Raksha Bandhan- A Thread of Love

Raksha Bandhan is a festival that is celebrated in the month of August all over the country in most houses. This particular festival celebrated the bond between brothers and sisters.  All sisters wear their best attires and tie colourful rakhi on the wrist of their brothers asking for protection in return. Brothers acknowledge the gesture by gifting a small token of love in return.   This is how the festival is celebrated in most homes but there is a place where the occasion is welcomed in a very different way. I am talking about the Raksha Bandhan celebration at Krishna Temple in Vrindavan.

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Vrindavan is home to many widows and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus.  Lord Krishana, a friend to all resides in the hearts of everyone in the city.  Large numbers of people flock to the town during festivals to catch a glimpse of celebration during festivals and important religious days. Raksha Bandhan is no different. 

The celebration begins early morning with the morning arti. All widows dressed in white sari eagerly wait to catch a glimpse of their ultimate protector, Lord Krishna. After the morning arti and puja the women pray individually to the lord and ask for protection and peace. They have nothing but their devotion and sincere prayers to offer. They tie beautiful rakhi to the statue of Lord Krishna. After which they play a little with dry colours and sing beautiful bhajans in praise of the lord.

By mid morning there is a special feast comprising of sweets and other delicacies organised for the widows by the temple management. Many pilgrims also donate money for the feast. Afternoons are spent praying, meditating or simply chanting. Happiness and festive feeling radiated from every face you see on the streets.  Tourists at times even buy sweets for these widows in return of blessings.  Evening is again action packed. There are Bhagwad Gita discourses organised is every nook and corner of the town but the Krishna Temple is where one can find the crowd.  Everyone gets to sit down and soak in the divine presence of the lord.  After which the women again sing bhajans collectively and pray together. The energy is immense.

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Prasad is served to the widows first and then to the rest. Sweet made with clarified butter and fenugreek is a speciality of the day. After which all of them head to their respective adobes and call it a night. It is also believed that Lord Krishna visits the town and blesses every widow.

Raksha Bandhan in Vrindavan is different because no expensive gifts are exchanged, widows are dressed in white saris and not colourful bright dresses and all women ask for protection from the supreme soul rather than individuals. It is also important to note that the colour white stands for purity, the feasts are a symbol of togetherness and praying together empowers one and all.

A true bond of love!

This is how the festival is celebrated in the Krishna Temple at Vrindavan and holds a different significance all together.

Happy Raksha Bandhan! 
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