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  • Writer's pictureDinesh Shahra

Raksha Bandhan's spiritual significance

Our rich Indian tradition is full of festivals, each having its own special significance. Out of the many festivals celebrated here, Raksha bandhan is one of the most graceful and pious occasion celebrated among the brothers and sisters. This festival is also known as the “Punyapradayak Parva (merit-giving)” or “Vishtodak Parva (vice-eliminating festival)”.

In Mahabharat, Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas, once tore a piece from her saree and tied it around the wounded finger of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was touched by her action and declared her to be his sister. During ‘Cheer Haran’ of Draupadi by the Kauravas, no one stepped forward to protect her. Even her five warrior husbands (Pandavas) kept quiet. When Draupadi cried for help and called upon Lord Krishna, the Lord himself saved her by taking the form of an extended saree in lieu of the small piece of cloth tied around his finger.

The “Raksha Sutra” (a red and saffron coloured thread) that is tied around the brother's wrist is also meant to serve as a constant reminder of that bond of purity. Similarly, sweetening of the brother's mouth by the sister is also symbolic of her pious wish that the brother succeeds in overpowering vices especially lust, or a token of the sister's sincere wish that he succeeds in his noble undertaking. Applying the tilak or red mark on the brother's forehead is also indicative of the sister suggesting to her brothers to be soul-conscious for it is in the space between the eyebrows that the soul is located.

In Spirituality, the disciple also ties Rakhi on Guru’s hand imploring Him to protect the YOG or Connection to God. Satguru ‘The Divine Master’ takes care of leading and guiding the devoted disciple to move forward on the path of the spiritual journey. Hence, Raksha Bandhan conveys the divine message of achieving victory over man's great enemies, the five vices lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego, by showing commitment to spiritual evolution.

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