Members of the Hindu Temple Society of New Mexico were seen marching around North Domingo Baca Park on Saturday, Oct. 15, in remembrance of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and to celebrate his message of nonviolence.
Gandhi was born Oct. 2, 1869, and is known around the world for using nonviolent resistance to stand up to British colonialism. The United Nations declared Oct. 2 The International Day of Non-Violence in a June 15, 2007, resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly.
The resolution reads, in part, “that nonviolence, tolerance, full respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, democracy, development, mutual understanding and respect for diversity are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.”
The resolution invites all member states to commemorate the day “in an appropriate manner and to disseminate the message of nonviolence, including through education and public awareness.”
“We are here for nonviolence,” one of the HTSNM members said while walking around the west side of the park. Other members could be seen singing and walking to music while holding signs celebrating nonviolence. One sign had a quote from Gandhi, which reads, “Non-violence is a weapon of the strong.”
The United Nations website also quotes Gandhi as saying:
“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”
“Non-violence and truth are inseparable and presuppose one another.”
“We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.”
According to the HTSNM website, a walkathon and food fest was scheduled for Saturday. Other regular events on the temple’s website include chanting, yoga and puja – a form of Hindu prayer in which devotees offer light, flowers, water or food to the divine. Diwali, a festival of lights celebrated throughout India, is also listed on the Temple’s event calendar. Diwali takes place Oct. 24, 2022.
The website says the mission of HTSM is “to foster Hindu culture, values and provide a forum for religious services, discourses and spiritual activities.” For more information or questions, visit htsnm.org or call 505-481-6666.