A Sacred Tie

Posted on Sunday, August 10th, 2014 by Jayashrita Debnath

Raksha Bandhan is one of the most beautiful festivals celebrated in India. It is celebrated on a full moon day in the Hindu month of Shravan (“shravan purnima”). On this festival, the sister ties a thread “Rakhi” on the wrist of her brother and he in turn pledges to protect her lifelong. There has been some mentions of this event in the Hindu religious scriptures and history. It is believed in the epic Mahabharata, Draupadi had tied rakhi to Lord Krishna and Kunti tied to her grandson Abhimanyu before the war. It is also believed that the widowed queen of Chittor had sent a rakhi to Mughal emperor Humayun.

However the poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore had his own concept about this festival. He visualized communal unity and harmomy during the days of freedom struggle. According to him, this festival wasn’t only restricted to brothers and sisters, it was a thread to bind the larger society through bonds of love and affection. He wanted to instill a feeling of concern and responsibility in the society to protect one another. For him this was beyond the boundaries of any religion or caste. This was meant to invoke trust and ensure harmony in the society.

Throughout the past decades, however the meaning of this festival has evolved. The bonds that were supposed to exist among the societies at large, have weakened even between the siblings. Brothers and sisters meet during the festival and tie these rakhis or they send it through post. But after this day, every one moves on in their own life.

Every festival that was celebrated in ancient India was not merely a chance to wear glittery clothes and waste money on crackers and other essentials of the event. They were opportunities for people to come together, interact with each other, share lovely moments and create bonds of love. But we have now forgotten those values. We celebrate festivals just for the sake of it. This Raksha Bandhan lets change the scenario. Let us pledge to our fellow beings. Let us not be silent watchers when a crime is being committed or a person is dying on the road.When one amongst us needs help, let us be there for them.

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