Bay Area, CA hosts Mehfil-e- Diwali, A Musical Night to Remember
News and Update / October 22, 2017
On Oct 7, 2017 at Chandni restaurant in Newark, California a group of devotees rushed around in hushed tones as each tried to add the finishing touches to what would be the venue for Mehfil-e-Diwali.
As the clock turned six, guests started pouring in and the volunteers sneaked away in the nick of time to change into their best evening dresses and suits. The candles and flowers added a very warm touch to the entire atmosphere and the whole room glowed like a newly-wed bride ready for her first Diwali.
Between appetizers and drinks, the guests started mingling amongst themselves and quickly realized they were around friends and family as everyone seemed to know each other. This was a beautiful testament to the tight knit Indian community of Bay Area that came out in support of the fundraiser dinner held to raise awareness and funds for the upcoming Radha Krishna Temple of Bay Area.
The night started off with an auspicious Ganesh Vandana as our respected guest of honor and the guiding force behind our mission, H.H Swami Mukundananda lit the lamp. This was followed by mesmerizing dance performances by Kriyaa Dance Academy, and artistically gifted devotees.
The best part of the evening however was a blessed keynote address by Swamiji. There was pin drop silence as Swamiji took the stage. Engulfed in the divine vibrations of his speech, the audience was inspired and enthralled as Swamiji continued his motivating talk. He reminded the attendees of the benefits and necessity of a temple in a community and also touched upon the importance of charity. Swamiji’s words inspired many to open their hearts and wallets for this divine cause of building a permanent center for spirituality, yoga, meditation, culture, arts, and Vedic philosophy in the Bay Area.
A delicious dinner was enjoyed by all as devotees organized and enacted a hilarious comedy skit – The Chappal Sharma show. Through the medium of musical comedy, the volunteers entertained the crowd with light-hearted humor.
This set the stage for the night to take a melodious turn when the famous Kala Ratna awarded singer Sharad Gupta entered the room. As he poured his heart out, patiently waiting ghazal aficionados found themselves immersed in the soul stirring music. Sharad Gupta is a very humble and accommodating artist, who put on a beautiful show with his silken voice. His inner devotion and desire to serve painted the night with emotion and longing. Later, in an interview, he admitted that he was very inspired by the young devotees and completely enraptured by Swamiji’s speech.
The City Council Member of Saratoga, Mr. Rishi Kumar stopped by to wish JKYog and Swamji his best wishes and support in building the Radha Krishna Temple of Bay Area. During the whole evening, guests had a gala time as they listened to music, got henna on their hands in celebration of Karva Chauth, and took advantage of the opportunity to donate their time and money to such a noble cause.
Many people participated in the silent auction where they could bid on their favorite devotional painting and deities. The paintings were hand drawn by a local devotee who wanted to express her service in a creative and devotional manner. At the end of the night all of the devotees and guests faces were lit with hope and determination and the true essence of Diwali was experienced by everyone present. We are eternally thankful to Swamiji for entrusting the Bay Area with such a divine and humbling seva.