ALTARE, ITALY, august 31,2014 (La Stampa–translated from Italian): Over two thousand Hindu devotees and a large number of dignitaries came to celebrate the annual festival of Ganesha Caturthi at the Gitananda Ashram. The event was a great success. As has been a tradition for many years now, the Ashram hosted a heartfelt celebration dedicated to the the birthday of the God Ganesh, who is most loved by the Hindu faithful. The day was divided into two parts, with an early morning visit to the temple dedicated to prayers and rituals, and the later part dedicated to speeches by the important personalities present, including the Consul General of India, who arrived from Milan, and the Ambassador of India to Italy, who came specially from Rome. The closing event was the procession with the statue of the God.
“Our celebration of Ganesha Caturthi was based on prayer for peace in the world – explained the leaders of the Ashram – for which we asked for peace for everyone, without distinction of any kind. And we hope that our request will be heard.” Devotees came from all over the north of Italy, and also from some neighboring European countries. The Ashram was founded in 1984 (this year celebrated thirty years of work) as a place of prayer and study of the Hindu tradition by Yogasri Swami Yogananda Giri.