Raksha Bandhan – The Bond of Love and Protection
Raksha Bandhan (RB) is a Hindu festival that comes around once a year during the month of August. Set in a spiritual context, RB 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.
RB 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 with that original purity, innocence and goodness that is within us, and to bring it 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 have 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 RB, 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 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. A 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 of them?
The rakhi, of a small but simple ornamental design, like a small bracelet, is tied on the wrist. 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.
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 that 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 itself means to ‘link’ and to ‘connect’, and this festival of rakhi, in its true 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 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 of blessings to remember our deep connection with each other through the thread of eternal love.
It’s Time… to tie a rakhi, that link of love from the heart with God, The Divine, The Protector of the soul.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK