Devotees at Hari Om Mandir in Medinah, Ill. continued their age-old tradition of ringing in the New Year, with “Akhand Ramayan Path” Dec. 31 and completing the event with the bhog Jan. 1.
All the members of the Board, along with several other friends and relatives started the Ramayan Path with a formal pooja and other rituals were performed by the temple priest Pandit Dinesh Kumar.
As the clock struck 12 at midnight, bells rang, conch shells echoed, and the chanting of ram dhun ushered in 2017.
The temple was decorated with banners, buntings, dazzling streamers, flowers, and bells to enhance the ambience for the celebrations.
A group of singers, led by Chhote Sarkar, joined the concluding celebrations on Jan. 1, singing bhajans.
At the temple on Jan. 1, the two boards – executive board and board of trustees that run the show all year round, were introduced to the general congregation, followed by honoring and acknowledging of the services of the outgoing board members and welcoming the new members, who will serve the community in 2017.
This year Vipan Wadhera was re-elected the president of the executive board for the second year. He thanked all his team members for their continued support throughout the year. He also announced new programs in the temple going forward, saying there will be Baba Balak Nath chauki every fifth Sunday of the month.
Plaques of honor were awarded to three outgoing members – Anil Saxena, Gopal Tiwari and Ramesh Bhardwaj. Amidst applause the new members – Madhu Gupta, Indu Wadhwa and Mohansundr – were also introduced to the board.
Satpal Salwan, chairman of the board of trustees, along with his team read out the New Year’s message. The guardian of the temple, Ayodhia Salwan invited nine senior women of the HOM parivar to come forward and shower blessings on the board members and the devotees to guide and provide them strength to work in the service of god.
The nine women represented the nine Incarnations of Mata Rani along with the seven little girls and two boys as Kanjak and Lainkra. A grand Lunch was served by the temple and people exchanged greetings, wishing for peace and wellbeing of all.
Above, executive board members, board of trustees and children celebrate the auspicious start of the New Year at Hari Om Mandir in Medinah, Ill. Right, a section of the attendees.