Deepavali was celebrated with a lot of joy and excitement at the various Chinmaya Mission centres in Brisbane. In the Balavihar classes, the children learnt about the significance of Deepavali through stories, activities and games. ‘Deepa’ means lamp and ‘Avali’ means row, so Deepavali signifies ‘Rows of Lights’. The festival is celebrated on the darkest day of the month (the No-moon day – Amavasya) and we light lamps to eliminate the darkness. Deepavali is associated with the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after killing Ravana, Lord Krishna killing Narakasura and Lord Vishnu defeating King Bali. Thus, it symbolises the celebration of the victory of Good over Evil. Just as light eliminates darkness, this ‘Festival of Lights” also signifies that the Light of Knowledge removes the darkness of ignorance, Love conquers hatred and Faith helps overcome fear. It is celebrated differently across different regions of India and is celebrated over 5 days, each with its own significance. However, the underlying theme is but one – it is a celebration of life, joy and goodness.
On the evening of Deepavali, Lakshmi Puja is performed to seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. Wealth does not imply material wealth only; it signifies the Wealth of Knowledge, Devotion, Dispassion, Self Control, Values, Health, Time and Money. The children did an activity of lighting one lamp and using that lamp to light many more lamps. They understood and appreciated how the first lamp did not lose any of its brilliance by sharing its light with the other lamps. They learnt the valuable lesson that we too must light the lamp of knowledge, love, wealth and good values in ourselves and also share it with the world, thus living our life to the fullest. They also played a game of 10-pin bowling wherein the children had to use the balls labelled with good values to knock down the bowling pins which were labelled with bad values. Finally they made lamps and decorated them.
Chinmaya Mission Brisbane runs weekly classes for children, youth and adults in three locations – Holland Park, Heathwood and Fitzgibbon. Chinmaya Mission has specifically designed curriculum for all age groups. Classes focus on developing positive values of love, honesty, faith, courage, sharing, respect and teamwork and are based on the ancient texts (Bhagavad Geeta, Upanishads) and epics (Ramayana, Mahabharata). Classes also include chanting and meditation. The entire family benefits together at our Sunday Family program.
Weekly classes are held every Sunday during the school term from 10 am to 11:45 am at Holland Park State High School, Bapaume Rd, Holland Park for children, teenagers and adults. We also have online Upanishad Wednesday evening classes with our Swami Shrikaranandaji.
Balavihar classes for children aged 4 to 12 years are also held every Sunday at:
• Aashirwad, 95 Laurel Street, Heathwood 4110, from 10 am to 11:30 am; and
• Fitzgibbon Community Centre, 545 Roghan Rd, Fitzgibbon 4018, from 4 pm to 5.30 pm
We also have online Upanishad Wednesday evening classes with our Swami Shrikaranandaji