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Thousands of blue-collar workers from over 20 companies took part in the occasion Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The upcoming Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi distributed sacred thread, called ‘Rakhi’, handmade by women volunteers for 10,000 workers and residents on the occasion of the Hindu festival of Rakshabandhan.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir held memorable prayers on the occasion of Rakshabandhan with more than 4,000 blue-collar workers from over 26 companies in presence. The temple management said it was a joyous cause to thank the ones working earnestly to provide for others.

What is Rakshabandhan?

Rakshabandhan symbolises a bond of support and protection between brothers and sisters and God and devotees. It is celebrated amongst families and friends. On this auspicious day, sisters tie a sacred thread, called Rakhi, on the right-hand wrist of their brothers, while praying for their well-being and prosperity. In return, brothers give their sisters a gift as a promise of protection and love. The literal translation of Raksha Bandhan is “bond of protection”.

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Special prayers were held at the site of the upcoming temple Image Credit: Supplied

Blessings for brothers

Swami Brahmaviharidas, the head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, presiding over the ceremonies said thousands of Rakhis have been handmade with love by the women devotees of the UAE, to gift each worker symbolising blessings for brothers.

“The atmosphere is one of great love, equality, and divinity… Even this Mandir will be handmade with love. Hence, in a place of great piety we pray that may God guide and guard this beautiful nation, its leadership, and all those who call it their home,” he added.

Ram, one of the workers, said: “I feel like I am back home with my family. We are grateful to the Swamis and Mandir for inviting us to celebrate Rakshabandhan together with so many brothers and sister.

Priest Mahant Swami Maharaj virtually blessed the audience from India with prayers for harmony and fraternity.

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Attendees at the event Image Credit: Supplied

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Brick-laying ceremony

Afterwards, the attendees participated in a brick laying ceremony called ‘Shila Sthaapan’. They took part in the special puja (prayer) to sanctify a brick, which they personally carried and placed on the 5m-high plinth above the foundation of the new temple.

More than 100 volunteers helped orchestrate the flow while working conscientiously to manage logistics, prepare fresh food, and small traditional memorabilia.

“There is a feeling of belonging which cannot be justified in words. This thread symbolises mutual respect and togetherness. I am truly proud to serve these brothers who work tirelessly to help build marvelous projects, such as this beautiful upcoming Mandir,” said Ashok Kotecha, chairman of BAPS Hindu Mandir.

Winding-up the day, the audience enjoyed festival hymns sung by the sadhus and youth volunteers of BAPS Hindu Mandir. Meanwhile, each member of the assembly came forward to be tied their own Rakhi accompanied with a prayer for protection, fulfilment, and happiness.