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Enlightening discourses at all-day Shiva event

February 23
21:02 2015
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Swamiji Ishatmananda with HTGC team and organizers Subramanian Sundaram, Dr Vijaya Sarma, Bhima Reddy, Sri Lakshman Agadi and Dr Sangita Rangala

CHICAGO, IL: The Maharudram Committee of the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, (HTGC) organized the “Rudra: Who Really is He? Part 2 All Day Shiva Event” on Saturday, February 21 at Sama Rathi Auditorium in Lemont, a southwest suburb of Chicago.

The auditorium was fully packed with over 500 guests and invitees cheering 300 plus children showcasing their talents with great enthusiasm and interest.

The grand inauguration ceremony of the prelude series titled “Rudra: Who Really is He?” was on January 31. This is the prelude program to the main event “Maharudram and Navachandi Mahayagnam” which will be on June 12, 13, and 14. The prelude comprises a series of enlightening discourses and cultural presentations bringing out the spiritual symbolism of Mahayagnas and their contribution to universal peace, welfare and prosperity.

The all-day Shiva event started with the grand Girija Kalyanam, the celestial marriage of Shiva and Parvathi. The devotees enjoyed the sumptuous wedding feast from the Prasadam kitchen and were then treated to a variety of cultural programs presented by students of various dance and music schools, including members of a dance school who traveled from Iowa.

Young students of renowned Bharatanatyam teachers, including Smt. Sushmita Arunkumar, Smt.

Sangita Rangala, Smt. Vanitha Veeravalli, Smt. Pragnya Yogesh, Smt. Vidya Pandikaran, Smt. Hema Rajagopalan, Smt. Sowmya Kumaran, and Smt. Anupama Rajesh, presented various Bharathanatyam performances. The audience was mesmerized seeing the children in authentic costumes presenting the dances with perfect synchronization and confidence.

Students of various music teachers, including Smt. Vasanthi Iyer, Smt. Maragatha Mani Sundaresan, Smt. Vaidehi Sudharshan, Smt. Subadra Ramasami, Smt. Shoba Shankar Jagadeesaiyer, and Smt. Saraswathi Ranganathan, presented various performances including vocal music, instrumental ensemble, and devotional prayers.

There were several thematic competitions including drawing, painting, essay writing and quiz programs for the children. It was amazing to watch young children answer questions on various topics centered on Hindu spirituality and the concept of Supreme Consciousness.

Dr Sangita Rangala, director of Anand Dance Academy emceed the event gracefully. The evening session started with chanting of Sri Rudram by four young children. Swamiji Ishatmanada of Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago and the keynote speaker gave a thought provoking talk titled “Shiva: The Great God” and brilliantly explained the concept of Shiva, the consciousness. He gave the spiritual meaning of the story of Lord Shiva consuming Vish – poison. The poison of “ego” is all taken by the Lord if we pray sincerely and turn our attention in the direction of God. He explained that once we surrender our ego, we will become one with God

Teachers and students who presented various performances received a certificate and a prize from Swami Ji. The teachers were also honored by Swamiji and the Maharudram organizers.
A wonderful Bharatanatyam dance concert “Rudra: The One who Purifies” by Vinay Srinivasan followed Swamiji’s speech. His dance presentation commenced with the Siva Panchakshara Stotram “Nahendra Haraya”, a beautiful prayer to Lord Shiva composed by Sri Adi Sankaracharya.

The central piece of his presentation was “Varugalamo Ayya”,(Can I come, Oh Lord?) the portrayal of Nandanar, a lower-caste but ardent devotee of the Lord trying to have Darshan of the Lord at Chidambaram. The grand finale was an Abstract segment called “Jatadhara”, specially choreographed for the event Rudra: Who really is He?

Srinivasan was later honored by the President of the Temple, Bhima Reddy, for such an awe-inspiring performance.

Sri. Lakhshman Agadi, Chair of Maharudram Committee gave the vote of thanks. Fortunately, the weather cooperated with the blessing of the Lord and the program concluded successfully. It is worth noting that the Rathi auditorium was fully packed for the entire duration of the 7-hour program.

Asian Media USA

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