True spirit of Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan is a festival that holds a special place in the hearts of all sisters and brothers, because on this day, they reinstate the commitment to their pure relationship.

The beauty of this divine bond between brother and sister is that it is guaranteed without uttering a single word. The simple gesture of tying the thread, exchanging sweets and sometimes a little pocket money simply endorses that relationship and does it all.

With the passage of time, this festival has acquired different expressions and connotations. However, one wonders why and how it all begin? Not long ago, during the times of royal dynasties in India, a similar event used to be held in the presence of a family priest. And even now it happens in many South Indian families.

The priest, after offering some formal prayers, would tie a sacred thread to all the family members, thus figuratively signifying they are protected against all evils.

Looking deeper, one would ponder whether it was just the string or was it the extent of pure, energised intentions and good wishes that went with it? Sadly, today we seem to have lost the degree of self-conviction, and pure vision we had for the traditions as well as love for our family members, till a few hundred years back.

But the question that arises is: what is the real reason behind this change in the mindset of our civilisation?

Some people blame urban lifestyles and claim it is due to an exposure to Western ways that we Indians are losing our cultural roots. But we must not forget it works both ways. It is right that we are exposed to a much greater diversity of cultures and ways of thinking and living than any of our past generations. But at the same time, this exposure comes with a greater freedom to make a choice.

Therefore, to say we are behaving in this manner due to this or that or them, is simply making excuses for our own convenience. After all, one's behaviour should be guided by one's own decisions and value systems and not by what others express or follow.

Hence, the need of the hour is not to banish media or globalisation, but to focus on restoration of human values and individual self-respect, because ultimately the seed of all our actions lies in the thought that our mind generates. And it is only when we consciously look into our thought patterns that we'll be able to rectify and take the right decisions.

So, while tying the sacred thread on brothers’ hands, all the sisters should remind themselves as well as their brothers that we human souls are children of ‘One Supreme’ and we are connected to each other through spiritual brotherhood.

By committing ourselves to values such as purity, honesty, respect, co-operation and compassion, we strengthen the bond of pure love with each other, for only pure thoughts and actions can ensure protection from hatred, violence and harm.

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