Vrindavan, 2016.05.22 (Jitender Sharma, DJ): Everyone knows that after Krishna left Vrindavan for Mathura, messages were exchanged back and forth between the gopis and their beloved Kanaiya. Such letters were the source of inspiration for many great poems in Sanskrit and other Indian languages, in the songs of Surdas and of Rupa and Jiva Goswamis.
But how many know that all over India, there are many women, young and old, who think of themselves as Krishna’s beloved sakhis and send him love letters on a regular basis?
Right next door to the Banke Bihari temple is a branch post office to which these letters are sent. They are then actually offered and read to Bihariji.
In one letter, a young woman named Radhika draws two hearts, Krishna’s name in one, “Radhika” in the other, the two hearts bound together by Cupid’s arrow. She writes,
“O Lord of my Life! You may well have forgotten me, but I will never forget you. Are you angry with me for some reason that you do not call me to your side after so long? I know I am not worthy of you, but what can I do? My mind cannot stop thinking of you for a moment and I cannot bear to look at any other man.
Maybe I have no right to aspire for you, but I say your name and put sindur in my hair part; while uttering your name I put the bangles of a married woman on my wrists. Is this all a lie? All I know is that I love you. Wherever you are, be happy. The world loves you. I am your maidservant, birth after birth. Radhika.”
Another letter came from a woman who signed her name as “Dolly Sakhi.” She left no return address. She writes:
O Bihariji! I know you are the lord of the universe. Great saints and seers perform tremendous austerities to attain you. I am not capable of performing such austerities. There is nothing I can do to attain you. I am totally dependent on you. All I know is that I want you. I want to be with you. Please come into my arms and be my good fortune.
Another kind of letter came from the Sahranpur jail, from one of the prisoners.
He Bihariji!! On February 7 2014, my wife was murdered. I don’t know who did it, but I was arrested and accused of being a dowry murderer. You know I am innocent. Please help me. I have been in prison for 25 months now. I have a two and a half year old daughter. I want to see you. How can that happen now?
The man included a picture of his daughter in the letter.
Umesh Saraswat of the Temple Prabandhak Committee said that every letter that is sent to Bihariji reaches him. The letters are placed at his feet after being read to him. Many of the letters are thank you notes for prayers that have been fulfilled. Often devotees hand the priests a letter in person and these are given directly to Bihariji.
Saraswat said that devotees write in various moods — some as friends, some in a parental mood. But those writing love letters are nearly all women.
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