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Raksha Bandhan – A Protection Bond

In a casual talk with one of my friend’s wife, I happen to ask her that is she going to her parent’s place to celebrate Raksha Bandhan, this year? She instantly replied that in our religion we don’t celebrate Raksha Bandhan. I was like – Oh, Okay. I didn’t stress much upon the topic and the conversation ended subsequently. But somehow her reply got stuck in my head and it made me think that is Raksha Bandhan religion specific too? In order to find an answer to this question, I tried looking upon Raksha Bandhan from a larger perspective in this blog.

First of all, let us try to understand the common belief about this festival. Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi, is a festival to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters. The sister’s tie a Silk Rakhi (bracelet made of threads) on the wrist of his brother, which denotes a mark of promise from the brother to his sister that he is going to protect her always. So, as understood, this festival is more or less limited to a brother-sister bond. But was Raksha Bandhan actually meant to be like this?

Over the time, we have adopted Raksha Bandhan as a religion, relation, and gender specific festival. However, if we try to understand the essence of this festival we will realize that there is more to it. Raksha Bandhan literally means a protection bond. It’s to remind every human being that we are a social animal and protecting each other during the unwanted situations, that are bound to arise in everyone’s life, is our first and foremost duty.

We all need protection in our respective lives, some time or the other. Do we think that only a brother is going to protect his sister when she is in need and that too religion specific brothers? It might happen that when a sister needs protection, her brother is far, far away. So will she and for that matter, everyone else around her, wait for her brother to arrive and protect her? Wouldn’t a stranger from a different religion come to her rescue? If yes, then why have we restricted this festival to a religion and relation specific?

Similarly, when a brother needs help won’t his sister come to his rescue? Will the sister or any other person refuse to protect him just because there is no protection bond custom between them that they follow? Isn’t it every human’s responsibility to protect every other living being? Haven’t a female ever protected a male or doesn’t a male protect another male? If yes, then why have we restricted this to a gender specific festival?

If we look at our history, we will realize that this festival was never restricted to a religion, relation or gender specific. There is evidence of this festival being celebrated irrespective of any such boundaries. I strongly believe that “Being a human we should always think beyond what is being served to us”. Could a protection bond ever be bounded by any walls? Why can’t every human be a protector and saviour of other living beings? Isn’t humanity all about being considerate towards others? Think about it guys.

On this Raksha Bandhan, let us all take a pledge to protect every living being in this universe. Let us make ourselves available in the time of other’s need. This world will surely be a better place to live in when this happens in reality. I wish that we all do our bit to make this world a peaceful and safe place to live in.

I wish you all a very Happy Raksha Bandhan!

God Bless.

Peyush Jain