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Hindu festivals: A time for intercession

INDIA (BP)–Hindu festivals are “full of celebration, music, food, dancing,” Southern Baptist worker Gene Yaussy reports.

“Many times at the end of these festivals, the area resembles the state fairgrounds once all the rides have gone. Trash litters the ground and remnants of a once great occasion stand lifeless as all the people have gone home,” Yaussy, who is stationed in southern Asia, notes.

“It is at this time that I am asking you to pray specifically for the people who have enjoyed many days of festivity and are now returning to normal life,” Yaussy urges, directing his words to Southern Baptists and other evangelicals who yearn for the Gospel to spread across India.

The revelers “are now facing the true emptiness of their faith as these many days of celebration have ended without any response from their gods.”

Yaussy says many Hindus across southern Asia “are feeling the same emptiness that I felt in those days before my heart was awakened to the truth of the Gospel. I am sure you can remember that emptiness as well. Can you take some time today and during the next weeks to pray specifically for the many empty Hindu hearts that need to receive life from the Spirit of God?”

October is a month full of such festivals:

Oct. 2 –- Gandhi Jayanti: Oct. 2 is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), India’s “Father of the Nation.”

Oct. 3 –- Lakshmi Puja: Lakshmi is the household goddess of most Hindu families, and a favorite of women.

Oct. 4 –- Valmiki Jayanti: Maharshi Valmiki, the author of the great Indian epic Ramayana, was a Hindu sage who lived around the beginning of the first millennium B.C.

Oct. 8 –- Karwa Chauth: Karwa Chauth is a ritual of fasting observed by married Hindu women seeking the longevity, well-being and prosperity of their husbands.

Oct. 17 -– Diwali: Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest of all Hindu festivals. It’s the festival of lights that’s marked by four days of celebration. Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition.

Oct. 17 –- Kali Puja: Kali is represented with perhaps the fiercest features amongst all the world’s deities.

Oct. 19 –- Bhai Dooj / Bhai Phota / Bhav-Bij: This ritual is performed by the sister who religiously fasts until she applies a mark on her brother’s forehead, offers him sweets and gifts and prays for his long and healthy life.
*Names changed. Reported by staff in southern Asia. To learn more about Hindu festivals in India, visit www.go2southasia.org/l_festival_hindu.html. For a tract in English, Hindi, Bengali and French to print and share with Hindu friends, go to www.go2southasia.org/printables.html.

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