When faiths meet in humility there will always be love and safety. Please enjoy an article written by George Newcomb from www.FestivalDC.com
By George Newcomb
The Brahma Kumaris Meditation Museum located in Silver Spring, MD presented a special celebration Tuesday evening entitled "Diwali … east meets west. Together we light up the world". The event was held at the Cultural Arts Center of Montgomery County at its Silver Spring campus.
Diwali is an annual celebration of light, the biggest and certainly brightest of all Hindu festivals. It is a celebration of light, love, life and union among people. Festivities take place over four days, separated by different traditions. Remaining constant throughout all four days is the celebration of life … its enjoyment and goodness and hope for the future.
Such was the message at Tuesday's event. A panel of distinguished guests, moderated by Dr. Kanu Kogod, spoke from personal experiences to the significance of light in their spiritual beliefs. They also shared their personal perspectives as to how they view the presence of God in each of their lives.
The panel consisted of Raja Yogini BK Sister Mohini who is President of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization, USA and serves as its regional director for North America. Rabbi David Sheyner, spiritual leader of the Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community of Greater Washington, DC, was also a panelist as well as Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang, professor and chairman of the African Studies Department at Howard University, and Rev. Elizabeth Lerner Maclay, a lifelong Unitarian Universalist.
The audience was also treated to wonderful performances by Neeta Ghandi's Dance School and the Abigail Francisco School of Classical Ballet. Saaswath Kumar, a 3rd grader at Bull Run Elementary School, shared poetry and Vijai Nathan provoked a lot of laughter as a renown Indian-American comedian. The DC native gathers her material from her experiences as an Indian girl in America.
The Mistress of Ceremonies of the evening was Ms. Portia Davidson, who is Workforce Policy Adviser to the Commandant, HQ, US Coast Guard in Washington DC and Project Officer in developing the acclaimed Coast Guard Diversity Strategic Plan and global Diversity Summit.
"Over the years I've come to appreciate the enormous service that the Brahma Kumaris have offered our Nation's Capital and the world," Ms. Davidson told the audience. "This spiritually based movement is rooted in love, kindness, wisdom, and it's safe to say life."
The evening would not have been complete without Sister Jenna, who is Director of the Meditation Museum, sharing her wisdom and compassion as she closed out the ceremony.