Hindu American Community Holds Grand Car Rally in Greater Boston to Celebrate Ram Mandir Inauguration

Featured & Cover  Hindu American Community Holds Grand Car Rally in Greater Boston to Celebrate Ram Mandir Inauguration

Over the weekend, Greater Boston witnessed a spectacular display of unity and celebration as the Hindu American Community organized one of the largest car rallies in the region. With an impressive turnout of over 250 cars and more than 500 attendees, the rally covered a total distance of 70+ miles, making stops at five prominent temples along the route. This event, which took place in frigid temperatures of 16 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 10 Celsius), stands out as one of the longest car rallies in the United States, as affirmed by the organizers.

The participants, undeterred by the chilly weather and biting winds, embarked on the rally to mark the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama. The rally commenced at 7:30 AM following a Puja ceremony at the Sri Chinmaya Maruti Mandir in Andover, Massachusetts, and continued on to include stops at the ISSO Swaminarayan Mandir in Lowell, Shri Radha Damodar Mandir in Shrewsbury, Sri Radha Krishna Mandir in Northborough, and concluded at the Sri Lakshmi Temple in Ashland.

Devotees from various other mandirs, including BAPS in Lowell, Satsang in Woburn, Dwarkamai Temple in Billerica, Sarv Dev Mandir in Oxford, and Sri Raghavendra Swami Matha, Shri Gita Mandir in Shrewsbury, joined the main rally at different stopping points, contributing to the overall enthusiasm of the participants.

During each stop, young representatives from the rally extended invitations to the temples to partake in the festivities related to the inauguration of the Ram Mandir. Temples and Hindu Americans were encouraged to perform puja-archana to the temple deity, light five diyas in celebration of Diwali, engage in kirtan-bhajan, recite the Hanuman Chalisa, ring bells, and watch the online broadcast of the Pran Pratishta (consecration) at the newly constructed Ram Mandir in Ayodhya at 12:30 PM IST on January 22nd, 2024.

The youths also shared brief statements about the divine qualities of Bhagwan Ram, emphasizing virtues such as courage, sacrifice, justice, compassion, ideal behavior, and good governance (Ram Rajya). They highlighted how the exemplary life of Lord Rama has influenced the culture in numerous Southeast Asian countries. As a gesture of goodwill, the participants carried small gift packages containing Jap Malas, the Hanuman Chalisa, and a token cash offering. The temples warmly received them, extending welcomes with kirtan, tilak, and Prasad.

The participating temples reciprocated the rally participants’ warmth with open hearts and lively festivities. At ISSO, Vivek Swami, the resident, blessed the participants and spoke about the importance of incorporating the core qualities of Shree Ram into one’s life. The India Heritage Foundation in Shrewsbury presented all rally participants with a copy of the Gita and other relevant books. Additionally, at the Sri Lakshmi Temple, everyone received a Jap Mala to take home for their Japa of “Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram.”

The cars that formed the caravan were adorned with vibrant orange flags and signs, proudly displaying the message “Jai Shri Ram,” which translates to “victory to the virtues” as Lord Ram is considered a symbol of virtues. The cooperation and warm welcome from the police departments in the four towns through which the rally passed reflected the excellent reputation the Indian community holds with law enforcement authorities.

This grand rally, a celebration of unity and devotion, was made possible through the collaborative efforts of volunteers from various dharmic organizations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), and numerous Hindu temples.

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