Celebrating the auspicious festival of Raksha Bandhan at Global Co-operation House, London With Sudesh Didi and Sister Jayanti
London ( UK ): Huge joy and gratitude was felt by all that Global House was once again able to welcome the BK family from around the UK, Europe, and the Middle East after two years. For the first time since 2019 it was possible for us to come together in a large gathering – and that rakhis could be tied and tilaks of self-sovereignty applied on each one individually by our senior sisters. Sudesh Didi and Sister Jayanti held each ceremony with such powerful yoga and royalty and shared divine drishti with each one before handing rakhi, toli, fruit and blessings.
The stage was decorated with three tall, white arches carrying exquisite, classic floral displays with a seat under each one: three gateways to the subtle region, with florally decorated peacocks on each side of the stage. Each one sitting for tapasya would surely have come up with their own thoughts about the concept of the simple, elegant design. But, as always, the beauty lay in its simplicity.
A special session entitled The Link of Love was offered for members of the public, friends and contacts on Sunday 14th.
A total of 1,996 rakhis were tied on stage over 10 separate sessions, totalling 29 hours and 15 mins of beautiful and powerful yoga. Strikingly this year, the number of those sitting for yoga was consistently high. Many also contributed their presence and yoga power online, as each session was webcast. GCH accommodated 68 guests over the rakhi period and many came for the day from centres and places around the UK.
The day of Raksha Bandhan itself was Thursday 11th, the first day. The subtle presence of God and of all our beloved Dadis, especially Dadi Janki, Dadi Prakashmani and Dadi Gulzar, was palpable. The seven days together were deeply meaningful and quite magical. It was all beautifully organised and supported by the wonderful co-operation and collaboration of many departments at GCH, especially the kitchen and servery teams, who worked tirelessly to provide warm hospitality to everyone who came, and the stage, ushering, toli and technical teams, who made it all happen seamlessly.
Before each ceremony, Sudesh Didi and Sister Jayanti alternated sharing different aspects on the spiritual significance of Raksha Bandhan and its relevance to our lives today. Here are some of their sharings:
- Rakhi is a chance to review what I’ve been doing since I came to Baba and what I want to do – not in the next few months but in the next few hours. When we have a determined thought, Baba makes it happen. Let me have that aim: I want to be satopradhan.
- What does om shanti mean? When everything is pure and clean, there is satisfaction, there is shanti.
- Two things are needed: love and faith. A rakhi has two threads on each side and Shiv Baba in the middle. On one side the two threads of love and faith in the self and on the other feeling the love and faith God has in us.
- In bhakti, the pandit would tie a rakhi around the door handles and window handles and then would tie two together around the water urn. People would say: It’s for protection. Now Baba has explained this bhakti system. In gyan we understand it’s about protecting the doors and windows of our eyes, ears and mouths – having purity in our eyes, in our ears and on our lips (what we eat and what we say).
- The link of love is a two way relationship. God is offering me protection and blessings, so what can I do in return? The teachings God gives are what I have to follow and my obedience will allow me to receive God’s protection.
- Ask yourself: Have I had that experience of God’s protection in my life at some point? Let the question stay with you and keep reflecting on it.
- Today (15th Aug) is Indian Independence Day but we are celebrating freedom from all types of bondages – free from dependency, from old habits, addictions, conflicts.. Interdependency is the natural way of the yoga life, everything depends on the cooperation of each one. Each one is independent and yet interdependent.
- Who likes bondage? Not even a little child likes bondage! How come we come running to experience this very sweet bondage? It’s not a bondage that restricts us, it is a bond of love that liberates us from all the things we’ve tried to free ourselves from before: sorrow, negativity, etc. God’s love fills the soul with so much power and purity and liberates from these. God’s love shows us what total freedom means.
- Raksha Bandhan is a pure relationship with my own self, with my physical costume and with each other. In a relationship with our own pure personality we are able to connect with the Supreme Soul – and enjoy pure relationships of love and benevolence with each other.