Raksha Bandhan - an immaculate bond between brother and sister
The chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister is one of the deepest and noblest of human emotions. 'Raksha Bandhan' or 'Rakhi' celebration is the festival to express this immaculate love by tying a holy thread around the wrist which pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments. It means 'a bond of protection'
On this day, sisters pray for long life of their brothers and ask God to bless them with his blessings. Brothers, in turn, give them enticing rakhi gifts and promise to care life long.
The ritual is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan, on which sisters tie the sacred Rakhi string on their brothers' right wrists. When a Rakhi is tied on the wrists of close friends and neighbors, it underscores the need for a harmonious social life, where every individual co-exist peacefully as brothers and sisters.
As we see it in our History, the strong bond represented by Rakhi has resulted in innumerable political ties among kingdoms and princely states. The pages of Indian history testify that the Rajput and Maratha queens have sent Rakhis even to Mughal kings who, despite their differences, have assuaged their Rakhi-sisters by offering help and protection at critical moments and honoured the fraternal bond. Even matrimonial alliances have been established between kingdoms through the exchange of Rakhis. History has it that the great Hindu King Porus refrained from striking Alexander, the Great because the latter’s wife had approached this mighty adversary and tied a Rakhi on his hand, prior to the battle, urging him not to hurt her husband.
There is no doubt that rituals like Rakhi help ease out various societal strains, induce fellow-feeling, open up channels of expression, give us an opportunity to rework on our role as human beings and, most importantly, bring joy in our mundane lives. This has always been the idea of an ideal Hindu society.
Feature Cell, News Services Division,AIR