Rakhi festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm every year. The preparations for celebration of Rakhi, which is one of the most awaited festival in India, starts much earlier than the day it falls. The markets are flooded with Rakhis in myriad colours, designs and shapes complimented with Rakhi special gifts, sweets and other items. Girls start preparations and shopping quite early. They shop for new clothes and buy rakhis, specially the ones that have to be sent to the brothers staying far. For those brothers and sisters who for distances are not able to meet, it is a day for remembering the bygone time. Sisters unable to meet their brothers send Rakhi by post along with greeting cards or through e-mails, e-cards, and mobile SMSes. Nothing on this day can stop the overflowing emotions of sisterly and brotherly love.
Though now Rakhi is considered as a sister and brother festival, it was not always so. There have been examples in history where in rakhi has just been a raksha or protection. It could be tied by wife, a daughter or mother. The priests tied rakhi to the people who came seeking their blessings. The sages tied the sacred thread to themselves to safeguard themselves from the evil power. Rakhi is not only a symbol of fond relationship between sisters and brothers but nowadays is also a sign of warmth and compassion shared between the communities. This brings love, unity and brotherhood within communities of various faith and traditions. It evokes the feeling of humanity and concern for others with whom we share our lives in the society.
In today’s scenario, the day has a different perspective. The occasion involves a pledge of life-time practice of moral, cultural and spiritual values. The values and the sentiments attached to the rituals of this festival are worth inculcating by the whole human race, the sentiments of harmony and peaceful co-existence. The festival of Raksha Bandhan assumes all forms of protection, righteousness, friendship, well being and destroyer of all sin. The rakhi tying ritual has become so much a part of the families that come what may, brothers and sisters try to reach out to each other on this particular day bringing back the memories of togetherness and emotional bonding of the family. Rakhi festival not only strengthens the bond of love and affection between brothers and sisters but also brings friends and strangers closer. When a rakhi is tied on the wrists of anyone it acts as a way to connect individuals on a new platform and brings them closer.
Thus, while celebrating Raksha Bandhan one should not forget the love aspect which unites the two souls in deep sacred relationship via a simple thread. It strengthens the bond of giving oneself for the sake of other not only in the times of difficulties and sorrows, but also in moments of joy and happiness. Having had understood the deeper nuances of this feast let us not make this festival a mere custom or modern trend for the civilization of today instead may it become an eternal promise of protection and love in the ages to come. ~Sumit Dhanraj