If you ever visit the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan, you will see that there is a curtain between Bihariji and His devotees. The priests draw the curtain every few minutes. Have you wondered what gave birth to this tradition?
Legend has it that once a princess from Rajasthan visited the Banke Bihari temple. She belonged to one of the ancient kingdoms that ruled over this region and visited the temple to worship the Lord. However, as soon as the princess set her eyes on the beautiful all-black idol of Bihariji, she lost herself in divine love. She watched the Lord with rapt attention and wanted to be with Him forever in Vrindavan.
But that couldn’t happen.
The princess had her own duties towards the kingdom and was dragged to the palace. Even when away from Vrindavan, not a day passed when the princess did not think of Krishna and yearned to be with Him in Vrindavan.
Lord Banke Bihari wasn’t oblivious to the princess’ love and devotion and did something that no one had ever seen before.
One day, the priest of the Banke Bihari temple found that the idol was missing. A desperate search followed. After looking for the idol everywhere, it was finally found at the palace of the Rajasthani princess, the same person who had visited the temple and wanted to be in Vrindavan with the Lord. It is believed that Bihariji was moved by the devotion of His bhakt, the princess, and left His temple to visit His devotee.
The idol of Bihariji was reinstalled in the temple but something else was done. A curtain was introduced between the idol and the devotees. Even today, priests draw this curtain after regular intervals to break the spell that Bihariji’s beauty cast on His devotees. The curtain ensures that the devotees cannot look at the Lord for a long time at a stretch and be overpowered by divine love.