Lahore, Oct 26 : The Hindu community here celebrated the birthday of Guru Balmiki (a Hindu scholar, saint and writer of Ramayana).
A large number of Hindus from across the city celebrated the event at Krishna Mandir on Ravi Road.
However, smaller events also took place at Balmiki Mandir Nila Gumbad and Balmiki Mandir inside Taxali Gate.
The ceremony started with prayers. Worshipers performed their religious rites Kirtan and Bhajan. Pundit Bhagat Lal Khokhar gave Arti to the participants. Parsad and langar (charity meal) were also distributed among the participants.
In the end a red colour flag was hoisted and special prayers were held for the country’s solidarity.
Pundit Lal Khokhar while narrating the history of Swami Balmiki said Swami was a re-incarnation of Jagat Guru.
He said Swami was born around 60,000 years before Sri Ram Chander (a Hindu god).
Pundit Lal Khokhar Guru Wasdat was Ram’s Guru and Guru Bardawaj was Wasdat’s Guru and Swami was Bardawaj’s Guru.
“According to Hinduism, water is Swami’s father and Bhanwar is Swami’s mother,” the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.
Commenting on the problems faced by Hindus in Pakistan, he said nine years ago Hindus demanded the government to provide a Shamshan Bhoomi (a place to cremate bodies) and a separate colony for one hundred Hindu families, but to no avail.
Pundit Khokhar went on to say that before the Babri Masjid’s demolition, three marble statues of Guru Balmiki, Krishan and Shiva were in the Balmiki Mandir. But after the demolition incident people smashed the statues. He said now only pictures were being used, as there were no artists for crafting new statues of gods and goddesses.
Pointing out that people in India staged rallies with statues and celebrated the birthday, Pakistan Balmiki Sabha Dr Manoher Chand secretary general said in Pakistan, Hindus were restricted to celebrating their events and festivals indoors.
He said ‘influential squatters’ had occupied temples, and appealed to the authorities concerned for vacating such temples. (ANI)