Puja Samithi of Greater Houston Celebrates Kali Puja at Houston ISCKON


HOUSTON: Houston’s Bengali community, Puja Samithi of Greater Houston, celebrated Kali Puja along with at Houston ISCKON temple (puja was featured in Gouranga Hall just across from the main ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple) on November 3, with great devotion and joy.

Kali Puja, also known as Shyama Puja is a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik especially in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Tripura. It coincides with the rest-of-Indian Lakshmi Puja day of Diwali. While the Bengalis, Odias, Assamese adore goddess Kali on this day while the rest of India worships goddess Lakshmi on Diwali. According to Hindu mythology Goddess Kali is the first of the ten incarnations of Goddess Durga.  The image of Kali usually shows her foot on Lord Shiva’s chest, a severed head in one hand, her sword in the other and wearing a garland of skulls. Kali is worshiped as the Mother Goddess who is known to destroy all evil. In each legend, myth and story of Deepawali lies the significance of the victory of good over evil. The light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, which brings us closer to divinity.


This year celebration of Kalipuja at ISCKON temple consisted of an evening full of fun, food, religious activities and great concerts by Payal Mitra and Parnava Banerjee.

This year the festivities started on Saturday evening at 5 pm followed by Puspanjali, Bhog, Arati and dinner . Audience was entertained by two captivating programs performed by Playback Singer Payal Mitra who warmed up the program for ½ hour with some catchy Bollywood numbers followed by the main attraction by Parnava Banerjee, Champion of Zee TV Bangla Golden Voice’2006, Parnava was accompanied on stage by Manas Chakraborty, the tabla and hand sonic player and also by Akash Ghosh on keyboard. Parnava presented some popular Bengali and Hindi numbers with exceptional ease and confidence for approximately 2 hrs.  Parnava easily interacted with the audience of 400+ many of whom went to their memory lanes of famous singers like Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar and Hemanta Mukherjee while listening to the popular songs from Parnava.  The entire audience was spellbound with their performances.


Dr. Bishnupada Goswami, the Head Priest of the Organization, Puja Samithi of Greater Houston, performed Kali puja while maintaining all the rituals from Hawan, puspanjali, and ceremonial bolidan to bhog and Arati on Saturday evening. Devoted ladies in the temple prepared nice bhog for Ma Kali. After Puja, 400+ people enjoyed delicious dinner from Govinda’s restaurant from ISKCON of Houston. It was indeed a memorable evening and night for all devotees and attendees.