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Happy Deepavali! Remembering the celebration at Shegaon

As I sit at home, typing this, the night resounds with the bursting of firecrackers. All around me are brightly lit windows, gaily decorated with string lights. In the midst of this Diwali Celebration, my thoughts go back to last year, when, on this very festival, I was surrounded not by bright lights and sound, but by the soft glow of oil lamps galore....

What made it interesting, were these people, who climbed to the very tops of buildings, to light lamps, and placed small glass jars around them, to make sure they weren't disturbed by the wind....

We were at Shegaon, in Maharashtra, about 300 Km from Nagpur...

Shegaon is the final resting place of Shri Gajanan Maharaj, and his temple here draws pilgrims from across the state. 

However, more interesting than the temple is the concept of Seva, or service, where pilgrims come to work, to help out their fellow pilgrims. The place runs with a small group of dedicated individuals, aided by this massive voluntary task force. 

It is among the cleanest of temples, nay, the cleanest of towns I have ever visited, and also the most affordable, since everything is subsidized by the Gajanan Maharaj Sanstha. 

Prepared as we were, for the cleanliness, which I had heard of, this simple way of celebrating Diwali came as a pleasant surprise. 

I watched these people light these lamps, and then maintain them, almost all night long. What better way to celebrate the festival of lights!!!

Have a Happy Deepavali, everyone!!!! 


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