Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Raksha Bandhan - Bond of Protection

Relationships are the essence of any festivity and it holds true for any Indian festival. Each occasion brings the family together which calls for a celebration. Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of one such relation - that of a brother and a sister. It is one of the widely celebrated Indian festivals. The term 'Raksha' means 'protection' and 'Bandhan' means, 'bond'. The underlying essence of the Hindu ideals of love and harmony is portrayed in all the festivals which are reminders of the oneness in all beings- and so very much in this one. With my brother sitting thousands of miles away, I am exploring the meaning of this festival, I am sure all my love and blessings are reaching him there too.

Raksha Bandhan, also known as 'Rakhi' is celebrating the divine bond of love between brother & sister. Sisters tie a delicate cord/ thread of 'Rakhi' on their brother's wrist, pulsating with sublime sentiment and pray for his long life. Brothers, in turn, give them enticing rakhi gifts and vows to protect and care for them lifelong. Thus, the affectionate festivity of Raksha Bandhan becomes a token of blessings, wishes, enthusiasm & love.

Sister shows respect to the brother in the form of adoration or worship. The sacred thread tied on a brother's wrist by the affectionate sister, is the ceremonial expression of her pious hope and wish that her brother be guided by spiritual vision. This symbolic thread is a token of remembrance and inspiration for the brother. Rakhi symbolizes the sacred relationship between a brother and his sister. Just as the brother gets the thread tied in order denote his promise to protect his sister, similarly, the sister prays to God for the protection of her brother. The greater the sister's spiritual emotion, devotion, her yearning towards God, the greater is the effect of her prayers on her brother's well being and his spiritual progress.

This ritual not only strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters, but also transcends the confines of the family. The celebration of Raksha Bandhan has its origin in religion and stretches further beyond its boundaries for a broader view of universal brotherhood which paves way for universal oneness. Love is the underlying essence of every religion. Unconditional love for all beings can be realized when one understands his true self, the spiritual self or the 'Atman' which is the same in all beings and which stretches beyond all seeming disparities. Spiritual oneness, is the ultimate end of observing rituals and festivals and same is recognized by the observance of Raksha Bandhan.

Raksha Bandhan thus serves as a reminder of our true nature, the real self which is lost in the apparent differences. So let us observe the rituals of the festival and celebrate it keeping in mind its essence, its true spiritual import. The spiritual significance of Raksha Bandhan is when one takes a sacred divine vow of purity with the God, to live a life of purity in thoughts, words and actions. Rakhi, tied on the right hand, is only symbolic and it is a gentle reminder that we must protect ourselves spiritually from the vices less we commit spiritual suicide in bondage of materialism.

This life of purity and the freedom from material bondage elevates the soul to its original pure religion of peace and silence. Raksha Bandhan is not an isolated festival, but it is an activity in a major event in the world cycle, for the purification of all souls as well as the elements.

It is important to protect our elevated conscience or divine intellect by not coming under the influence of anger, greed, arrogance, lust and attachment. When need turns into greed, believe it or not, one is on the highway to hell.

To cheat, deceive or steal are sinful acts and are opposite divinity. To pledge a life of purity and live a life of sin is to commit suicide. One may deceive others and maybe oneself, but one cannot fool the God. The wages of sin accumulate hundredfold if one is knowledgeable compared to that of being ignorant of the consequences.

On this auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan, August 24, 2010, let us take a moment for deep spiritual introspection and free ourselves from the bondage of greed, the lust for power and a slave of promiscuity and make God our eternal companion for true peace, happiness and prosperity.

26 comments:

  1. Loved the insight on this sacred ritual :)
    Thanks.

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  2. thank you so much Kevin..keep visiting for more.

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  3. Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister."

    Sog

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  4. Vishesh Rawat @ Facebook

    very good insights presented in excellent manner..
    August 25, 2010 at 11:39am

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  5. Dhruv Chawla @ Facebook

    i havnt read the full article yet...:| but still i really love the festival...i mean its a way how we can make our friends our family happy...how amazing is that? :)

    August 25, at 2:48pm

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  6. Mandira Chowdhury @ Facebook

    Soniadi, you have posted a good article about hindu festival. I like this festival .

    August 26, 2010 at 2:04pm

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  7. Hello! I am a new follower from Mom Bloggers Club! You have a great blog here! I am following via Google Friend Connect and NetworkedBlogs. If you could follow me back on these, I would greatly appreciate it!

    Wonderful writing!
    - Kristina
    http://www.kristinawyatt.com/missmommy

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  8. Wow deep thoughts! :)
    New follower from MBC, come visit me www.frugalonthecheap.com

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  9. Hi! I am a new follower from the Mom Bloggers Club!

    I hope you can stop by and check out my blog.

    Have a great weekend!

    Kari
    http://shining2save.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm your newest follower and would love you to follow me back. www.dancinganddishes.com
    I used to live in Mussoorie India and am looking forward to reading your posts and remembering India!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Kristina, thanks a lot, i shall definitely check your blog too.

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  12. Hi Mrs. A,

    Thanks a lot, i m connected with u on your site now.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Kari,

    Thanks Kari, i checked your site as well, done a wonderful job there, great.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for following. u r welcome anytime, good to know u have already had a flavor of India.

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  15. very impressive post
    read http://earning-onweb.blogspot.com/2010/08/100-ways-to-increase-your-website.html

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  16. thanks عمرو متولي عبد الحفيظ

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  17. aps. true Sonia!
    Ajay Relhan, @ Plaxo

    Aug 25, 2010

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  18. great sonia
    good content to make ritual sight

    http://praveentips.blogspot.com

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  19. Nice topic to cover. Reading it after right one year and that is too on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

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  20. I like your post on Raksha bandhan. I become very emotional when Raksha Bandha comes because I don't have any sister.

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