Chinmaya Prabha Sparkles on Dipavali


By Padmashree Rao

HOUSTON: The Hindu festival of lights, Dipavali, is as much a time of joyful celebration, family gathering, and social cheer, as it is a time for reflection, prayers, and deep gratitude. And, such a happily auspicious blend marked Dipavali 2016 in Chinmaya Prabha Houston when almost 800 families congregated on October 30th to brighten the surroundings with loving wishes, heartfelt prayers, and deep gratitude.

The festive spirit unfolded beautifully from weeks before, when hundreds of volunteers from each of the many teams united to usher in that cherished Dipavali glow in a land so far away from Mother India. With the transforming magic of their seva, Chinmaya Prabha wore a more glorious look – the decorative lamps and colorful rangolis lit up the premises with bright, happy hues; the flowers and exquisite decorations that adorned the beautiful deities in both Saumyakasi Sivalaya and the special altar in Chinmaya Smriti captured all eyes and hearts. The fragrance of an auspicious festival overpowered other feelings of drudgery. The crisp autumn air almost shone with the warm enthusiasm that enveloped all – the young and the old – unfolding the great excitement of the communal Dipavali celebration.



Against such a backdrop of Dipavali 2016, it was a sight to behold when many rows of families sat together to perform the Laksmi Ashtottara-sata nama puja and Sri  Visnu-sahasranama Puja to invoke the prosperity of good values and prostrate to the Omniscient Supreme One beyond all names and forms. Before Sri Ganeshji, the priest of Saumyakasi Sivalaya, began conducting the puja, Acarya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty shared his Dipavali message for this year. He asked all to reflect on ways to overcome the darkness of ignorance; if ignorance did not vanish in the light of true Knowledge, Dipavali would remain just an external celebration every year.  True happiness, as symbolized by Lord Rama, can only reign and rule in Ayodhya, where hearts were undivided by pettiness. Thus, Sri Acarya turned everyone’s attention to the true significance of lighting our lives with all goodness. He motivated every spiritual aspirant to be alert enough to diligently replace any dark negative feeling with a positive attitude of compassionate understanding that brightened not just individual lives, but the whole world. Conveying his Dipavali greetings and New Year wishes to everyone, Acarya Gaurangbhai also pointed out how the ever-shining Light of Knowledge is a priceless gift from the glorious Guru Parampara. He offered his prostrations to the Chinmaya Guru Parampara and said that the Guru Dakshina tradition at Chinmaya Prabha is an offering of gratitude to not just the Acaryas of Houston, but the entire Chinmaya tradition of learning.

After his address, the huge Chinmaya family of Houston performed the Dipavali puja with ardent harmonious devotion. At the conclusion of the puja, when the rows of hundreds of families offered their aratis and walked to offer their pranams to both God and the Guru Parampara, the true spirit of Dipavali came to Light! Hari Om!

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