Chicagoland couldn’t have asked for a better post-pandemic celebration after almost two years of pause to any public gathering than the beautiful religious and musical extravaganza organized by Shri Jalaram Mandir with Kirtidan Gadhvi and group. The grand program of “Ras-Garba Ramzat” was organized by Shri Jalaram Mandir, 425 Illinois Blvd, Hoffman Estate, IL on Friday September 17, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 1:00 am at Renaissance Convention Center, 1551, Thoreau, Schaumburg, IL with the internationally acclaimed vocalist Kirtidan Gadhvi” and his fellow artists who entertained thousands of devotees at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel at Schaumburg, IL. The event was attended by over 2500 people.
“The best karma is not the one that has a good result, the best karma is the one that has the best purpose.” Shri Jalaram Mandir follows the similar path of public service, with all its revenue from such programs going to the contribution of the temple. The selfless and free service of Shri Jalaram Mandir, its managing committee and all the volunteers was as excellent as ever with beautiful sound system lighting, security, photography, videography and booths for different businesses. There was free entry for children below 10 years of age, free parking, tea and snacks at reasonable prices, provision of water, cold drinks and free covid testing. The contribution of donors from different fields as sponsors was commendable. All the devotees who came were also very supportive and co-operative.
Jalaram Mandir has been organizing events in mind boggling fashion depicting unique examples of teamwork and credit goes not only to Board Members but to every individual that participates with zeal be it an executive or volunteer. The entire venue was overcrowded and the spectacular audience danced and enjoyed Raas Garba with enthusiasm and fervor. This annual holy event is celebrated in honor of Goddess Durga Mataji. “Navali Nortani Raat Maa Amba Garbe Ghumta (Nisarya) Pavagadhthi. Ne Chicagona Khailaiya Raas Garba Khub Ghumta Sang Kirtidan Gadhvi”
Garba and Raas, performed by Kirtidan Gadhvi and Group, transformed the whole center into a huge dance floor to accommodate thousands of bare feet moving into thunderous drum beats in swirling circles around deity Hindu Goddess “Durga”. There was overwhelming participation from the audience enjoying the memorable evening. Many in the audience, especially ladies and children wore very colorful and dazzling traditional dresses for this special juncture with appropriately matching ornaments and extravagant hairstyles. Navaratri Garba is very special as it honors Shakti in very rhythmic ways. Western dress is replaced by Lengha-choli, matching jewelry and foot wear. “Some prefer to wear traditional outfit while others go for modern look”
Kirtidan Gadhvi and Group started the program by offering a prayer to invoke divine grace. This was followed by mesmerizing rhythmic conventional Garba music with equally passionate and energetic performance by the audience of traditional swirling dance around Mataji’s heavenly symbolic presence turned into a shrine adorn with flowers and decorations. After the brief break and Aarti, the festive music of Dandiya-Raas commenced with an enthusiastic participation by the audience that lasted into the early hours of the morning.
Immaculate planning and a well-organized team effort by Board of Trustees, executive committee members and volunteers was very well evident in the excellent security, safety and parking arrangement. Kirtidan Gadhvi and all his fellow artists made the event a very successful with heartfelt, devotional performance. All the artists from India came to Chicago Shri Jalaram Mandir. All the artists, promoters and attendees heartily applauded all the excellent arrangements. This multidimensional celebration of such a festive day of Navaratri would not have been possible without many sponsors, donors, and advertisers. With divine blessing from Jalarambapa and Mataji combined with devotional hard work and enthusiastic support and participation by the community made the event a grand success.