Hari Katha Festival- Houston - 23rd - 29th May 2009

Houston Bhakti Yoga Retreat

(Festival of Love & Devotion)

With

houston09ai

Srila Gurudeva

His Divine Grace B. V. Narayana Maharaja

May 23 - May 29, 2009

The Houston Sanga cordially invites everyone to join our Dear Srila Gurudeva and hundreds of visiting devotees from around the world in this seven-day ‘Festival of Love & Devotion' that will include:

•·         Evening classes by Srila Gurudeva on ‘Srimad Bhagavatam' (in English)

•·         Several Classes throughout the day by visiting Sannyasis and other senior Vaisnava devotees (schedule of classes and topics will be posted soon)

 

•·         Workshops on ‘Sanga Development', ‘Book Distribution' and ‘Preaching'

•·         Ecstatic kirtans and bhajans

  • Devotional dramas
  • Yoga and Ayurvedic consultations
  • Vaishnava Yajna for the new initiates
  • Sumptuous Vaisnava Prasadam (3 meals daily)

Important NOTE:  Srila Gurudeva's first lecture will be on May 23rd and the last lecture will be on the evening of May 29th 2009.

 

Venue

This year the festival in Houston will be held at the ‘Durgabari Temple Auditorium'. It's a large hall that can accommodate several hundred devotees. Additional arrangements have been made to seat people in case there are more people than the Auditorium's seating capacity. There are separate facilities for prasadam and other activities.

houston09bi 

The hall is located in the Durgabari Temple complex (www.durgabari.org) on a quiet street off Highway 6 in Southwest Houston. There is a large lake in front of the temple. Also, there is a playground for children.  Durga Bari Temple is located at:

 

13944 Schiller Road

Houston, TX 77082

Phone: (281) 589-7700

 

Time Program Detail Speaker
Saturday, May 23
  Registration  
1:30 PM Lunch Prasadam  
4:00 PM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Sripad Muni Maharaja
5:00 PM Srimad Bhagavatam Puja; Shobha Yatra (Puja Procession with Kalashas)  
5:30 PM Introduction, Guru Vandana by children Arunji & Tarun Krishna prabhu
5:45 PM Discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam  Srila Gurudeva
7:30 PM Drama: Dhruva Maharaja  Houston Brahmachari Ashram
8:00 PM Aarti Sripad Tirtha Maharaja
8:30 PM Dinner Prasadam  
Sunday, May 24
5:30 AM Mangala Aarti Sripad Srauti Maharaja
7:30 AM Bhoomi Pooja at the land for the new Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha Temple Srila Gurudeva
9:30 AM Breakfast Prasadam (served at the Bhoomi Puja site)  
11:00 AM Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatam (based on Srila Gurudeva's discourse the previous night) Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja
1:00 PM Lunch Prasadam  
3:00 PM Sri Sikshashtakam Verse 1 Sripad Vaikhanas Maharaja
4:30 PM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Sripad Muni Maharaja
5:00 PM Discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam  Srila Gurudeva
7:00 PM Presentation on the new 'Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Temple' of Houston Vishnu Das
Arun Prabhu
7:30 PM Aarti Sripad Muni Maharaja
8:00 PM Dinner Prasadam  
Monday, May 25
5:30 AM Mangala Aarti Govinda Prabhu
7:00 AM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Badger Gurukula
7:30 AM Sri Manah Shiksha Verses 1 & 2 Sripad Madhav Maharaja
8:30 AM Breakfast Prasadam  
10:30 AM Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatam (based on Srila Gurudeva's discourse the previous night) Sripad Tirtha Maharaja
10:00 AM Youth Workshop: "Discover Your Niche" Jayshree and Madan Mohini didis 
1:00 PM Lunch Prasadam  
3:00 PM Sri Sikshashtakam Verse 2, 3 Sripad Damodar Maharaja
4:30 PM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Houston Brahmacharis
5:00 PM Discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam  Srila Gurudeva
7:00 PM Childhood Pastimes of Nimai Houston Gurukula
7:30 PM Aarti Sripad Srauti Maharaja
8:00 PM Dinner Prasadam  
Tuesday, May 26
5:30 AM Mangala Aarti Sripad Muni Maharaja
7:00 AM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Houston Brahmacharis
7:30 AM Sri Manah Shiksha Verses 3 & 4 Sripad Sajjan Maharaja
8:30 AM Breakfast Prasadam  
10:30 AM Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatam (based on Srila Gurudeva's discourse the previous night) Sripad Ramachandra prabhu
10:00 AM Youth Workshop: "Market Yourself Successfully" Jayshree and Madan Mohini didis 
1:00 PM Lunch Prasadam  
3:00 PM Sri Sikshashtakam Verse 4 Sripad Vishnu Maharaja
4:30 PM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Madan Mohini & Manjari didi
5:00 PM Discourse of Srimad Bhagavatam  Srila Gurudeva
7:00 PM Drama: Meeting of Lord Sri Rama and Bharat Badger Gurukula
7:30 PM Aarti Mukunda prabhu
8:00 PM Dinner Prasadam  
Wednesday, May 27
5:30 AM Mangala Aarti Sripad Muni Maharaja
7:00 AM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Sripad Muni Maharaja
7:30 AM Sri Manah Shiksha Verses 5 & 6 Sripad Muni Maharaja
8:30 AM Breakfast Prasadam  
10:30 AM Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatam (based on Srila Gurudeva's discourse the previous night) Syamarani Didi
1:00 PM Lunch Prasadam  
3:00 PM Sri Sikshashtakam Verse 5 Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja
4:30 PM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Sripad Muni Maharaja
5:00 PM Discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam  Srila Gurudeva
7:00 PM Drama: Liberation of Ajamila Houston Brahmacharis
7:30 PM Aarti Govinda prabhu
8:00 PM Dinner Prasadam  
Thursday, May 28
5:30 AM Mangala Aarti Sripad Sajjan Maharaja
7:00 AM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Sripad Sajjan Maharaja
7:30 AM Sri Manah Shiksha Verses 7, 8 & 9 Sripad Avadhuta Maharaja
8:30 AM Breakfast Prasadam  
10:30 AM Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatam (based on Srila Gurudeva's discourse the previous night) Sripad Damodar Maharaja
1:00 PM Lunch Prasadam  
3:00 PM Sri Sikshashtakam Verse 6 Sripad Tirtha Maharaja
4:30 PM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Badger Gurukula
5:00 PM Discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam  Srila Gurudeva
7:00 PM Drama: Jada Bharata and Maharaja Rahuguna Houston Brahmacharis
7:30 PM Aarti Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja
8:00 PM Dinner Prasadam  
Friday, May 29
5:30 AM Mangala Aarti Sripad Muni Maharaja
7:00 AM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Houston Brahmacharis
7:30 AM Sri Manah Shiksha Verses 10, 11 & 12 Syamarani Didi
8:30 AM Breakfast Prasadam  
10:30 AM Reflections on Srimad Bhagavatam (based on Srila Gurudeva's discourse the previous night) Sripad Vaikhanas Maharaja
1:00 PM Lunch Prasadam  
3:00 PM Sri Sikshashtakam Verse 7, 8 Sripad Sajjan Maharaja
4:30 PM Kirtan and Bhajans (Devotional Chanting) Sripad Muni Maharaja
5:00 PM Discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam  Srila Gurudeva
6:30 PM Conclusion and thanks to the festival sponsors and volunteers  Vishnu Das & Arunji
6:45 PM Vyasa-Puja of Srila Gurudeva  
7:15 PM Drama: Gopi Gita Madan Mohini Didi
7:45 PM Aarti Govinda Prabhu
8:30 PM Dinner Prasadam  
Notes: The above programs (except the Youth Workshops) will take place in the main Auditorium. There will be additional classes in smaller groups in separate rooms.

 

Important Update Notice, April 30, 2009

Dear Maharajas, Prabhus and Didis:
Please note the following important updates regarding the BHAKTI Yoga Festival in Houston (May 23 - May 29, 2009).

A. Festival Registration: Its only 3 weeks before the festival starts. If you are planning to attend, please register now. Why wait in long lines at the Registration table at the Festival when you can be hearing Hari Katha and melodious kirtanas at that time. So, save time and last minute anxiety and register now.

It will also help us to plan better and provide better facilities and prasadam to all the participants.

Please fax your registration form to (713) 995-6320. You can also email the scanned form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The mailing address is:

IGVS Houston
4107 Laguna Cir
Missouri City, TX 77459

B. Room Sharing and Car Pooling: You can save money by sharing the hotel room with another devotee or car pooling with others. If you are interested in either sharing a room or car pooling, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You may also call Vishnu das at (281) 491-4114

C. Vendor Booths: If you plan to set up a booth to sell any devotional paraphernalia or books, you must register for it by May 15th. No booths will be allowed after this date. To reserve a booth, please contact Tarun Krsna prabhus at (281) 827-5620.

D. Camping: Due to safety regulations we will not be able to allow any type of camping on the festival grounds. Those who have already registered for camping will be accommodated in alternate accommodations. For additional information or any questions, please contact Vishnu das at (281) 491-4114 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

E. Hotel: If you have not been able to find any hotel accommodation, you can call the following hotel and reserve a room. This hotel is about 20 minutes from the festival site. Ask for Harry Patel.

Super 8 Motel
12845 Murphy Road, Stafford, TX 77477
Phone: 281-568-1214 Fax: 281-776-9795
Room rates are as follows:

Room with one King size bed: $55 + tax
Room with two beds: $65 + tax

They will allow up to 4 people in room with one King size bed and up to 6 people in room with two beds. They will provide extra quilts so that some can sleep on the floor.

 

Update Notice: April 7th, 2009

A. Festival Registration: Please note that the last date for the discounted Festival fees is April 15th, 2009. This date will "not be" extended. So, please avail of the discounted rates and register ASAP.

We have received very few registrations so far though we know that several hundred devotees are planning to attend. However, we cannot plan the festival properly unless we receive the registrations in advance. We need to place orders for Bhoga, chairs, tables and several other things based on how many devotees will be attending. Placing advance order will allow us to get better pricing and thus provide better facilities to the festival participants. You can help make this festival a grand success by registering in advance.
So, please send in your registrations ASAP.

Please use the updated Registration Form for the registration.


B. Accommodation: The following hotels still have rooms available. So, please reserve a room at the discounted rates ASAP.

1. Staybridge Suites (5.3 miles)
HOUSTON WEST/ENERGY CORRIDOR
1225 Eldridge Parkway
Houston, TX 77077
Tel: (281) 759-7829

Reservations can be made by calling the above hotel number. Ask for ‘Bhakti Yoga Group' discount rate. You can also make the reservation online at http://events.ichotelsgroup.com/DPRD-7PKRLT/HOUEE/website/.

The rates are as follows:
Studio Suites $ 60.00 + tax
King One Bedroom Suites $ 75.00 + tax
One Bedroom Double Suites $ 85.00 + tax

Reservations must be made before May 5th to get these discounted rates.

2. Super 8 Motel (6.2 miles)
15101 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77094
Tel: (281) 646-7800

Please ask for ‘Bhakti Yoga Retreat' rates when making the reservations. The discounted rates are as follows:

King Size Bedroom: $55.00 + tax
Two Double Beds room: $58.50 + tax

3. Sunsuites (7.5 miles)
3100 West Sam Houston Parkway
Houston, TX 77042
Tel: (713) 780-8200

Please use the following link to make your reservation: https://www.sunsuites.com/reservations.php?p=westchase.

The best rate is the weekly rate is for Queen Suite

For any accommodation related questions, please call Vishnu das at (281) 491-4114.


C. Camping: Due to limited shower facilities, we will be able to provide very limited camping. We have already rec'd enough requests for camping. So, if you have not already called and registered, please make arrangements in a hotel or some nearby camping grounds. The closest camping ground is Cinco Ranch (http://cincorv.com/). 

 

Hotel Accommodations

There are several nice hotels within 1-3 miles of the Festival site. The rates at these hotels are already quite discounted. For more hotels you can check www.travelocity.com or www.expedia.com.

For any accommodation related questions, please call Vishnu Das at (281) 491-4114.

We have worked out discounted rates with the following four hotels. Only a limited number of rooms are available at these discounted rates right now. So, we STRONGLY recommend that you reserve your rooms ASAP to get the best rates. You can always cancel your reservation without any penalty.

 We are working with more hotels in the area to get discounted rates.

Please note that you will get the discounted rate "only if" you call the hotel directly. You will not get the discounted rate if you make the reservation online.

 

1.         Crossland Economy Studios

2130 Highway 6 South

Houston, TX 77077

Tel: 281-759-2000

 

Each room has a kitchenette. Weekly rates (7 nights) will be cheaper for those staying for the entire festival. All rates are inclusive of applicable taxes.

 

To get the following discounted rates, please ask for "YOGA RETREAT" group rate.

 

Weekly rate for a room with one full size bed: $286.58

Weekly rate for a room with two full size beds: $368.48

 

Daily rate for a room with one full size bed: $46.79

Daily rate for a room with two full size beds: $58.49

 

2.         Scottish Inn

            8415 Highway 6 South

          Houston, TX 77083

          Tel: 281-879-5544

 

Each room has Table/Chair, Microwave, Refrigerator and High speed DSL. There are limited non-smoking rooms available.

 

To get the following discounted rates, please ask for "BHAKTI YOGA" group rate.

 

Daily rate for 1 King Size Bed room    :  $55 + tax

Daily rate for 2 Queen Size Beds room:  $65 + tax        

 

 

3.        Holiday Inn Express & Suites

2205 Barker Oaks

Houston, TX 77077

Tel: 281-497-9888

 

Daily rate for a room with one King size bed             : $89 + tax

Daily rate for a room with two Queen size beds        : $89 + tax

 

To get the discounted rate, please mention that you are reserving the room for "BHAKTI Yoga Retreat". You need to reserve in advance to get the discounted rate. You will not be able to get this rate at the time of check-in if you have not reserved in advance under ‘BHAKTI Yoga Retreat' group discount rate.

 

Once the hotel has reserved these 30 rooms, the rest of the rooms will be available at their regular rates.

 

 

 

4.         InTown Suites Inn

3000 Highway 6 South
Houston, TX 77082
Tel: 281-759-7065

Each room has a Full size bed and a sofa-bed which becomes a twin size bed. In addition the rooms have a table, chair and a fully equipped kitchen.  Free High-speed Internet connection is also available in each room

IMPORTANT NOTE: This hotel does not "confirm" rooms. They will take your name and contact information and will call you a week before the check-in date to let you know if the room is available.

RATE: $219.99 + tax for a week (they only do weekly rentals)

Onsite Camping

Limited onsite camping will be available on the grounds of Durgabari Temple complex.

Portable showers and restrooms will be available for use by those planning to camp.

 

Please note that it can get quite hot and humid towards the end of May in Houston. Also, there are increased chances of rain and thunderstorms at that time of the year. So, we would encourage that you plan to stay in a hotel. However, if you would like to camp onsite, please call Vishnu Das at (281) 491-4114.

 

Daily fees for onsite camping :     $15

(for tents not larger than 3' x 6')

 

Daily fees for larger tents:           $25

 

 

Transportation

FROM AIRPORT TO FESTIVAL SITE

Car Rentals

The Festival site is about 22 miles from the Hobby Airport and about 33 miles from the Bush Intercontinental Airport. We recommend that you should rent a car from the airport itself. The current cheapest weekly rental available through www.travelocity.com is $260/week. As this would be the Memorial Day Weekend, the cars rentals may become expensive. So, we encourage that you reserve a car ASAP.

Shuttle Service

We will be able to provide limited shuttle service from the two Houston airports to the festival site on May 22nd, May 23rd and May 30th. The price each way will be $25 per person. If you would like to avail of this service, please call Abhirama prabhus at (713) 870-7278 before May 15th, 2009. We may not be able to accommodate pick-up requests made after this date.

FROM FESTIVAL SITE TO AND FROM HOTELS

Please note that we will not be able to provide any shuttle service from the hotels to the festival site. Therefore, we strongly encourage that you rent a car or pool-in with other devotees.

If you would like to car-pool with someone, we can help coordinate. Please call Abirama prabhus at (713) 870-7278 for rental car-pooling.  

 

Festival Fees

The following festival fee includes cost of Festival Registration and three sumptuous Prasadam meals every day. The fee "does not" include accommodation. You can avail of the discounted rates if you register early (before April 15, 2009).

Fees before April 15, 2009

Adults (ages 12 and above): $14/day

Children (age 6 - 12): $7/day

Children (under age 6): FREE

 

Fees after April 15, 2009

Adults (ages 12 and above): $17/day

Children (age 6 - 12): $9/day

Children (under age 6): FREE

 

Payment Methods

You can pay by check/money order or by Credit Card. Please use the Registration Form to calculate the fees.

If Paying by check:

Please mail the completed form along with the check, cashier's check or money order to:

IGVS Houston

4107 Laguna Cir

Missouri City, TX 77459

If paying by Credit Card:

Please fax the completed form to the following Fax number. Please do not forget to sign the Credit Card authorization at the bottom of the Registration Form.

 

Fax Number: 713-995-6320

Attn: Sushil Agrawal

 

Booths

If you would like to setup a booth at the festival site to sell books or other Vaishnava paraphernalia, please contact Tarun Krishna Prabhu in advance at (281) 955-9683 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that you will not be allowed to setup a booth without prior permission.

 

Contacts

For any questions or any kind of assistance that you may need in planning your trip, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Or call:

Abhirama Das: (713) 870-7278

Prana Govinda Das: (713) 984-8334 / (713) 304-5429

Tarun Krsna Das: (281) 955-9683

Vishnu Das: (281) 491-4114

Sushil Prabhu: (713) 446-9050

Mahamantra
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