Namaste , Vanakam King of Amandebele Mayor of Nongoma , Cllr Mwcwango Mayor of Ulundi, Cllr Ntshangase Deputy Mayor of Zululand District Municipality, Cllr Kunene.

Sivananda world peace foundation President , Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka Zulu It gives me great pleasure to address you on this most glorious occasion of Diwali and am delighted that Mr Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka Zulu have undertaken to highlight Diwali, the Festival of lights which is celebrated by all hindus through the Sivananda World Peace Foundation. You all already know, Diwali means “a row of lights”. 

Once again, Todays coming together as a nation is very historic in the republic of South Africa as we celebrate Diwali in the Royal palace. I want to wish a Happy Diwali to all of you who are celebrating the festival of lights here in my Kingdom of KwaZulu and around the world.  For Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, lighting the lamp—the diya—is a chance to remember, even in the midst of darkness, that light will ultimately prevail.  Knowledge will defeat ignorance, and compassion will triumph over despair.  Diwali is also a reminder that we must each do our part to achieve that victory, by dedicating ourselves to service to others. 

 If we affirm our commitments to one another and strive to lift each other up, then together, we will continue moving closer to that brighter future we all seek. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity. It instills charity in the hearts of people. Everyone buys new clothes for the family. In a happy mood of great rejoicing, people move about freely, mixing with one another without any reserve, all enmity being forgotten. They embrace one another with love. Deepavali is a great unifying force. 

Those with a keen inner spiritual ear will clearly hear the voice of the sages, “O children of God, unite, and love all.” The holy vibrations produced by the greetings of love fill the atmosphere, and are powerful enough to bring about a change of heart in every man and woman in the world. The concept of unity in diversity must be highly practiced by all communities. Communities must flourish and aim towards unity as one nation. “Our Peace must be based on the understanding of God” There is not a blade of grass in which God is not. Remember that God is love and love is God, and where love is, there God is. 

The simple way of Lord Jesus Christ – to love thy neighbour as thyself;  The compassionate way of Buddha – to respect all life and to be kind and merciful, The simple yet practical teachings of Swami Sivananda – Serve, Love, Give, Meditate, Realise, Be good and Do good and to see God in all names and forms. The concept of unity in diversity is a strong principle which is being promoted amongst our people. Our multicultural and multi-religious community must flourish and aim towards unity as one nation. Living in a diverse rainbow nation, with many religions, cultures and rituals, it is imperative that we learn to respect others and their beliefs. We must consider the wide world as our home and all people in it as our brothers and sisters. We have many challenges in society. A week ago, I together with the Royal family embarked on my educational road show to encourage our learners in schools. Education is the backbone of our society. • Fight against crime: We should encourage our communities to work with the police in fighting crime. It is sad to see women being embroiled in criminal activities. 

This is both disgraceful and shameful. 

•Reconciliation: We should pursue reconciliation initiatives. In our democratic order, everyone has a right to belong to political parties of their choice. I trust that izinduna, amakhosi and religious leaders will preach the spirit of tolerance and reconciliation. 

•We need to ensure food security in our land. 

•Nature Conservation/Protect our wild life and endangered species.

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