Chinmaya Balavihar Houston Celebrates its Class of 2018


Priest Sri Ganesh Satyanarayana and Brni. Shweta Chaitanya leading the graduates to Chinmaya Smriti Photos: Jayesh Mistry

By Satchitananda

 HOUSTON: The most satisfying time is when one’s action fructifies. When the fruit is laden with innumerable seeds of future greatness, happiness becomes manifold. Each year, Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH) witnesses such an event during the graduation ceremony of its Balavihar 12th graders. On Sunday, June 3rd, the Chinmaya family gathered to celebrate the Bala Vihar graduation ceremony of its Class of 2018.

As the graduates stood at the threshold of their collegiate learning, the event marked the successful completion of their secular school education along with the simultaneous spiritual foundation through Bala Vihar.  Decades ago, the visionary Pujya Gurudeva Swami Chinmayananda founded the Bala Vihar as a potent spiritual empowerment program for children (pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade) in a world that had only secular education devoid of the Vedic wisdom.

The day began with a photo session at the feet of Gurudev’s pratima to capture the memories of the graduates decked in gorgeous, vibrant, traditional attire with their Bala Vihar Acharyas. Then, as the ceremony began, Brni. Shweta Chaitanya led the students in a procession to the Saumyakasi Sivalaya. Sri Ganesh Satyanarayana, the temple priest, performed a puja to invoke God’s Grace in the young students’ future and and led them back to Chinmaya Smriti with Vedic chants. The students prayed at the lotus feet of Gurudev with their Acharyas Gaurang and Darshana Nanavaty before returning to the Smriti Hall.

The atmosphere was replete with gratitude, the joy of achievement, spiritual quietude, excitement and hopes. For many students, their 14-year journey at Bala Vihar was layered with wondrous teachings from the most ancient Hindu civilization through the multitude of beloved teacher volunteers, who were guided by the untiring love and direction of Acharya Darshana Nanavaty.

Class of 2018 with Acharyas Gaurang and Darshana Nanavaty and Balavihar teachers Photos: Jayesh Mistry

Class of 2018 with Acharyas Gaurang and Darshana Nanavaty and Balavihar teachers

 Pujya Gaurang Uncle addressed the gathering with an amazing, insightful discourse based on the Shikshavalli – the ancient Commencement address from the Taittiriya Upanishad. He repeatedly emphasized with love the importance of Svadhyaya – Study of the Self through Scriptures. He deftly weaved the Vedic wisdom with its current relevance and application. He urged the graduates to live a life of exemplary values rooted in Sanatana Dharma.

The memorable discourse was followed by lighting of the ceremonial lamps by the Acharyas. Every graduate was given a special introduction as each came up on the stage and lit a lamp to signify the knowledge received and the new beginnings. Proceeding to get blessings from the Acharyas, each also received a special memento with an engraved message of Gurudev’s wisdom. The academic achievements of the graduates and their future aspirations were awe inspiring, especially how CMH has influenced their lives through slokathons, festivals, volunteering, camps, teachers and Acharyas.

As the event came to an end, students eagerly approached their teachers and other elders for their blessings.  As this spiritual village of CMH, proud of its decades of powerful, positive impact, wishes the graduating class and then gets ready for another academic year, one could merely bow and be thankful for the vision of Pujya Gurudev, who continues to shape thousands of lives through his words, institutions, and his blessings. Tradition steeped in wisdom, diffused with fun is the norm at

Chinmaya Mission Houston, located at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353, Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX-77498. For more information, visit or call Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059.