Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know 8 CITY VIEWS June 24, 2022 Iconic Niagara Falls Witnesses Yoga Celebrations Under ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ A head of International Day of Yoga, celebrations were held at the iconic Niagara Falls with the support of the Consulate General of India in New York, Buffalo-Niagara Tamil Mandram and the India Association of Buffalo on June 19, 2022. The event took place at the Goat Island of Niagara Falls State Park which directly overlooks the Falls. Around 150 Yoga lovers participated in the event, which was the first International Day of Yoga celebration at the Niagara Falls on the US side. “Honored to be here on International Yoga Day- a worldwide celebration to bring peace to the world,” said Yoga instructor Brian Ball, who has been practicing Yoga for almost fifty years as he led the session. Describing Yoga as a really important practice, the past president of a network of religious communities stated that “Yoga is a gift from India,” adding that the exercises help the mind, body and spirit work altogether. Yoga lovers from across communities joined the event with great enthusiasm and fervour. Members of Buffalo Network of Religious Commu- nities, an organization consisting of various religious communities in the region, too participated in the Yoga celebrations. Their members spoke of their long associa- tion with Yoga and the Buffalo-based Indian community. Members of the Indian community were present at the event in large numbers, who had come along with children. Indian students from the Buffalo area, studying in various institutions of higher education, also partici- pated. Members of the media too were present at the event. The celebrations concluded with plans to make it a standard feature of the Buffalo-Niagara region cultural calendar. June 21 is observed as the International Yoga Day, recognizing the benefits of the ancient Indian practice of Yoga. Moreover, the International Day of Yoga over the years has not only boosted Yoga’s popularity but also expanded its geographical presence by inspiring its adoption in several new territories. Meanwhile, another person who attended the event that took place under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, thanked the consulate in NewYork City to bring people together and practice yoga in a meaningful way. “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” is being celebrated in the country in commemoration of 75 years of indepen- dence of India, and the history of its people, culture and achievements. It’s a celebration of the nation’s collective achievements as a 75-year-old independent country with a legacy of 5000+ years of ancient history. The celebration rests on five pillars outlined by the Prime Minister i.e. Freedom struggle, Ideas at 75, Achievements at 75, Actions at 75 and Resolves at 75 as guiding force for moving forward and Keeping dreams and duties as inspiration. - ANI As part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ International Yoga Day celebrated at Niagara Falls, NY, June 19, 2022. Poster at start of video on International Yoga Day at Niagara Falls, NY, June 19, 2022, as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav initiative of Government of India. Photos:videograb fromTwitter @IndiainNewYork T he first ever B.A.P.S Swaminarayan Research Institute, USA, was inaugurated in Robbinsville, New Jersey, at the site of Swaminarayan Akshard- ham – North America, on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Hundreds of swamis and devotees gathered to partici- pate in a ‘Satsang Dikshā Homātmak Pāth.’ This yagna involved offerings to a sacred fire while selected verses from the Satsang Diksha were recited. The yagna prayed for world peace along with an auspicious beginning for the research institute. Children sang Vedic peace prayers and recited Sanskrit verses. Thousands witnessed the historic ceremony in person and via live telecast across North America and worldwide, a press release from BAPS said. Mahant Swami Maharaj joined the ceremony virtually from Ahmedabad and inaugurated the Institute with the lighting the inaugural lamp (deep –pragatya). Diyas were subsequently lit by those present in New Jersey. Mahant Swami Maharaj then blessed the attendees as well as all the people who remotely joined the live broadcast. “Yogiji Maharaj had envisioned such an institute and was passionate about youths learning and discoursing in Sanskrit. The research institute has fulfilled this vision,” Swami Maharaj is quoted saying in the press release. He blessed the students, and added, “In the spirit of “Vasud- haiva Kutumbakam,” meaning the world is one family; let’s reach out to extend the circle of global harmony.” The event took place in the presence of more than 115 representatives from over 50 Hindu Mandirs and organi- zations, guests and scholars, BAPS said. Mahamahopadhyaya Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami came from India to preside over the inauguration. He is con- sidered one of the world’s leading scholars on Hindu phi- losophy and Sanskrit and the author of the commentary and philosophical texts, the Swaminarayan-Bhashyam and the Swaminarayan-Siddhanta-Sudha. At the June 18 event, he delivered the inaugural lecture of the institute and reinforced messages of global harmony, public ser- vice and educational excellence. The ‘BAPS Swaminarayan Research Institute’ is the first such center of learning and research of Indian languages and Hindu scriptures in the Swaminarayan tradition to open in the United States. “The impetus for the institute in Robbinsville has been a growing interest frommembers of the community to learn Sanskrit and gain a deeper understanding of Hindu scriptures,” the press release said. By a StaffWriter First U.S.-Based B.A.P.S Swaminarayan Research Institute Inaugurated In New Jersey Photos:courtesyBAPS Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha inaugurates the B.A.P.S Swaminarayan Research Institute via live webcast from India by lighting the inaugural lamp (deep-pragatya) on June 18, 2022. Renowned scholar of Hindu philosophy and Sanskrit Mahamahopadhyay Bhadreshdas Swami, addressing the inaugural assembly June 18, 2022, for the B.A.P.S Swaminarayan Research Institute USA in Robbinsville, N.J.