Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: A huge crowd of devotees were seen in Varanasi as they took a holy dip in the Ganga river and offered prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the second Monday of ‘Sawan’ month despite the warning by the authorities to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines.
People were seen flouting COVID-19 protocols. Barely a few people were seen wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
Upon being questioned for not wearing a mask in the public sphere, Ravinder Kumar, a devotee said, “I am not afraid of anyone in God Shiva’s place. God Shiva will take care of everything. (Baba ki nagari main kisi ka darr nahi hai. Baba sab har lenge.)”
Amit, another devotee who had come to the temple to offer prayers said, “We have come here to offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the second Monday of ‘Sawan’. We are happy to be here.” He was not wearing a facemask as well.
Pandit Pralhad Pandey, a preist at the temple said, “What is Corona in front of Baba Bholenath?(Baba bholenath ke aage Corona kya cheez hai?).”
“We feel happy to be here. We are not scared of Coronavirus”, said A Ram Patel, another devotee at the venue.
“With God’s blessings, Coronavirus is not present here”, said another devotee.
On the second day of the month of Sawan, special Aarti was done here with devotees.
Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, is considered to be the most auspicious month of the year. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who, according to Hindu religious beliefs, is the creator, preserver, and destroyer of this universe.
It is a traditional practice to observe a special fast and visit Shiva temples on ‘sawan ke somwar’ (Mondays falling in the month of Shravan).
This year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic the annual Kanwar Yatra, which is usually undertaken in the month of Sawan, has also been cancelled.