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Hanuman Jiís Moorti Sthapna at Hanuman Mandir and Community center

By Suresh & Usha Bodiwala

Chicago IL (Dec. 18, 2014): The holy celebrations become even more joyful when we feel the divine blessings being showered. It turned out to be a pleasant blessing of Hanumanji that in the middle of December month in Chicago when we had a 50-degree weekend for the holy event of Hanuman Ji Moorti Sthapna. A vast number of devotees have been praying dedicatedly for many months for this day.

One year ago December 14, 2013 devotees of Hanumanji celebrated the Bhumi Shudhi, a religious ritual for purification of land before the start of construction. The auspicious occasion for the ambitious project on a 4.1-acre plot of land in Glenview, construct a 37,200-square-foot, two-story building.

Illinois marked the beginning of realization of a long-cherished dream of the Indian community residing in the northern suburbs of Chicago. In view of the growing numbers of Indian population and their spiritual needs, it was long felt to have a facility that could become the source of support for the fast-aging people. The project will include a Hanuman Mandir and a community center. The center will also serve the long- standing desire of the community to have a multi-facet public place to celebrate various cultural, spiritual and educational programs.

The Sthapna prayers started on Dec. 12, 2014, to bring out beloved Hanuman ji’s Moorti from its strong shipment container. It was a four-hour event that involved careful lifting of 22.5-foot tall, over 45,000-lb., one-piece statue carved of Makrana marble that had been shipped from Jaipur, India. It is a heart-warming sight to see this magnificent sculpture highlighting our Indian faith and art. The Moorti seemed almost live with Hanuman ji showering blessings at his devotees with a great smile.

This highly delicate and sensitive, engineering operation started with prayers by Pandit Yogesh Pandya, accompanied by a group of devotees and a team of technical personal present at the sight of upcoming Hanuman Spiritual and Cultural Center, at 3623 West Lake Street, Glenview, IL. 

On Dec.13, 2014, a team of young professionals organized a meeting at the Mandir sight and volunteer their time to plan the crowd control and traffic management of devotees expected on the following day.

On Dec.14, 2014, notwithstanding the early morning cold weather, the team of volunteers took their positions in open area at the Mandir sight. Amidst the ongoing construction sight, they started serving the visiting crowd of devotees in a very efficient manner. They made a circular path to enable devotees to seek the Moorti Darshan without leaving their cars. The stream of visitors was guided by the volunteers towards the Glenbrook High School to join the day long prayers.

The Auditorium at the School which was already tastefully decorated by an energetic team of volunteers on the previous evening. The prayers started at 9 a.m. by Pandit Nagendra Rao and Pandit Yogesh Pandya.  The devotees got a chance to offer their ‘Archana’ in a personal manner. The daylong celebrations were graciously attended by over 500 devotees. Many of them expressed their love for the Mandir by sponsoring trees which would be planted on the 4.1-acre vast area surrounding the main Mandir building.

The chanting of prayers was accompanied by various Bhajan singers who kept the atmosphere thrilled with their melodious voices. The devotees were provided with the bags of holy Parsad. Each Parsad bag also included a special wooden bead which was artistically painted by the volunteers of Parsad Committee under the leadership of Raji Sridharan. The event was peacefully enjoyed with the chanting of Mantras and chanting of Hanuman Chalisa.

The year-long efforts in planning and organizing the event could become successful only with the cooperation and generous support of Ganesh Kousik, Ganesh Gulecha, Savi Ram, Veena Kataria, Satish and Mira Chander, Priya Ramesh and a large number of sincere volunteers.

The efficient management of the Glenbrook High School, Glenview, deserves a grateful vote of thanks for permitting the Mandir to use the School facilities to hold these prayers and celebrations.

At the conclusion of the day, the holy Moorti was safely covered until the construction of Mandir dome would resume after the passage of winter weather.

Meanwhile, everyone is welcome to join the regular monthly prayers and Sunderkaand recitation from 5-7 p.m., on every fourth Saturday, at the residence of Dr. Khurana at 2390 Dorina Dr., Northfield, IL.

"The goal of the Hanuman Temple to create a safe and peaceful place for prayer, meditation and reflection for attendees and members of the public at large for generations to come” said by Dr Chandra Khurana