Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means “the tie or knot of protection”.
It is a Hindu festival that ritually celebrates the love and duty between brothers and their sisters.
Sister ties a Rakhi after which she prays to express her love and wishes for the well being of her brother. In return, the brother vows to protect and take care of his sister forever. It is one of the very few festivals that goes beyond commercialism and the flamboyance of the rising nature of festivities across the globe, especially in India.
It is about pure emotion, love and speaks volumes of the bond between a brother and sister. It’s truly about family ties. It goes beyond mere traditions and bridges bonds so strong that even the distances (geographical or emotional) are cut short during this day.
A sibling relationship especially between a brother and sister is truly something very different and special. Irrespective of the religion, community or country, this festival signifies and empowers people to connect at an emotional level with each other transcending even age groups.
The festival today is not merely limited to blood ties of brother and sisters. It extends to ties between cousins or distant family members and sometimes between close family and friends too.
It is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Sravana and falls in the month of August every year.
There are many stories, legends and historical events that have described this bond in various occasions. For eg. Some of the very popular ones that speak about this amazing bond of Rakhi are Indra, King Bali and Goddess Laxmi, Santoshi Ma,Krishna & Draupadi, Yama & the Yamuna, Alexander the Great and King Puru and so on.
One of my favourite among these is the story of Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel Laureate for literature, invoked Raksha Bandhan and Rakhi, as concepts to inspire love, respect and a vow of mutual protection between Hindus and Muslims during India’s colonial era.
Here is a beautiful poem from Tagore on this auspicious and beautiful festival of RAKHI:
“The love in my body and heart
For the earth’s shadow and light
Has stayed over years.
With its cares and its hope it has thrown
A language of its own
Into blue skies.
It lives in my joys and glooms
In the spring night’s buds and blooms
Like a Rakhi-band
On the Future’s hand”
For me personally it signifies a very important tie, a tremendously emotional connect with my sister who is hundreds and thousands of miles away and yes of course, with my cousins and some very close friends who make this a very special day.
So here’s wishing a very HAPPY RAKSHABANDHAN to all those loving brothers and sisters out there. There is no bond more sacred and no thread more auspicious than that of the Rakhi!
Have a beautiful day filled with joy ahead.
God bless and be well