To the Kanyas and Batuks of Rikhiadham

Swami Yogatirthananda Saraswati, Switzerland

Namo Narayana

Thank you so much for having hosted yet another magic event in Rikhia. Everywhere you are guarding, guiding, seating and giving with such grace and skill.

On stage, your eyes and songs are full of laughter. The colour of each face is different, reflecting the beauty and infinite wealth of Mother Earth. Your hair is so thick and shiny – the envy of every Bolly and Hollywood actress. Equally at ease in jeans and in the fancy Rajasthani outfit, you have given the ‘Rikhia catwalk’ its own flair and class.

Oh, and the dancers! Soon film makers from Mumbai will flock to Rikhia to get new ideas and inspiration! Yes, and when the time comes, these dancing boys will be very worthy husbands to the kanyas and good fathers to their children.

Your parents too have changed. They are proud of you and grateful for their good fortune. They seem to have forgotten the hardship of the past and see in and through your eyes a bright future for all.

The light you spread reaches even your grandparents. For on the third day of the yajna, your grandmothers came to the office, two groups of three, bent, holding each other by the hand, hardly moving forward. Intimidated by the hustle and bustle, they fumbled with their saris, untying the knot at the end. Their stiff, worn-out fingers were fishing for coins and a tightly folded Rs 20/- bill. There it lay on the table, their donation, two tiny heaps of hard-earned savings. Not once did they look up. Giving their names in a whisper, they left. What a humbling sight and lesson!

No doubt, you, the kanyas and batuks, inspire these grandmothers, make them listen to Paramahamsaji’s call of “give, give, give”.

Now it is up to you who have come from afar to do more than just witness: May out hearts be open like the hearts of children and grandmothers, may we “give, give, give”, may we take the light with us and bring a touch of Rikhia to wherever we go.

Thank you, kanyas and batuks of Rikhiadham, for showing us how to do it.

Namo Narayana