Worshipped by thousands, Devon Ka Raja leaves, promising early return

Lord Ganesh prayer and celebrations on the final - Visarjan Day.

Lord Ganesh prayer and celebrations on the final – Visarjan Day.

CHICAGO: Devon Ka Raja – Lord Ganesh – came and left badding adieu to his large number of followers after a brief visit and promising that He will be back again next year around the same time. This was greeted with a chorus of joyous cry Ganpati Bappa Moria!

This was the sight at 2623 W Devon Avenue where Devon Ka Raja stayed during his brief visit that ended on Thursday September 15. This marked the culmination of the 10-day Ganesh Festival hosted by the Regal Foundation, a Chicago based no profit organization.

Each day of the festival was celebrated with twice daily aartis, daily evening pujas dedicated to a different deity, and each night culminating with Garba, a traditional celebratory dance.

The last day celebration was a sight to watch. Despite it being a working day, hundreds of Lord Ganesh devotees flocked from all parts of Chicagoland to Devon Avenue to be part of the huge crowd of followers bidding adieu to Devon Ka Raja and also pray whole heartedly for his coming back next year to bless them and their loved ones.

The Ganesh Visarjan parade along Devon Ave was a mini mela with hundreds of worshipers chanting, dancing and playing with Gulal (a color). Along the route, Lord Ganesh showered the surrounding businesses and homes with His blessings, pausing for a special prayer offered by Regal Traders, Hindi Lover’s Club, Udupi Palace, Uma Sarees, Sukhadia’s Sweets, New Taj Appliances, Sahil, India Sari Palace, Resham’s Handicrafts, My Niketan, Punjabi Dhaba, Hi-India Newspaper, Lakshmi Jewelers, Patel Handicrafts, Patel Brothers, Fresh Farms International Market, Andaaz Jewelers, Joy Allukas, Kamdar Plaza, Raj Jewels, Vitha Jewels, NP Jewelers, Uru-Swati, and Sari Sapne.

After the procession the priest and worshipers bid Ganesh a final farewell as they submerged Him into water. Local businesses along with many volunteers dedicated hours of assistance, offerings of sweets, food and flowers, and praise to the Lord Ganesha, without whom this event would have met the success that it deserved.

Ganesh Chaturthi celebration next year will begin on August 28, 2017. Visit their website for more information:www.devonkaraja.com

In addition to hosting the annual Ganesh Chauturthi, Regal Foundation is striving to meet the needs of the community by establishing a permanent Ganesh Temple on Devon Ave. For more information visit www.shreeganeshtempleofchicago.com

Ramesh Soparawala
India Post News Service