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Bhagavata Mahapurana being held in Manitoba

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A weeklong Sheemad Bhagawat Mahapurana is being held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada since August 2.

Pundit Sitaram Adhikari from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania along with two other local priests in Winnipeg, Ganaga Ram Kafley and Ganapati Gautam, have been reciting and giving the discourse of Bhagavata Purana, according to its organizer, Winnipeg Nepali Community.

The Winnipeg community in a march organized to welcome the main Pundit and local priest (Picture courtesy: Winnipeg Nepali Community)
The Winnipeg community in a march organized to welcome the main Pundit and local priest
(Picture courtesy: Winnipeg Nepali Community)

One of the main organizing committee’s members, Tika Adhikari, informed Bhutan News Service that the seven-day Vedic knowledge-sharing event is scheduled to formally end this afternoon with lighting of 100,000 auspicious lights (fire is lit with tiny strings made of cotton) marking an end of any spiritual discourse of such a large magnitude as per Vedic tradition.

Majority from among resettled Bhutanese and dozens of Nepalese people have been a part of this event each day since its commencement, claimed Adhikari.

He said, the organizers were overwhelmed such a large participation of the community members. According to him, there are around 700 Nepali-speaking people including Bhutanese, Nepalese and India in Winnipeg, Manitaba.

“This function is organized for the first time in Manitoba and in Canada with the hope that its traditions will be followed by many more to come in the future, contributing in the promotion of the principles of multiculturalism that Manitoba and Canada practices systematically,” said Shiva Shrestha, another member of the organizing committee.

About Bhagavata Purana
The Bhagavata Purana, also known as Shrimad Bhagavata Maha Purana, is the most popular and widely circulated of all the Puranas, with its focus on religious devotion to Supreme God. The word ‘Purana’ means ‘narrative of olden times’. The Bhagavata is the most complete and authoritative exposition of Vedic knowledge.

Pancha Kanya march in the front line to grace welcoming of pundit and local priests (Picture courtesy: Winnipeg Nepali Community)
Pancha Kanya march in the front line to grace welcoming of pundit and local priests   (Pic: Winnipeg Nepali Community)

It covers everything from the nature of the self to the origin of the universe, and touches upon all fields of knowledge. It raises and answers fundamental questions like what is life, what is a human being’s role in life, what is meant by cycle of birth and death, what is the relation between God and man, what are ways of propitiating God.The Bhagavata was the first Purana to be translated into a European language, with three French translations made between 1840 and 1857.

From academic point of view, Bhagavata Purana is a narration of a conversation between King Parikshit and Sage Shukadeva. King Parikshit was cursed to die in seven days by a Brahmin, so he decided to spent final days of his life in gaining knowledge about the goal of life relegating his stately duties.

As he prepares for his impending death, Shukadeva, who has been searching for a suitable disciple to whom he might impart his great knowledge, approaches the king and agrees to teach him. Their conversation goes on uninterrupted for seven days, during which the king does not eat, drink or sleep. During this time the sage explains that the ultimate aim of life lies in knowing the supreme absolute truth.

The program will be concluded with lighting of Lakh Battis (one hundred thousand lights)which is a ceremony performed for many different reasons in the Hindu religion including; to change the course of one’s life, to give good fortune, to heal health problems and many other situations. The fire is lit with tiny strings made of cotton (battis) which are soaked in sesame, sunflower or some other type of oil. The fire is lit and the healing begins. It is believed that Lakh Battis can cure problems related to eyes and heals health problems related to body temperature.

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