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From Non-Universal Religion to the Universal Dharma. A Celebration of 26 Successful Years of Arya Samaj of Greater Houston

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By Dr. Harish Chandra

HOUSTON: Arya Samaj Greater Houston (ASGH) celebrated its 26th Anniversary Sunday, 9th April 2017. It began with hoisting of the saffron flag symbolizing OM – the supreme lighthouse of knowledge and peace for the entire humanity. Durga Agrawal, leading industrialist, philanthropist and educationist was at the flag mast with Dr Devbala Ramanathan, MD, FACOG, the chief guest speaker from New York, and our own Dev Mahajan. After a brief havan, Dr. Devabala reminded the audience to see the larger world outside and treat it as the Karma-Bhumi, taking inspiration from the slogan of Arya Samaj – Krinvanto VishvamAryam – Make the Entire World Noble, as implored in RigVeda.  As she thundered like a lioness, it remarkably reminded of the event exactly 150 years ago, when Maharshi Dayanand roared like a lion in the Haridwar Kumbh fair to enlighten the masses with the true message of the Vedas to remove the prevailing darkness of religious rituals that selfish hypocrites had invented to exploit the gullible masses.  

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A brief presentation on the accomplishments of ASGH was given by Dr. Bhushan Verma in which he showed the fascinating journey of this institution from a humble beginning in 1991 to the present.  Major milestones were the addition of DAV Sanskriti & Montessori schools, a DAV library & a Yagyashala.  Besides the weekly Satsang, ASGH offers classes for Yoga, meditation, Sanskrit & Vedic scriptures, as well as an impressive outreach program.  Numerous charitable projects have been undertaken by ASGH to help the underprivileged in India & the US.

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After that, the children of the DAV Montessori and Sanskriti Schools took the onerous task of delivering the spiritual message via Vedic recitations, songs and dance. It took everyone by surprise how little children of DAVMS learn Hindi and so many other skills beyond their regular curriculum. Not to be left behind, there was a great sense of awe about the children of the DAVSS, the Sunday School – how they pick up so much in mere two hours a week. The grand finale was a befitting tribute to Maharshi Dayanand and his mission of Arya Samaj, the chorus song – Suraj ban jisne door kiya ghor andhera, vah Dev Dayanand hai mera! As children sang in unison, the adults in audience fought to stop their tears, truly mesmerized. The event ended with Rishi Langar consisting of delicacies from different parts of India.

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