Diwali and Govardhan Puja at ISKCON of Houston


HOUSTON: ISKCON of Houston is celebrating two wonderful festivals in November! Diwali or the festival of lights falls on Wednesday, November 11 and New Year – Govardhan Puja is on Thursday, November 12.  The ISKCON temple, located on 1320 W 34th Street has been celebrating these time honored festivals for decades now, bettering itself each year.

Diwali or Dipavali in Sanskrit translates to numerous lights and is a festival that is close to many a heart, appealing to old and young. To some, the significance of the festival is an inspiration. The festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to His kingdom after defeating the evil King Ravana and it also serves as a reminder to all of us to allow the good within oneself to reign over the evil.

One of the highlights for Diwali celebrations at ISKCON is the candle light aarti. This is a one of it’s kind, unique visual treat where the magnificent Deities, decorated with fragrant flowers are worshipped in a divine atmosphere. As is central to the practice of Krishna consciousness, the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord will form a core part of the worship. Praising the Lord with His Holy Names is the meditation followed by these spiritual seekers.

Govardhan Puja or Annakut is celebrated the day after Diwali. It was on this day that Lord Krishna protected the inhabitants of Vrindavan from the onslaught of Lord Indra’s wrath by lifting the Govardhan hill. To celebrate this festival, devotees build a replica of Govardhana Hill made of various opulent foods, worship Lord Krishna as the lifter of Govardhana Hill, worship the hill as His incarnation, and worship the cows and bulls who are dear to the Lord. At the end of the festival, the hill of prasadam (sanctified food) is distributed to the public. Also a New Year Day and hundreds of devotees visit the temple during 4:30 AM Mangala Aarti for a very auspicious start of the New Year.

Celebrations on both evenings begin at 6:30 pm.There will be cultural programs and celebrations on Sunday, November 15 at 5:30 pm.

Free vegetarian feast is served on both days after the festivities.
Come see us. Happy Diwali and Happy New Year to you and your family.