Hundreds of devotees attend Janmashtami in Grayslake Hindu Mandir, Illinois

Elaborate decorations of Baby Krishna and Raas Leela, at the Sept. 6, 2023, Janmashtami celebrations at Hindu Mandir of Lake Councy, Grayslake, Illinois. PHOTO: Hindu Mandir

The Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Grayslake, IL celebrated Krishna Janmashtami September 6, 2023, attended by more than 800 devotees from the Greater Chicago area. Families dressed up their younger children as Krishna and Radha.  And the temple was decorated with Krishna Leela cutouts from Lord Krishna’s birth in jail to Dwarka. All other deities were also dressed up with new clothes and elaborate jewelry and flowers for the occasion.

Janmashtami celebrations started with the evening Pujan of Lord Ganesh and Krishna followed by the procession of little Krishnas and Radhas in the open ground of the temple. Younger children also celebrated the Dahi Handi event with great enthusiasm, forming a human pyramid to reach and break earthen pots filled with butter and curd. More than 40 students belonging to different age groups form Kiran Chauhan’s I-Radha dance school performed Kathak dance that narrated the story of Krishna’s birth to Maha Raas.

Chauhan was one of the famous students of renowned late Indian dancer, singer and composer Pandit Birju Maharaj   exponent of the Lucknow “Kalka-Bindadin” Gharana of Kathak dance in India. Rita Patel, Kamalesh Desai, and Sangeeta Singh sang Bhajans.

A still from the Kathak dance performed for Krishna Janmashtami Sept. 6, 2023, at Hindu Mandir, Lake County, Grayslake, Illinois. PHOTO: Hindu Mandir

At Midnight Krishna Avatar was witnessed by all the devotees. Baby Krishna rose from the heaps of rose petals during the darkest time symbolizing the filling of lives with divine light. Then saffron milk and Kumbha Abhishekam of infant Krishna was performed by the temple priests who placed him in a decorated cradle after adorning him with new clothes and jewelry.

Devotees performed Maha Mangalarati after offering Krishna traditional foods.

Pundit Anil Joshi Ji gave a brief discourse on the importance of Lord Krishna’s teachings and how they are relevant in the present day and age.

The weeklong Krishna Janmashtami celebration was concluded by chanting 100 chapters of Narayaniyam for more than 7 hours. This described different avatars of Lord Vishnu. Rajesh Jayaraman who provides service of Sanskrit and Mantra teaching to many people in the community led this event. Shammi Dhall, religious committee head, coordinated the event.

Sankalpam was performed for 50 sponsors before the chanting. Pundit Joshi blessed everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous life.



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