CHICAGO: The Hindu Mandir of Lake County has announced hosting Sri Maha Rudra Yajna from Friday May 2 to Sunday May 4 at its facility in Grayslake, a north side suburb of Chicago.
This event is being held in Chicagoland after about five years and offers a rare opportunity for everyone to participate in a unique, and for many, a once in a life time event.
Sri Rudram is a Sanskrit hymn in praise of Lord Shiva and is the oldest known prayer with a listing of various names of Lord Shiva. Through the chanting of Sri Rudram, Lord Shiva’s various attributes are invoked and worshipped. The Rudram chanting can be done with or without the accompaniment of a Yajna ritual. When accompanied with the Vedic fire ritual, it is called the Rudra Yajna.
The Yajna at the temple will commence on Friday, May 2 with Yajaman Sankalp and Laitha Sahastranamam from 5 pm and end with Maha Arati at 9 pm. The Saturday May 3 event will commence early in the morning with Sankalp for all Homam sponsors and will be followed by Mahanyasm, Kumbha Puja, Noon Arati and Mahaprasadam
In the afternoon, there will be Veda chanting, lecture on Sandhyavandanm, Thevram recital, Bhajans, Krama Archana and Maha Arati followed by Mahaprasadam at 9pm.
There is a crowded program chalked out for Sunday May 4 starting from 5 am in the morning followed by Surya Namaskaram Sanakalpam for Homam sponsors, Kalas Yatra, Abhishekam to Lord Shiva, Maha Arati and Maha Prasadam, Ashirvadham for devotees by 12-30 pm. The afternoon event will be Shiva Parvathy Kalyanam at 3 pm.
Sri Rudram comprises Namakam and Chamakam and is a part of the Yajur Veda. The first part, Chapter 16 of the Yajur Veda, is known as Namakam because of the repeated use of the word “Namo” in it. The second part, Chapter 18 of the Yajur Veda, is known as Chamakam because of the repeated use of the words “Chame”.
Lord Shiva is the very source of cosmic energy for the entire creation. He is the conqueror of death and an embodiment of infinite compassion and love. We owe our existence to his divinity and have to pray and worship him constantly, with gratitude and humility, for the welfare of all mankind.
Sri Maha Rudra Yajna is one of the highest forms of community worship, with the involvement of 121 Ritwiks reciting the Sri Rudra Prasna 11 times in one day followed by 133 recitations by priests the following day for the purpose of the Rudra Homam.
The Rudra Yajna is the most sacred and powerful among all the Maha Yajnas encompassing two Nishkama Karmas, namely, Deva Yajna (worship of Shiva and other divine beings), and Manushya Yajna (performed with large number of devotees who partake in prasadam or grace of the Lord).
The Mandir management has urged devotees to participate by sponsoring the Sri Maha Rudra Yajnam and derive huge spiritual benefits. Options range from donating for individual poojas and homams to the entire three day event.