Janmasthami at Grayslake temple attracts thousands

Children decked as Bal Gopas gather in numbers at Grayslake Hindu Temple
Children decked as Bal Gopals web
Children decked as Bal Gopas gather in numbers at Grayslake Hindu Temple

CHICAGO: The Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Grayslake, a north side suburb of Chicago, celebrated Shri Krishna Janmashtami on August 15 with a variety of programs all evening to honor the birth of Lord Krishna, one of the most revered incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

In spite of it being a week night, the event was well attended by over a thousand devotees during the day and hundreds of them stayed on until after midnight, showing their dedication and devotion to Lord Krishna.

The Mandir was decked up all around for the festivities with decorations depicting various aspects of Krishna Avatar. The ceiling was decorated with hanging “Haandis (earthen pots)”. All the deities were dressed up in new clothes and ornaments. The star attraction, enjoyed by kids and adults alike was depiction of Krishna’s “Raas Leela” – Lord Krishna dancing with “Gopis” with musicians and artists.

The life of Lord Krishna was on display in form of huge posters and cut-outs. In the center of the shrine stood colorfully decorated “Palna” or “Jhoola” (swing) where Baby Krishna was seated after his birth at midnight.

The festivities kicked off with a “Shobha Yatra”, a procession that went around the Mandir campus with about 20 kids who lovingly dressed as Baby Krishna and Gopi Radha followed by other kids and adults who chanted praises of Lord Krishna.

The program also included “Matki Breaking” – a popular event of kids and adults alike – in which kids competed with each other to break a hanging pot to grab candies first. This event actually depicts the young Krishna and his friends who used to reach out to pots of “Dahi” (yogurt) or butter that were kept out of their reach. Talented local singers like Vasu Choksi, Sangeeta Singh & group, Rita Patel, Atul Soni & group, Atwal, Yash Desai & group sang melodious bhajans.

Temple priest Pandit Anil Joshi extolled the ideals of Lord Krishna in his “Pravachan” and highlighted the coincidence of the festival falling on India’s Independence Day, and touched upon the freedom of devotion and practice of religion.

At exactly midnight, Lord Krishna’s Avatar was depicted by the priests amidst of chanting of religious mantras. The idol of Baby Krishna was decked up and seated in the “Palna”. A couple of infants were carried into the shrine by adults dressed up as Vasudeva, Krishna’s father and devotes welcomed baby Krishnas by praising the Lord.

Temple priests – Joshiji, Pandyaji, Ramacharyji – and many volunteers and devotees made this event a grand success. Vernika poured her creativity and artistic skills into display of “Raas Leela” and decorations around the “Jhoola” with amazing hand-made peacocks. The temple management gave vote of thanks to the priests, volunteers, and devotees, for their time, effort, and participation. The program ended with “Archana” and “Aarti” in the name of Lord Krishna, following which devotees got a chance to rock the cradle of Lord Krishna.

Surendra Ullal

0 - 0

Thank You For Your Vote!

Sorry You have Already Voted!