Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Illinois, celebrates Krishna Janmashtami

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aby Krishnas received at the entrance of the shrine at Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Illinois, where Janmashtami was celebrated Aug. 29, 2021. Photo: courtesy Hindu Mandir

Krishna Janmashtami, also known simply as Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, was celebrated by the Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Illinois.

The festival is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha (Moon’s setting phase) or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada, that fell on Aug. 29, 2021, a press release from the Hindu Mandir said.

The temple and shrine were decorated with cutouts that depicted the stories of Lord Krishna’s various Avatars and his childhood Leelas.

Cut-outs depicting Shree Krishna Leela at the Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Illinois, during the Janmashtami celebrations Aug. 29, 2021. Photo: courtesy Hindu Mandir

Many devotees attended and observed the rituals to mark the occasion. Temple management followed all the COVID-19 safety measures, such as masking instruments, social distancing and implementing time limits, the press release said.

The program started with the sponsor’s Sankalpam mantra. Later, Shree Ganesh, Shree Vishnu, and Shree Krishna Archana were performed with all the Vedic traditions and Mantras.

Uma Iyer and Sangeeta Singh sang Shree Krishna Bhajans. A well-known Choreographer Kiran Chauhan’s students presented Indian classical dances to the Lord.

As part of the rituals, Little Krishna was received by the temple priest at the entrance of the shrine with all the Vedic rituals and Mantras.Temple priest, Pundit Anil Joshi Ji started removing one by one petals from the piled up rose mountain while chanting Vedic Shree Krishna Mantras around 11:45PM and exactly at the stroke of midnight, he lifted baby Krishna to chants of  “Krishna Krishna Hare Krishna” and “Hathi Ghoda Palki Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki”, amid blowing of conch shells, and the calls of, “May Lord Krishna shower His most cheerful blessing on all and gives strength to everyone facing difficulties in their lives.”

Classical dance being performed on the occasion of Janmashtami celebrations at Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Illinois, Aug. 29, 2021. Photo: courtesy Hindu Mandir

This was followed by an elaborate Abhishekam and placing of  Baby Krishna, dressed in new clothes and jewelry, in a decorated cradle.Pundit Joshi performed Maha Mangala Arati of Lord Krishna and offered many kinds of Home-made Naivedyam recipes to after the Arati. All the devotees took turns for Darshan of Krishna. Later, Naivedyam was distributed to all the devotees as prasadam.

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