Balavihar Class of 2019 Graduates at Chinmaya Prabha


The 36 graduating seniors of the Class of 2019 of Bal Vihar gathered for a group photo with their teaches and mentors. Photo by: Jayesh Mistry.

HOUSTON: The cheerful and beautiful morning of May 27th heralded the graduation of 36 Bala Vihar seniors of the Class of 2019 who convened with joy at Chinmaya Smrti Hall with their families and friends, arrayed in resplendent traditional attires and bright colors.

The Graduation day started in an auspicious manner in Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya with the priest Sri Ganeshji conducting a puja for the well-being of the youngsters ready to make the big leap in their lives from high school to university for postsecondary education. After the new graduates completed the puja, Brni.

Shweta Chaitanya led the students to Swami Chinmayananda’s Pratima where they offered flowers at the lotus feet of Pujya Gurudev. In this offering, the students were led by the respected Pujya Acharyas of CMH, Sri Gaurang Nanavaty and Smt. Darshana Nanavaty. As the students entered the Smrti Hall with folded palms, many parents in the assembled audience watched misty-eyed; this was the big day to honor the culmination of hard work and dedication that pointed to bright future prospects!

Above all, for the BalaVihar class of 2019, this was a day of gratitude for the enriching spiritual education received in BalaVihar systematically taught from Pre-K to the 12th grade. Such a valuable cultural exposure was made possible with the blessings of Pujya Gurudev, the loving guidance of the Acharyas, and the commitment of BalaVihar teachers along with the support of all CMH volunteers.

The Emcee Smt. Manasa Kethireddipalli welcomed the gathering and invited Pujya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty to deliver the Convocation address to the students. Following the revered Hindu tradition from ancient Vedic times, Gaurang Uncle as he is lovingly known in the Chinmaya family, gave a befitting discourse based on Taittiriya Upanishad. In this sacred Vedic treatise, the preceptor gives clear instructions to the aspirants on character-building and imparts to them rules of right conduct and right living.

Following the convocation address, the Acharyas ascended the stage accompanied by students Srijith Kambala and Vaishnavi Gade, for the ceremonial lighting of the lamp to symbolize the celebration of knowledge.

Then, Smt. Leena Sawant did the honors of introducing the Class of 2019 as each student bowed, offered a lamp at the altar of Pujya Gurudev, and received the Graduation trophy from the Acharyas. The presentation of the graduating class included highlights about their favorite quotes and activities in Chinmaya Mission as well as their future education plans.

Keeping with the ancient Hindu tradition of Guru Dakshina, a token of deep gratitude on the completion of spiritual education received from the revered Guru, students Rishi Kommalapati and Shruti Machiraju offered Guru Dakshina to the Acharyas on behalf of the Class of 2019. The graduates then lined up in front of the assembled guests while Smt. Sucheta Karandikar sang ‘Abhinandanam’ to congratulate them. The gathering joined Rohith Narra in reciting the Chinmaya Pledge.

With joy and humility, the new graduates served a sumptuous lunch to teachers, sevaks, and guests who attended this memorable ceremony. Amidst much cheer, hugs, and congratulations all round, the day drew to a beautiful close.

For more information about Chinmaya Mission Houston, Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya and its activities visit, or call temple 281 568 1690 or Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233