Ram Janaki Vivah celebrated with great devotion

RAM VIVAH 1CHICAGO: Shri Ram-Mata Janaki Vivah Utsav was celebrated by hundreds of devotees with great zeal at Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Grayslake, a Chicago suburb, on 23 November; it being the Shuklapaksha (waxing phase) Panchami (fifth day) of the month of Margashirsha of Hindu Calendar.

This festival is celebrated with magnificence all over the country, especially in North India and Nepal as Goddess Sita’s parental home is said to be in Mithilanchal region there.

The wedding ceremonies were enacted with the statues of Lord Ram and Mata Janaki. The Baraat (procession) of Lord Ram with all other male gods of the temple was taken into the shrine by the colorfully robed male devotees and Pt Joshi Ji offered Madhuparkam to Lord Ram. Later, young children broke the Dhanush (bow) of Lord Shiva as an action of Lord Ram in Mata Sita’s Swayamvar. The breaking of bow symbolizes the disruption of ego before entering into Grahsthashram.

RAMVIVAH ARTIMata Janaki entered into the shrine with other female goddesses. They were carried in by the female devotees who were gorgeously dressed up for the occasion. Mata Sita performed Gauri Poojan with her devotees before her wedding.Temple priests, Pt. Anil Joshi from Var Paksh and Yogesh Pandey from Kanya Paksha warmly welcomed both side’s devotees and performed Hasta Milap, offering of Uttariya and Gotracharand Kanya daan.
Pt. Joshi performed Pujan of Lord Ganesh, Lord Ram and Mata Sita in the presence of other gods and devotees. The idols of Ram and Sita were gorgeously decorated with clothes, jewels and flowers to make them up like bride and groom. Later, he performed Vedic wedding rituals such as Jayamala, Saptapadi (seven steps) referred to as Saat Phere.
Devotees went around the holy fire with utmost devotion holding Lord Ram and Mata Janaki. Saptapadi is the most important rite of a Hindu marriage ceremony. Pt. Joshi Ji offered Managal Sutra and Sindoor to Mata Sita along with other female devotees.The gathered devotees sang the praises of Lord Ram and Mata Sita ecstatically throughout the Bidayi procession.
Pt. Joshi in his brief Pravachan mentioned that the marriage of Lord Ram and Mata Sita is a live example of union of Jnana and Bhakti as Lord Ram represents knowledge (Jnana) and Mata Sita symbolizes devotion (Bhakti). That means Jnana and Bhakti milap is essential in life as knowledge is incomplete without Bhakti and Bhakti is incomplete without knowledge.
They are the ideal couple and role model for every one of us to stay together in the toughest time of our life. Their marriage embodies love, trust, care, misunderstandings and forgiveness; which are usually experienced by all the married people.
The Temple committee thanked all the devotee for their active participation and support. They also acknowledged the dedicated services of volunteers and supporters. Later, delicious Maha Prasad was distributed to all devotees.

Geetha Patil

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