Dashain celebrated at British army base in Afghanistan

Royal Gurkha Rifles reportedly celebrated the Hindu festival of Dashain near Laskhar Gah in Afghanistan. According to reports, paying their respects and honoring goddess Durga, Gurkhas hoped that their battalion would be blessed. Dashain celebration was a real morale booster and very important to Gurkhas.

There is reportedly a Hindu Temple at the British army base in Lashkar Gah. Said to be only one of its kind, this Hindu Temple of 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles reportedly contained images of Dura, Siva, Laxmi, Ganesh, and Hanuman, and was the venue of daily prayers and other rituals in the mornings. A pandit visited recently and met the Gurkhas, reports suggested.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded Royal Gukha Rifles for keeping the faith and tradition alive at the front lines in Afghanistan.

Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that worship, meditation, spiritual practice and the feeling of divine presence would help the Gurkhas combat the stress which their challenging job brought.

Dashain is the 15-day Hindu festival of Nepal worshipping goddess Durga in various manifestations; includes pujas, offerings, family gatherings, etc.; and is believed to bring good luck.

Lashkar Gah, also known as Bost, in southern Afghanistan on the banks of Helmand River, is the capital of Helmand province. Area is known for Qala-e-Bost, whose decorative arch appears on Afghani currency; Helmand irrigation project; Peace Square; and is home to Bost University and birthplace of singer Ehsan Aman.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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