August 28, 2007

Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Today is Rakhi, one of the major festivals of India.

Rakhi is short for Raksha Bandhan, which when translated literally into English means "bond of protection". Like most Indian Festivals, there are many stories associated with Rakhi. The origin of Rakhi is said to be in a Queen tying a thread on her King's wrist to protect him in battle.

But, now, Rakhi is associated with the ties between a brother and a sister. A more modern story is of a Muslim invader attacking an Indian state. The queen of the state realizing that defeat was imminent, sent a Rakhi to the Muslim King. The Muslim King, when told the significance of Rakhi, refrained from attacking the state and vowed to be a life long friend to the state.

Rakhi symbolises the love between a brother and a sister. The sister ties a silk thread on her brother's wrist as a token of her love, and the brother promises to love and take care of the sister all his life. On this day brothers try their best to be with the sisters, and the sisters to be with their brothers. And if for some reason that is not possible, then the Rakhi is sent by post. I hate to think of that day though, when e-Rakhis will come into existence. That will take away the whole meaning of this day. But, today, definitely, is not that day.

Rakhi is still an important festival and one that is taken seriously by one and all. In fact, sometimes, to teach a lesson to road-side romeos, girls offer to tie Rakhi on their wrists, and if that happens, the romeo has no other option but to accept the girl as his sister. Such is the power of a simple silk thread.

Wishing all the brothers and sisters of the world a very Happy Raksha Bandhan.


CyberCelt said...

e-Rakhis! Now, there is an idea. LOL

Happy Raksha Bandhan to you and I hope the "bond of protection" surrounds you and your loved ones in this troubled time.

Anonymous said...

Nice post...Happy Raksha Bandhan to you too!

Sandy Carlson said...

What a beautiful story. This is a great parable of how possible peace can be between people even in unlikely circumstances. I have no sibling with whom to share Raksha Bandhan, so I will think of it as a gesture of kindness and friendship toward others. Again, great story.

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