Devon now has a ‘Raja’ visiting the area every year

Devon Ka Raja Lord Ganesh
Devon Ka Raja Lord Ganesh

CHICAGO: India is a land of Rajas and Maharajas but mini-India Town on Devon Avenue that has thick Indian population had none so far. This irked many a well minded community activist and they decided to have one formally installed this year. The Raja was none other than Indian God Ganapati described as Sukh Karta (giver of happiness) and Dukh Harta (destroyer of unhappiness- impediments.)

Community activists were led by former president of Hindi Lovers Club, Ms Gurbachan Singh, current chief Vinita Gulbani, owners of Urus Swati couple Hansa and Kamal Chhabaria, and editor publisher of hi India Weekly, Hemant Brahmbhatt. They were joined by many Devon area businessmen, friends and well wishers. They brought in a huge idol of Ganapati, crowned it as Devon Ka Raja and placed it in a spacious Regal Jewels store on 2642 W Devon Avenue in Chicago.

It was on Friday August 29, the day according to Hindu mythology is Ganesh Chaturthi, Lord Ganesh was re-born in his present form – elephant head and human body – with the blessings of his father Lord Shiva. A large number of devotees and Devon area businessmen flocked to the facility in Devon for Ganesh Ji Darshan, prayer and seeking blessings. This continued for 10 days as is usual practice across India. This ended on Sunday September 7.

It was literally Mela everyday for a huge numbers of Indians flocking in not only from suburbs but also from neighboring States of Indiana and Wisconsin. Daily there were two prayers (Aartis) in the morning and evening and the last day saw a special Visarjan process -immersing the idol in water after the Aarti.

Hundreds of devotees and visitors joined the procession in a way to show their respect and regards to the new Raja whom traditionally they request to come back early so that they live happily in peace and harmony.

Bhajans, Garbas, special discourses and Prasads to every one were other features of the celebrations. Pt Anil Joshi, a renowned priest from Lake Hindu temple conducted a special discourse on Friday September 5 and explained the significance of word Moria as well as the unusual birth of Lord Ganesh who is blessed by his parents that all the auspicious events will commence with obeisance to him.

Ramesh Soparawala
India Post News Service

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