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Light & Faith

Joy Saha | Bangladesh


Hundreds of Hindu devotees gather in front of Shri Shri Loknath Brahmachari Ashram temple for the Rakher Upobash, a religious fasting festival called Kartik Brati, in Barodi, Sonargaon. Sitting in front of candle lights (locally named as Prodip), they fast and pray in earnest to the gods for their favours during the ritual. The festival is held on every Saturday and Tuesday in the last 15 days of the Bengali month – “Kartik.”

Worshippers keep fast from morning for this prayer and it means the last meal they had was their yesterday’s dinner. From afternoon, they start gathering at the temple premises to secure a place for prayer inside the temple. As the sun goes down, devotees sit faithfully surrounding the temple, light up their Prodips (earthen lamps) and dhunachi (an intense incense burner used to create smoke for traditional rituals). Light from million lamps, intense smoke from dhunachi, high peach rhythm of chanting and devotees absorbed in prayers creates breath-taking ambiance. At last, devotees break their fast taking the prashad from temple and cooking their dinner in the temple.

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