goodness.
Dr Satish Prakash expressed gratitude to all the participants and guests and sponsors.