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The Hindu Festival of Chariots

posted Sep 23, 2018, 1:46 PM by Kapri Koflanovich
Yesterday I attended the Hindu Festival of Chariots in Philadelphia which was hosted by ISKON Temple. I have been raised Catholic my entire life.

You may be surprised to find that I thoroughly enjoyed this festival and the company of the other people attending. It was a day of brilliant chariots in a parade, bright and beautiful dresses and jewels, intricate henna, and great food. I even participated in a meditation session with counter beads which strangely reminded me of praying the rosary in church. The idea behind the festival is to bring their god to the streets to see the people because not many people are able to come to temples to see the gods. While I may be Catholic, I’ve always had an open mind. My basic belief is that love is more important than hate, there’s always room for a little more kindness in the world, and there is some form of greater power watching over us all. My religion is comprised of various details and specifics but the important fact is that they are what I believe; I’m very aware that there are other religions out there and it’s always been intriguing to see the similarities and differences between them all. I joined the RE265 Inside Hinduism class this semester to gain a better insight to one of the world’s oldest religions...and to get the GE/GR credits as required by Arcadia. I absolutely love the class so far and one of our class requirements is doing field studies in Hindu temples and Hindu activities.

I’ve found that the Hindu belief is based around multiple gods, unlike Catholicism’s belief in one God. Hinduism strongly encourages prayer because in their eyes, anyone can win the favor of the gods if you only ask. But, the most important thing I’ve discovered is that no matter what religion you are or what god you believe in, these people welcome you. The only thing they care about is that you accept the truth of love and have a kindness in your heart towards yourself and others. I will always be a Catholic, but I think that it’s a lesson we should all keep in mind. No matter where you come from or what you were raised to believe, we’re all on this earth together and the best way to get the most out of this life is to spread a bit of love.