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Chyksgiving Celebrates True Friendship

Photo: Yuthika Gundamaraju

Photo: Yuthika Gundamaraju

By Khushboo Kamnani

HOUSTON: On the evening of November 22, 2017, the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) group in Houston rejoiced at the annual event of Chyksgiving. Traditionally, Chyksgiving involves discussions based on verses from texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and Sadhana Panchakam. However, to make this year unique, CHYK’s very own Brahmacarini Shweta Chaitanya and Chinmaya Houston’s Acarya, Pujya Gaurang Uncle, joined the gathering to make the evening memorable and special for all.

Brahmacarini Shwetaji elevated the evening by explaining the true essence of friendship, an aspect that everyone in life has to be thankful for. She emphasized the three types of friendship one can have: the first type that is derived from being in proximity to someone; the second that stems from sharing similar interests as another person; and, the third type in which a Chyk can totally identify himself or herself with another person. The Brahmacarini elaborated on the three categories with striking examples. Siblings were an example of the first category; can growing up with a brother or sister mean that he or she is your best friend? Not necessarily. There is no guarantee that the sibling will behave as a friend later in life or be one to count on just because of growing up in a shared space. The second category focused on being friends with someone who came with an entourage. Two friends in the group may share a special bond, but one invariably finds nothing else in common with the rest of the group.

After reflecting upon those two common categories, the Chyks recognized that few were the true friends in their virtual and real lives. Brahmacarini Shwetaji then beautifully spelled out the qualities of a third category of selfless friendship from the viewpoint of sacrifice and love. Could there be such a friend who would love and uplift you no matter what the circumstances? Yes, that friend is no other than Ishvara. Shwetaji gave an example of Sudama’s unweathering devotion and love to Sri Krishna Bhagavan. Sudamaji was Sri Krishna’s dear friend during their years of studies at Sandeepany ashram. Eventually, they parted ways and led their own lives. After many years of financial hardship, coaxed by his wife, Sudamaji undertakes a journey to Dwaraka to seek not just the help of Sri Krishna Bhagavan, but truly more to share his great love for the friend he revered all along. When Sudamaji arrived at his palace, Bhagavan becomes so overcome with emotion at the sight of his dearest friend that the Lord Himself does a Pada Puja of Sudamaji with his own tears. Shri Krishna Bhagavan then proceeded to bless Sudamaji with all that the latter needed. Such is the result of love and devotion to everyone’s best friend, Ishvara.

    After that satsang which was great food for thought, the Chyks feast enjoyed a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal made with love and friendship. Pujya Gaurang Uncle joined to meet all the Chyks and encourage their progress. As the evening concluded with gurudakshina offered to Chinmaya Guru Parampara, the Chyks carried home the special message of God as their best friend.

For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit www.chinmayahouston.org or call Jay Deshmukh 832-541-0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233

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