Raksha Bandhan

We celebrate Raksha Bandhan every year on Sravan Poornima. Brothers and Sisters take vows for each other. Brother vows to protect his sister, while the sister prays for well being of her brother.

This aspect of Raksha bandhan is of recent intrusion into our custom. Foreign invasions demanded better care and protection for women, and brought this aspect of protection into limelight. Somehow other aspects of this day was lost and it was glad to learn some efforts being taken in this direction.

Last year I had the opportunity of being in the midst of children, as a chief guest, celebrating Raksha Bandhan in a local school. There all children tied Rakhi to each other – boys to girls and girls to boys. We started off… me tying Rakhi to the principal and the principal reciprocating the same…

Then there was a small play on the theme by children.

If we look a little deeper, Sravan Poornima is also the day when people change the sacred thread worn around their trunk. This is for renewing the vows of protection from the Divine, for fulfilling our ordained duty as per ashrama (Brahmacharya, Gruhastha, Vanaprastha or Sannyasa) we are in.

It was also interesting to learn that husband and wife, two brothers, two sisters, two friends, etc., also used to tie rakhi, the thread denoting vow of protection to each other.

It is interesting how our ancestors intertwined the message of interdependence in the world, in a ritual format so it stays for ever passing from one generation to the next.

This Raksha Bandhan, let us resolve… to extend our helping hand to others where we have the strength and seek support from others, where we are in need.

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