Vedanta Society of Greater Houston Celebrates Durga Puja


By Sanchali Basu

HOUSTON: The autumn season is here. The weather will soon start to cool down, the children before long will begin to prepare for the Halloween costumes and families will plan the Thanksgiving Dinner. In India, the autumn season heralds the season of festivities. Not only the nature puts on new fresh garb after the incessant rains of the Monsoon, even the sun under goes a change to a wonderful orange hue, and the air has the distinctive fragrance that announces to the people, “Durga Puja, Dushera, Navratri, Diwali is here” bringing joy to the hearts of every person.

Although it is true that the Bengalis celebrate the Durga Puja the most, Gujaratis also have the Navratri celebration, where with the accompaniment of the Dholak and if possible live music, they dance the Dandiya Raas or the Garba. The nine days of celebration with the enacting of the epic Ramayana all over north India culminates in the “Ravana Dahan” where a larger-than-life size effigy of ten-headed Ravana is burnt with great aplomb and gaiety on Dushera. Then again, the South Indians decorate their houses with dolls and invite ladies for “Haldi Kumkum”.

Growing up in the tradition of the Ramakrishna Mission, Durga Pujas held at Ramakrishna Missions have always held a special place in my heart in the way the puja is conducted. The pujas are performed by Swamis ordained by the Belur Math and the sanctity and devotion with which these Pujas are carried out is equaled by none.

This year Durga Puja will be celebrated at the Vedanta Society of Greater Houston (VSGH) located at 14809 Lindita Drive, Houston, TX – 77083 on Saturday, October 5. The puja will start at 9:30 AM and will culminate with the Arati and Pushpanjali. The worship will be performed by Swami Kripamayananda, Minister and Head of the Vedanta Society of Toronto. Lunch Prasad will be served to all the devotees.

This year’s special highlight is the evening cultural program at 6 PM celebrating the 10th anniversary of Vedanta Society of Greater Houston; commemorating the centennial of Tagore’s Nobel Prize, and the sesquicentennial of Swami Vivekananda’s birthday. The program will include a special presentation, “Beyond Gitanjali” a multimedia presentation of Tagore’s songs, poems and prose by invited artistes Prabuddha Raha from Kolkata and Maitreyee Chakraborty from Los Angeles. They will also sing devotional songs in Bengali and Hindi including some of Swamiji’s favorite songs. Also included in the program are dances by local artistes and songs by the VSGH choir.

 The Vedanta Society of Greater Houston’s members would like to invite all of you to participate in the morning pujas and enjoy a wonderful evening of cultural dance and music programs in the evening. For details of the program visit