Vijayadashami, being one of the most auspicious days for Hindus, is celebrated with great fervor all across India, and many parts of the world. It comes as the finale of the nine-day festival, Navaraatri. It assumes historical significance in the wake of the fact that Lord Rama defeated the demon king, Ravan on this day. Vijayadashami is a festival of victory because it is resplendent with many inspiring episodes reflecting the victorious culmination of deeds of valor, signifying the victory of forces of righteousness over those of wickedness.
Like every year, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh organized Vijayadashami celebrations in the bay area this time at the Sunnyvale Hindu temple on October 27th from 10:30 AM to 1:15 PM. All nine bay area chapters of HSS from San Ramon to Fremont and from San Jose to San Bruno enthusiastically participated. This year’s event was attended by more than 500 people from all over bay area.
The program got underway at the exquisitely decorated temple hall with the traditional ‘Ayudh puja’ (worship of tools & instruments of common use) by Shri Chandru Bhambra, public relations coordinator of HSS. This was accompanied by Vedic chants that reverberated the hall creating the perfect atmosphere for the function. This was followed by a series of cultural programs presented by participants from all the nine chapters in the bay area. Children, with great confidence and exuberance enthralled the audience by presenting various programs including chanting of shlokas from Hindu scriptures, skits on riveting stories from Hindu legends, well coordinated and synchronized yoga etc. Their participation exemplified the positive influence of Balagokulams, conducted by HSS, on these young minds. While the pre-teens displayed their talents, teenagers were not far behind with their spellbinding “Acapella” – a form of vocal music without instrumental accompaniment. Demonstration of some unique physical activities also formed part of the cultural program. This included Yogasanas by the ladies, pyramid formations and synchronized physical formations by male participants.
The program, which was a perfect blend of physical, mental and spiritual activities, concluded with a few words of motivation by the chief guest of the function, Ms. Anu Natrajan, Fremont city council member. Ms. Anu complimented HSS for the many efforts it has been undertaking in the local communities. This was followed by the Vijayadashami address by Shri Nishank Trivedi, West coast coordinator of HSS Youth activities. who deftly passed the message of how strength of an individual and combined strength of all in a society can push the envelope of progress and victory. Even the good and the righteous can succeed against the evil forces only when they come together in an organized endeavor. The program ended with everyone enjoying sumptuous food prepared by HSS volunteers.
In keeping with the tradition of Hindu Dharma, in which it is said that serving humanity and especially those in need is the real service to God, HSS with American Red Cross organized a blood donation drive at the same venue from 12 PM to 5 PM. The response from the community was so overwhelming, thanks to the weeks of hard work put in by HSS volunteers with ample support from Red Cross, that forty units of blood were collected during the five hours. Many eligible volunteers had to return home without donating as Red Cross had reached their capacity. Red Cross official, Ms. Mona Helmhold summed up the success of the event when she asked – “when (and not if) can Red Cross come again!”. Sunnyvale mayor, Mr. Otto Lee, visited the site and was very happy to see such a turnout for blood drive, and commended the commitment of HSS to the society. The drive turned out to be more significant in the wake of Southern CA fires, where such drives were cancelled putting more pressure on Northern CA to collect more blood.
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) USA is a voluntary, non-profit, social and cultural organization. HSS aims to organize the Hindu community in order to preserve, practice and promote Hindu ideals and values. HSS conducts structured programs of regular athletic and academic activities to develop strong character and leadership skills in its members, emphasizing values such as self-discipline, self-confidence and a spirit of selfless service for humanity. HSS encourages maintaining Hindu cultural identity in harmony with the larger community.
For Pictures click http://www.hssus.org/gallery/v/WCOAST/VijayaDashami+2007/