Raksha Bandhan – The Bond of Love and Protection
Raksha Bandhan is an Indian festival that comes around once a year during the month of August. Set in a spiritual context, Raksha Bandhan is a beautiful silent ceremony that connects us with God in a most meaningful and subtle way. It reminds us of our original purity that is at the core of our being.
Raksha Bandhan simply means a ‘bond of protection’. The tying of a sacred thread – the rakhi – on the wrist signifies the promise we make to the Almighty One. To connect us with our original purity, innocence and goodness, to bring these powers back once again into our lives. In return, God gives us the assurance of His protection.
Over time some of the spiritual significance of many festivals through-out the world has been lost. Just like Christmas, which for some has become commercial in nature and a seasonal event with food and presents and a time to holiday and party.
In India, during this popular festival of Raksha Bandhan, sisters traditionally tie a ‘rakhi’ around the wrist of their brothers. Historically, it was a promise made by the brothers, and men folk to protect their female family members from harm. Today, there are still some remnants of this good feeling and loving connection between brothers and sisters. The sisters tie the small bracelet, the rakhi, on the wrist of their brothers and those souls who are in a close brotherly connection. It is the custom for the brother to then give a gift to the sister, but the true meaning behind rakhi is the idea of love and protection.
For those on a spiritual journey, the tying of the bond represents the awareness of a more ancient truth. It is an opportunity to go deeply within and renew this bond of pure love between God and each one of us. This time calls us into silent contemplation and to an experience of the most subtle and beautiful connection with the One Supreme. This is the time to go within and to deepen our relationship with the Divine.
On this day, we make the pledge to ourselves and to God to maintain pure thoughts and loving good wishes for all those around us. What if the whole world were our family? What kind of feelings would we have towards each soul?
The rakhi, which consists of a small but simple ornamental design, like a little bracelet, is tied on the wrist of the right arm. The thread reminds us that we are all tied by the thread of love to each other and to God, and that we are being united through a sacred thread of oneness. This really is an eternal spiritual connection. This subtle thread joins us soul to soul and to the Supreme Soul, completing the circle of love, very much like the rosary.
Often these events act as reminders to us of the spiritual connection that we have with each other and the Divine. That truly it can only be God who can protect the soul, as the Divine is not restricted by time, place or space, and so we can all share a divine link with the All Powerful Presence of the Divine.
Meditation can help us to make that daily re-connection with the Divine. The word ‘yoga’ means to ‘link’ and to ‘connect’, and this festival of rakhi, in its truest meaning reminds us to make effort to deepen our spiritual connection with God.
In our busy lives we become so engrossed in things of the world, and our outer horizontal connections are increasing all the time. So, these occasions are good opportunities for us to stop, recreate, and to re-connect and to be reminded to take time to make the inner and upward connection.
Each one of us can make the time for that inner journey, to reconnect the thread of love to the Divine, this is the vertical connection to the One up above. The tying of the rakhi is a time to receive blessings and to remember our deep connection with each other through the thread of eternal love.
Happy Raksha Bandhan to everyone.
It’s Time… to tie a rakhi and to re-forge that pure link of love from the heart with God… The Divine… The Protector of all souls.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK