Bala Vihar Houston Pledges, “Unto Him Our Best”

Chinmaya mission1in

An enthusiastic team of more than 70 Chinmaya Mission Balavihar teachers. Photo: Jayesh Mistry

By Padmashree Rao

HOUSTON: They said it with words and music. They showed it with symbols. Spoken or symbolic, the essence was that of pure love. With happy faces, bright colors, beautiful flowers, glowing lamps, a poetic pledge, and a spirited presentation, the members of Chinmaya Mission Houston welcomed another new year of Bala Vihar on Sep.13. It was a day for a memorable celebration – the birth centenary of an ageless spiritual Master, Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda.

Shobha Ravishankar, a lead teacher of Bala Vihar, welcomed all Bala Vihar families. She spoke of a rare gift that could fill our hearts even when opened a hundred years after it first came wrapped! It was a precious gift that still held the key to timeless happiness. When children and adults saw the majestic image of Gurudev emerge on the PowerPoint presentation, the thrill felt was unmistakable. Just seeing the many images of Gurudev during his quest to bring true happiness to all could capture the imagination of both young and old and bring alive the wonder of his unconditional love. Gurudev’s magic of touching hearts revealed that the path to happiness is always paved with the universal spirit of caring and giving.

It is human instinct to reciprocate love that has no strings attached. So, when it was time for all the Bala Vihar children, their teachers, and their families to celebrate the love that Gurudev has personified, they pledged to give their best. Echoing the worldwide motto of the Chinmaya Birth Centenary, “Unto Him Our Best,” everyone recited the lines of a poem written by Uma Aggarwal, a Bala Vihar teacher. Each Bala Vihar child held close a symbol of a hand that had the words, “Unto Him My Best.” Then, the entire congregation followed Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty and Acarya Darshana Nanavaty to seek the blessings of Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda,  before beginning studies for this year.

In his opening pravacana, Acarya Gaurang Uncle talked about our universal quest for happiness. With examples drawn from many facets of life, the Acarya pointed out how our search has the keywords of “endless wanting,” which seems to drone on in the background of every action of ours.  Calling for a careful introspection on what really happens in this pursuit of happiness, he set the background for the upcoming studies that the adults will undertake as their children attend Bala Vihar.

So, in this Chinmaya centenary year, the best has been promised to Gurudev with grateful love for the spiritual secret he shared in his divine mission. It has been promised in the presence of the Lord of Saumyakasi. In Chinmaya Prabha Houston, the dedicated resolve was easily seen on the opening day – in every detail that was offered with such love and care by the entire team of Chinmaya Mission Houston.

It was also a day for one more celebration – Chinmaya family celebrated a special birthday of their beloved Acarya Darshana Nanavaty, who is the guiding force for Bala Vihar Houston.  It was significant for Bala Vihar teachers and Chinmaya family to welcome Darshanaauntie to Chinmaya Smrti and to wish her all the best with flowers and singing of the Chinmaya birthday song.

For more information about Chinmaya Mission Houston, please visit or contact Bharati Sutaria at 281-933-0233.