CHICAGO: The Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Grayslake, a Chicago suburb celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi for 10 days from September 9, 2021, to September 19, 2021, with a lot of devotion fervor and yet with simplicity.
Every year, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Shukla PakshaChaturthiof Bhadrapada month of the Hindu calendar, which falls in August-September. On the last day of festivity known as Ganesha Visarjan, the temple management requested its devotees to follow all the COVID-19 guidelines in which more than 250 devotes participated. For the second consecutive year, the celebrations have been scaled-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The first day celebration involved welcoming and shthapana/installation of eco-friendly Murtis of Ma Gauri and Lord Ganesh, the god of wisdom and prosperity on a beautifully decorated stage with flowers and colorful lights followed by sponsors’ Sankalpam, Abhishekam, and formal Pujan with all the Vedic Mantrocharan by temple priest Pt. Anil Pandit and devotees.
Nandini and Dilip Vishveshwar Rao took lead in organizing this festival and everyday evening formal Archana and Arati of Ma Gauri and Lord Ganesh. Every day, devotees brought flowers, fruits, and home-made Naivedyam and sang Lord Ganesh and Gauri Bhajans with much enthusiasm and adoration.
On the last day, many devotees brought their home idols of Lord Ganesh to the temple for worship and visarjan. Pt. Joshi Ji performed the grand Archana and Arati of temple’s Ma Gauri and Lord Ganesh together with several devotees Lord Ganesh Murtis by following all the Vedic rituals and requested all the devotees to chant with him Lord Ganesh Stotram and Arati.
Devotees carried all the Murtis of Lord Ganesh in the procession for visarjan and chant Ganpati slogans and songs: ‘Ganpati BappaMoryia…PudhchyaVarshiLavkarYa!’(Lord Ganesh … come again soon next year!);‘Ek Do Teen, Chaar, Ganapati Ki Jay JayKaar.’Before the actual immersion, Pt. Joshi Ji performed Archana, Pujan, and prayers of Lord Ganesh and Varun Dev and prayed for the Covid free world. Temple Ganesh was immersed in the water tank first and later all the devotees’ Ganesh Murtis were immersed one by one.
Additionally, temple volunteers distributed Maha Prasadam sponsored by Shashi and Anil Aggarwal to all the devotees. Pt Joshi Ji and thanked all the devotees for their support and participation and blessed everyone for their good health, wealth, and success in life.