International Marwari Federation of Kolkata Performs Maha Ganga Aarti on Makar Sankranti at Princep Ghat

By Prerna Kothari and Ankit Agarwal

PHOTO SLIDESHOW | International Marwari Federation of Kolkata Performs Maha Ganga Aarti on Makar Sankantri at historic Princep Ghat

Kolkata, Jan 14 (Washington Bangla Radio) - Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival of India celebrated when the Sun starts to move into Capricorn (Makara).

International Marwari Federation today evening organized the Grand event of MAHA GANGA AARTI with 2500 people on the auspicious occasion of MAKAR SANKRANTI at the Princep Ghat, Kolkata. The Aarti took place in the presence of Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Pujya Muniji - President & spiritual head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram of Rishikesh), alongwith his 25 holy priests. 1800 Diyas were also released at the same time in the holy Ganges. The Aarti now takes place regularly every Sunday at the Princep Ghat which was started few weeks back by International Marwari Federation itself.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati (also called Pujya Swamiji or Pujya Muniji by disciples), is the President and spiritual head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India, one of India's largest spiritual institutions. He is also the founder and spiritual head of the Hindu Jain Temple in Pittsburgh. Swami Chidanand Saraswati is credited with conceiving the idea of and laying the foundation for the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism beginning in the year 1987. His biography is called By God's Grace: The Life and Teachings of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati and was published by Mandala Publishing in 2012.

On this occasion, Shree Pradeep Ruia, President of International Marwari Federation said, “Maha Ganga Aarti is a very powerful and uplifting spiritual ritual. It is our  honour to celebrate this auspicious occasion of Makar Sankrati with Swami Chidanand Saraswati - Pujya Muniji here today.”

An aarti is a devotional ritual that uses fire as an offering. It's usually made in the form of a lit lamp, and in the case of the Ganges River, a small diya with a candle and flowers that's floated down the river. The offering is made to the Goddess Ganga, also affectionately referred to as Maa Ganga, goddess of the most holy river in India. The aarti takes place facing the river. The lamps are lit and circled around by the pandits (Hindu priests) in a clockwise manner, accompanied by changing or songs in praise of Mother Ganga. The idea is that the lamps acquire the power of the deity. After the ritual is complete, devotees will cup their hands over the flame and raise their palms to their forehead in order to get the Goddess's purification and blessing.

Key Persons

Dinesh Bajaj (Chairman), Pradeep Ruia (President), Trilok Chand Daga, Pradeep Sanghai, Rajkumar Sharma, Siddhartha Pansari, Santosh Kheria, Bhaniram Sureka, Rajendra Rampuria, Ravindar Kumar Ladia, Pradeep Dhedia, Sushil Chaudhary, Sarita Khemani, Arun Mohta and others.

International Marwari Federation was established in 1986. Since its inception this organization has been involved with all kinds of social activities for the well-being of the society. The organization unitedly moves towards taking up responsibilities for the welfare of the society under its 2 broad categories - Cultural & Social initiatives. International Marwari Federation also thanks the government for their continuous support and cooperation.