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Rakshabandhan: An occasion to re-live the Childhood

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The last day or the Purnima of Shraavana, the Hindu lunar calendar month, inherits a real importance in our life which drags us far into the nostalgia of glorious childhood, into the world of sweet innocence, into the word of an unending fun and carelessness, into the world of our self imposed hugh responsibilities to win our childhood games, into the world of sharing and caring, and into the world of impeccable and sometimes selfish :) love for our siblings. The day is of Rakshabandhan.

Rakshabandhan is a festival celebrates the bond of love and togetherness between brother and sister where the sister ties the Rakhi, a pious thread or sutra, around the wrist of her brother as a symbol of their love and wishes for his prosperity, health and well-being and in return the brother takes the pledge for the life long protection of his sister.

The festival has it’s origin rooted long into the Hindu Mythology and it has reference into religious scriptures like Bhagavata Puranan, Vishnu Purana, Bhavishya Purana etc. as they tell the stories of Indra Dev and Sachi, King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi, Shubh Labh and Santoshi Maa etc. and their Rakshabandhan. The Mahabharat period also has stories about the Krishna and Draupadi in refrence to Rakshabandhan. The festival is not only limited to Hindu religion but it is also celebreted in Sikhism and Jainism with the same spirit and enthusuiasm. In jain community, the priests give ceremonial threads to the devotees. Infact, it is the festival to be determined to protect the Jain Culture, Jain Temples, Jain Saints and Jain Fellows so that this eternal spiritual culture may flow forever. In Rugumukhi/Panjabi language Rakshabandhan is known as ‘Rakhardi" or Rakhari.

In 20th century, the festival has spreaded it pious wings of brotherhood when Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel Laureate for literature, invoked Raksha Bandhan and rakhi as concepts to inspire love, respect and a vow of mutual protection between Hindus and Muslims during India's colonial era. One of Tagore's poem invoking rakhi is:

The love in my body and heart
For the earth's shadow and light
Has stayed over years.

....................................................
It lives in my joys and glooms
In the spring night's buds and blooms
Like a Rakhi-band
On the Future's hand.

It is true that with the pases of time, in fact, years, decades, centuries and millenniums the fervour of the festival has changed. It is the same with the pases of stages in our life, from childhood to youth, from youth to adultness, from adultness to maturity and from maturity to seniority the festival has it’s own importance and fervour. Besides all our selfish meterialistic indulgence we still need to posses the beauty of the Raksha Bandhan and the love and care for our sibling - the first and forever friend.

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