Graduation Ceremony at Chinmaya Mission Houston

Photo : Jayesh Mistry

Photo : Jayesh Mistry

By Uma Aggarwal & 

Vinod Sharma

HOUSTON: Sunday June 9 was a day of  joy and tears at the same time, at the Chinmaya Mission. Joy because the 12th graders of  Bal Vihar were celebrating their successful completion of  Bal Vihar curriculum and also various achievements of many years, tears because it was time to say good bye to the graduating Bal Vihar children who are leaving town soon to join Universities. Some children had been with the Mission for almost 13 years starting as toddlers in Pre-K.

The festivities started with a Puja at Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya performed by Priest Sri Ganeshji, followed by melodious procession back  to the Chinmaya Smrti Hall where Acharya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty delivered the message of Taittiriya Upanisad. Message from this Upanisad is more than 5000 years old, but  more relevant now than ever before. Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty stressed the true meaning of  upholding truth, and talked about performing your duty no matter what, because this protects the right of other person automatically.

He also stressed upon  scriptural command to continue our spiritual study and to make time for it to stay inspired and motivated in our pursuit of a higher goal. He added that we need to  graciously share our God-given gifts with those who are less fortunate or are in need, with modesty and without desiring recognition. His words were  Powerful and moving,  and  this was a  loving farewell gift to the high school graduates as they are embarking on their higher education and careers. Next Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty and Darshana Nanavaty  lit the symbolic lamps of knowledge to dispel the darkness of ignorance.

The discourse was serious and thought provoking, but what followed was good humored and informative.  A power point presentation,  giving a brief overview of each participant was shown to the audience while the graduates also lit the lamp of  knowledge signifying the passing of the knowledge from teacher to the student. They walked on the stage and received a Trophy from the Acharyas for successfully completing the Bal Vihar course. “Always learn to put your mind where your hands are working. Love Swami Chinmayananda”, these were the words inscribed on the plaque. The power point presentation drew applause and laughs from the audience as some of the graduates had added their own humor and wit to it. Some of the students had  inspiring  quotes  in the presentation, for example Shivam Bemalkar’s favorite quote was, “How can sky be the limit where there is footprints on the moon? – Logic.” Utsav Nigam’s favorite quote was, “Some are destined to succeed, some are determined to succeed.” – Swami Tejomayananda.

When it came to favorite moment at Chinmaya Mission, Holi and Lock ins were most popular, but one that drew applause was, “Seeing Darshana Aunty smile” by Utsav.

The festivities concluded with Ice cream and cake served by Graduates to their teachers and audience.

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