From early morning, as devotees eagerly entered the mandir all received a sanctified rakhdi before they took their seat. Thousands of devotees, young and old, packed every available vantage point for Swamishri’s darshan on this special day.
As Swamishri emerged from the lift on his colourfully decorated wheelchair, balaks greeted him by holding a giant rakhdi on which was written a prayer ‘Swami Bapa! Amari tame raksha karo.’ – ‘Swami Bapa! Please protect us.’ When Swamishri arrived in the open compound, Brahmin devotees were seated, ready to change their janois as per their annual tradition. As they raised their arms holding the janoi Swamishri too raised his arms and signalled to them to put on their new janois.
Then, Swamishri arrived on the small decorated platform set up beneath Yogiji Maharaj’s shrine for the Raksha Bandhan celebration.
First, together everyone sang ‘Tvameva mãtã cha pitã tvameva…’ and ‘Shobho sãdhugune sadã saral ne…’ to convey the sentiments that Swamishri is father, mother and guru to all devotees.
Thereafter, Ishwarcharan Swami prayed to Swamishri on behalf of all devotees, “May Maharaj forever protect us in the form of Swamishri. As stated in Vachanamrut Gadhada III 39 may all be protected from the bondage of bodily and worldly attachments. May we develop affection and attachment towards you. May we always develop nirdosh bhav towards you through mind, action and speech. And may we all maintain samp, suhradbhav and ekta and serve you and the Satsang.”
On this occasion, Swamishri also launched the Satsang exam ebooks for reading on the iPad, Kindle and other e-readers. The files are available for free download from the Sanstha’s website (http://www.baps.org/ebooks).
Swamishri further blessed the devotees as everyone held up the rakhdis they had been given on entry. Thereafter Swamishri went for Thakorji’s darshan and returned to his room.
In this way, thousands of devotees participated in this brief, yet memorable Raksha Bandhan celebration.