by Shashank Jain
JVB Houston’s triple event 10th Anniversary celebrations were observed with pooja rituals, a grand cultural evening, and with the 1st iteration of the Meditation speaker panel.
The weekend long celebrations began early on Saturday October 12th morning with the Annual Adhar Abhishek Pooja. Samanijis’ Punya Pragya ji and Jigyasa Pragya ji started festivities with Navkar Mantra.
Sh. Jayesh Khona, of California, lead the extensive pooja and related ceremonies guiding devotees through the meaningful rituals with deep explanations. Many patrons of the center participated in the Adhar Abhishek Pooja and various other rituals that are performed as part of the four-hour long ceremony; which culminated when the symbolic flag was hoisted on top of the temple structure. The ceremony was followed by a sumptuous lunch sponsored by Shanti and Geeta Gala.
Guests were served an early dinner at 5:30 p.m. following which they attended the grand cultural program that began with a pious Jain Prayer – The Navkar Mantra. JVB board member Pramod Bengani, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. He reminded the audience that this occasion was three celebrations in one – 20th anniversary of JVB Houston’s existence, 10th anniversary of the current facility, and the birth centenary of Jain Monk – Acharya Mahapragya ji. He also reminisced upon how the organization took shape 20 years ago with its founder hosts – Sh. Sunil Mehta along with the vision of its leaders; and the many Samanijis that were stationed in Houston during that time.
JVB Houston’s newly crowned Bhajan Idols 2019 – Mahi Tomar and Soma Chatterjee performed soulful bhajans creating wonderful vibrations in the Pyramid hall. They were accompanied by Smriti Shrivastava on harmonium and Parshuram Das on flute. After the melodious start, JVB Gyanshala kids ages 4 – 14 demonstrated Yoga poses, some synchronized with music, were a treat to watch. This program was conceptualized by Samani Jigyasa Pragya ji and supported parent volunteers.
JVB’s past President Nikhil Jain, presented a slide show recapturing the past 10 years of the facility followed by a short discourse by Samani Punya Pragya ji highlighting the day of celebration. Current President, Shashank Jain, recognized key volunteers of and program leads of the Annual Day celebrations. Vice Presidents: Ashok Jain and Gaurav Jhaveri, cultural program lead Seema Jain were also recognized. Decorations were led by Shashi Jain with assistance from Vinnie Verma and countless others. Media coverage was by Samji Dedhia, Navin Mediwala, Abhishek Baradia and food arrangements were coordinated by Sharada Gadiya.
The highlight of the evening, the play “Swarg Mein Ek Hi Seat Khali Hai – Kaun Banega Daavedar?” began with melodious flute by Parshuram Das and vocals by Deepti Kanhere and an entertaining dance performance by Aayushi Gandhi and Esha Bora. Play’s storyteller, Seema Jain engaged the audience through the hilarious acts by talented and homegrown actors from JVB Houston. The message, “Do good to others and good will happen to you!” was well driven by lead cast Sudhir Daga, Ajay Gandhi, and Jigar Dedhia, and well supported by Amit Sacheti, Kinjal Chheda, Monika Daga, Mayank Jain, Deepesh Jain, Sameer Parakh, Shanti Gala, Sampat Parakh, Varsha Sacheti and Shivani Jain. The play was guided by Samani Punya Pragyaji, produced and directed by Pradeep Jain, and sound and light arrangements were managed by Shanti and Geeta Gala. The evening ended with recitation of Mangal Paath by Samaniji.
On Sunday October 13th turned out to be another gorgeous day that set the stage for the 1st Triveni Sangam (3 independent thoughts brought together in one session) on “Meditation: Stress Management & Beyond.” Guest speakers: Dr. Hansa Rawal from Brahma Kumaris Texas and Dr. Harish Chandra from Arya Samaj of Greater Houston were impactful topped with an apt conclusion by JVB’s very own Samani Punya Pragya ji. Speakers were recognized by Chairman Sh. Swatantra Jain and Board Member Sh. Alok Jain.
JVB Vice President Gaurav Jhaveri concluded the three sessions with a Q & A followed by refreshments sponsored by Abhishek and Chetna Baradia and Nayana Mehta.
Over 150 from the mainstream Houston community including patrons from Brahma Kumaris, Arya Samaj, Jain Society of Houston, Sewa International, HSS etc. attended the event, which brought the two-day celebrations to a fitting conclusion.
JVB Preksha Meditation Center is home to a specially designed Preksha Dhyan ‘Pyramid’ Meditation Hall and is located at 14102 Schiller Rd, Houston, TX 77082. For more information please visit www.JVBHouston.org or call 281-596-9642.