Shri Ram Chand Ji Mahajan
Shri Ram Chand Mahajan, affectionately referred to as Pita Ji, founded Arya Samaj Greater Houston in July 1991. A successful bridge and building contractor by profession, he has been a devout believer in the principles of Arya Samaj. His family was very religious, patriotic and caring with the foremost goal of helping the community. He never forgot his basic values. He always followed his principles.
In 1979, after retiring from his business, he emigrated to U.S.A. to join his sons in Houston. While here, he became very active in the Hindu community. He started performing Vedic ceremonies for Hindu families. He continued to show a very high level of youthful enthusiasm in teaching youngsters and adults Hindu values and in working tirelessly to remove the shortcomings which have seeped into the Hindu religion.
He was always busy, assisting many families in Texas with his knowledge, efforts and devotion. He would perform simple yajnas for house warming, wedding, Naamkaran and last rites for many families. He was performing these through the medium of Hindu Worship Society and his reputation was spreading rapidly across Texas and beyond. In 1988, Pitaji bagan corresponding with Shri Girish Chandra Khosla who had then recenty arrived from India. Together they began planning the formation of a society that would bring together the various branches of Arya Samajs that were then functining independently and somewhat randomly in North America. Shri Mahajan's untiring efforts and wholehearted devotion to the cause bore fruit in 1990 when Arya Pratinidhi Sabha was established as the governing and guiding organization for all the Arya Samajs in North America.
In July 1991, Shri Ram Chand Mahajan, with support from a number of devoted families, founded Arya Samaj Greater Houston. The Havans were performed in a makeshift temple in a converted store generously donated by Rita and Sunil Mehta. This was just a small step. The D.A.V. Library and D.A.V. School followed this endeavor. With money donated by many families, the Arya Samaj bought land for a permanent home.
In February 1997, the foundation stone was laid for the new temple, and the new temple and the Vedic Culture Center were inaugurated in August 1997 at 14375 Schiller Road, Houston, TX 77082. The inauguration of the first of its kind Arya Samaj temple in the North America, was the fulfillment of Pita Ji's cherished dream. The site was designed and built from ground up as an Arya Samaj Temple. Further, on the day of the inauguration, a major part of the cost had been already paid up. With this first dream a reality, Pita Ji started planning for other ways to meet the needs of the Hindu community in the Greater Houston area.
Unfortunately, in January 1998, Pita Ji, following a brief illness, passed away during a visit to India. The English poet Rudyard Kipling has said that "East is East and West is West, n'or the twain shall meet." However, Shree Ram Chand Mahajan proved him wrong. Under his guidance, East and West had come together in Houston. He was a great believer in God, an excellent example of hard work with true dedication to his principles and aims. Weariness, fatigue, and despair were not even in his dictionary. His smiling face and sincere dedication were his special traits. They will continue to live in the minds of all knew him.