SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, October 18, 2017 (SBS): It's the fourth year in a row the Opera House has been lit up in a golden colour to mark the most widely celebrated Hindu festival, Diwali. The festival has significance to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains, and is celebrated globally by Indian and South Asian communities. It commemorates the triumph of light over darkness, and good overcoming evil.
More and more Australians are embracing Diwali -- the Hindu festival of light. It's a time for reflecting and cleansing, and can involve spring cleaning, shopping for gold and celebrating the victory of light over darkness. People also decorate their houses with lights and celebrate the New Year. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian formally opened the event and said by lighting the sails of the Sydney Opera House, it brings millions of people in Australia and around the world together. "More and more, Diwali is marked by all communities across New South Wales and is one of the most celebrated and anticipated events in our multicultural calendar."
From one seed arises a huge tree; from it comes numerous seeds, each one of which in its turn grows into a tree. No two fruits are alike. Yet it is one life that throbs in every particle of the tree. So, it is the same Atman everywhere. All creation is That. There is beauty in the birds and in the animals. They too eat and drink like us, mate and multiply; but there is this difference: we can realize our true nature, the Atman. Having been born as human beings, we must not waste this opportunity.
-- Sri Anandamayi Ma, (1896-1982), Bengali mystic
LONDON, ENGLAND, October 15, 2017 (ITV): There was dancing in Trafalgar Square on Sunday as people gathered to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Around 35,000 came to central London for the event, which has been hosted at Trafalgar Square on 16 occasions. The sunny setting was the perfect atmosphere for people from around the world to join in the dancing at a one of the country's most recognizable locations. Varsha Mistri from the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association said: "This is the place to be today for Diwali because it's just a huge celebration of London and all that's great about London."
Video at "source" above.
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, October 16, 2017 (Daily News): A Diwali festival celebration was held in Durban, South Africa on October 14th. The popular Hindu festival of lights celebrates good over evil and, symbolically, light shining in darkness. The festival attracts over 100,000 visitors who get to participate in the parading of floats and chariots, singing devotional songs, dances, games and more. A short colorful slide show is at "source" above.
ROBBINSVILLE, NEW JERSEY, October 16, 2017 (India West): Amidst a large gathering of devotees, BAPS leader HH Mahant Swami Maharaj inaugurated the Svaminarayana-siddhanta-sudha, a traditionally composed Sanskrit text, at the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple Sept. 17 here. The assembly was a celebration of three events: inauguration of the Svaminarayana-siddhanta-sudha; the Sri Kasi Vidvat Parisad recognizing Sri Svaminarayana's Vedanta as Aksara-Purusottama Darsana as Vedic and distinct from the other Vedanta darsanas; and the official announcement of Svaminarayana's teachings as the Aksara-Purusottama Darsana. Several dignitaries and renowned academics present at the event expressed their thoughts and praise for the text, including Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami, chief editor at Hinduism Today.
Authored by Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami, the text is traditionally categorized as a vadagrantha - a formal exposition, justification, and defense of the philosophical and theological positions of a darSana. It is composed on the Aksara-Purusottama Darsana as it was revealed by Parabrahman Purusottama Svaminarayana. Swami Maharaj read aloud a proclamation letter that he had composed. Within this proclamation he illuminated the Vedic roots of Parabrahman Swaminarayan's revealed teachings, and announced that Parabrahman Svaminarayana's teachings would henceforth be recognized as the Aksara-Purusottama Siddhanta and that the darsanic title would be identified as the Aksara-Purusottama Darsana.