Marking a significant moment in the history of the UAE, around 5,000 devotees and well-wishers thronged to participate in and witness the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the BAPS Hindu Mandir. Volunteers began to arrive at the site location as early as 6:00 a.m., with participants arriving at 8:00 a.m. The Shilanyas Ceremony, which is an ancient Vedic ritual performed to bless and sanctify the main foundation stones, commenced at 9:00 a.m.
As thousands of mourners attended funerals across India this week for the paramilitary personnel who lost their lives to terrorism in Pulwama (Kashmir, India), His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj offered his deepest sympathy and prayers. As spiritual leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Mahant Swami Maharaj, prayed for peace for departed and a full recovery of those who were injured. All BAPS mandirs globally as well as the 100 BAPS mandirs across North America held special prayer services. Together they prayed for strength and solace for the families of all those effected by this tragedy.
The prayer service held at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at 61 Claireville Drive in Toronto, on Sunday February 18, 2019, was attended by the Consul General of India, Toronto Dinesh Bhatia along with many community leaders, dignitaries and hundreds of community members.
Echoing the sentiments of other well-wishers at BAPS mandirs across North America, Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, said: “The 44 CRPF personnel who lost their lives each have families and communities who are feeling their absence. I feel part of their community and am here to pray for calm in their hearts which we know are hurting.”
The attack on February 14, 2019 has sparked peaceful vigils across India and the world, and BAPS joins in prayer for the families of India’s servicemen and for unity and peace. BAPS as an organization and its followers have also pledged financial support of 10 million rupees for the relief fund to support the victims and their family members on the road to recovery. Continue reading “BAPS Organizes Prayer Services Globally for Pulwama Attack Victims”
A glittering array of twinkles filled the night as traditional candles were lit by devotees during the Diwali and Hindu New Year (Vikram Samvat 2075) Celebrations on Thursday November 8, 2018, at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, located at 61 Claireville Drive, Toronto.
The ancient tradition of lighting candles, or diva, during Diwali symbolizes the transition from darkness to light. While the diva lit on Diwali remove physical darkness, the festival’s rich traditions and rituals go deeper – inviting individuals to make efforts in removing darkness from within, in the forms of anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and resentment. Diwali presents a time to reflect and introspect.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto marked the auspicious festival of Diwali and its associated five days of celebrations with an elaborate Annakut, lighted diva, fireworks, and a special children’s Diwali celebration. The celebrations were open to all. Visitors participated in celebration activities, offered prayers for new beginnings and had the opportunity to taste in the delicious offerings of the Annakut. Several dignitaries also participated in the celebrations.
Addressing the gathering, The Honourable Doug Ford Premier of Ontario said, “said, “Happy Diwali, Happy New Year to everyone. Each and everyone of you make me feel right at home when I come here. I wish everyone in Ontario could see this [the Annakut], it’s absolutely unbelievable. I understand it’s all about ‘Unity’ and what at great message…I just wanted to emphasize, you have treated our family incredibly well here…we are forever grateful to you. The contribution of your community to the province is absolutely incredible.” Continue reading “BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir celebrates Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights in Toronto”
BAPS Charities hosted several hundred participants at its 14th annual Health Fair on Sunday September 24, 2017 at the BAPS Swaminarayan Complex in Toronto. This year’s Health Fair aimed to provide practical, preventative health care information for community members of all ages.
Over 50 health care professionals volunteered for the event, including dentists, optometrists, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists and family physicians. Collectively, these professionals provided a variety of services and screening tests including audiograms, eye screenings and dental screenings. Participants were also able to attend relevant workshops on various health topics such as diabetes and yoga as well as receive individual consultations on issues including diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Special guests at the Health Fair included Councillor Vincent Crisanti, Ward 1 – Etobicoke North, thanked the volunteers of BAPS Charities and said, “BAPS Charities has always taken a very wholesome approach. Part of being healthy is having healthy families. This event has grown over the years and I am happy to be here to kick off the health fair. Let’s stay healthy.”
“I’ve been volunteering with the BAPS Charities Health Fair for several years now”, said Lalit Wadhvana, “Each year, I see the event growing and evolving to address some pressing health issues facing our community. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the ability to help my neighbours, friends and community members lead healthier, longer lives! Continue reading “BAPS Charities Health Fair in Toronto Connects Health Professionals with the Community”