By Sanchali Basu
HOUSTON: It was an auspicious and glorious warm summer day in Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, when the groundbreaking ceremony for the Shiv Durga Krishna Kali Mandir (SDKKM) was held on the sacred ground, adjacent and east of 16628 Kieth Harrow Blvd home for the Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha Temple in Bear Creek, TX. This temple is the brainchild of Dr. Bishnupada Goswami, former priest of Houston Durgabari Temple. It was his vision to open this temple for a long time and soon it will come to fruition.
The ceremony began around 9.30am when the Mistress of Ceremonies, Mrs. Sanchali Basu, welcomed the dignitaries and devotees into the makeshift canopy where all the arrangements had been beautifully made for the Inauguration Ceremony (Bhoomi Puja). In Hindu tradition, the inauguration ceremony or Bhoomi Puja is a ritual performed in honor of Goddess Bhoomi (Mother Earth) and Vastu Purush, the god of construction of structures and buildings suitable for the habitation of people. gods, avatars and humans. The Puja is believed to eradicate all harmful effects and Vastu doshas from the land and pave the way for smooth erection. This ceremony was followed by Bipadtarini Puja to dispel the evils currently plaguing the world.
Dignitaries present included Dr. Arun Verma, Representative Justice Lina Hidalgo, Ms. Ashley San Miguel, Consul General, Mr. Aseem Mahajan, Representative, Mr. Girish Mehta, Pandit Suman Ghosh, Mr. Narinder Sehgal and Mr. Bal Sareen. Beautiful willing ladies in their beautiful ceremonial sarees with baran samagree plates greeted them with ceremonial sacred songs, a tilak on their foreheads, a thread around their wrists and an auspicious lamp to ward off all evil. Each distinguished guest received a designer silver platter, uttariya (shawl) and plaque in remembrance of this auspicious celebration. In the Hindu tradition, all guests are considered divine: Atithi devo bhava.
Ms. Ashley San Miguel, representing Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, read the proclamation which outlined the mission and vision of this unique SDKKM Temple. Excerpts from the proclamation included: “WHEREAS the mission of the SDKKM is to provide the best central facility for the worship of devotees and a resource center for performing various Hindu religious rites and ceremonies including 16 sacraments and which the SDKKM supports and also expands the roots of Hinduism, Hindu heritage and culture as well as an understanding of true Indian history and Hindu philosophy, including assisting charities across the world in times of need; and…..” . The proclamation was delivered to Mr. Champak Sadhu, one of the founders of this organization.
Pt Suman Ghosh created a divine mood with his invocative Bhajan. The Chief Priest, Dr. Bishnupada Goswami initiated the Bhoomi Puja while the Associate Priest, Dr. Debashis Bandhyopadhaya performed the Chandipath and Havan. Mrs. Sanchali Basu introduced all the dignitaries. They were then invited to participate in Bhoomi Puja activities. The intoxicating rhythm of Mr. Shyamal Bhattacharya’s dhaak, Mr. Arup Karmakar’s dhol and Mr. Smaran Das’ kansar ghanta made the Puja complete.
Offerings were made in the building pit dug into the ground. It started with haldi, kumkum, kalash (small metal pots), flowers, milk, honey, incense, sweets and water which were all offered in adoration of the goddess Mother Earth with the breaking of the coconut. All dignitaries were given bricks to lay in the ground to form the foundations of the temple, symbolizing the creation of a solid foundation for all members of the community to bond and come together to worship in a place that promotes peace. harmony, peace and tranquility. . Finally, the dignitaries were given a gold shovel to cover the pit with dirt as a marker to level the site. The puja ended with the symbolic ceremony of homa, also known as havan or votive ritual, where offerings are made to the sacred sacrificial fire in an open pyre.
Mr. Champak Sadhu, the chief organizer, offered a vote of thanks expressing his deep gratitude to all dignitaries, contributors, donors, Gaudiya Matha for their collaboration, supporters, participants and most importantly, volunteers. Without their dedication, dedication and commitment, this ceremony would not have been a success.
This was followed by the Bipadtarini (considered one of the 108 Avatars of Goddess Durga, Bipadtarini is prayed to help her overcome troubles and dispel evils) Puja was performed in the main temple of Gaudiya Matha.
Arrangements had been made for breakfast and lunch on the temple grounds. The lunch was sponsored by Narin’s Bombay Brasserie. About 300 people attended this auspicious celebration despite the long 4th of July weekend.
All are delighted and look forward to the successful completion of the design and construction of the temple soon. If one needs additional information, Dr. Bishnupada Goswami 832-367-6646 is the person to contact.