On this day, we create a bond with someone, saying ‘I am determined to protect you’.
Raksha Bandhan (26 August 2018) is a Hindu festival that celebrates bonding and connectivity. Raksha means protection, bandhan means bond. If you look at our society, you see a lot of conflicts and disagreement, which create tension and fear. Our philosophy states that society is one big family and that relationships should be based on love and trust. Raksha Bandhan is a bonding day where we provide safety to each other, saying: “I am committed to protecting you”.
Raksha Bandhan celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. It is common practice for sisters to tie a rakhi, a decorated cloth bracelet, around the wrists of their brothers as a form of protection. In turn, her brother will thank her with a small gift. You can actually bind a rakhi to anyone, it isn’t limited to brothers and sisters. By binding this sacred thread, you honour the duty of protecting each other always. This is accompanied by customs like offering a prayer for happiness and prosperity, lighting a lamp to invite the divine light into your life and putting sandalwood on your forehead, which has many benefits and symbolises wisdom.
To me, Raksha Bandan has a deeper meaning. Hinduism isn’t a religion, it’s a way of life. It transcends temporary designations of faith, nationality and gender, and instead educates the entire human race. Our ancient body of literature still provides cutting-edge tools to make modern life healthier, happier and more successful. Raksha Bandhan teaches us to give up fear and fighting, and to let wisdom reign in your life by knowing that goodness and the protection of the world is with you.