Tue | Oct 3, 2023

Rakshabandhan – celebration of brotherhood

Published:Sunday | September 3, 2023 | 12:08 AM
In this 2020 photo, women are seen buying rakhi (thread that sisters tie on their brothers) in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.
In this 2020 photo, women are seen buying rakhi (thread that sisters tie on their brothers) in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.

On the full moon night of August, the radiant celebration of love and purity graces countless homes across India. Rakshabandhan, known as “a bond of protection”, is a profound representation of the principles that guide us toward a joyful and balanced life.

In the early days, people would invite priests, who would pray and purify essence of the atmosphere. By tying the sacred thread around each wrist, every individual is facilitated to a powerful connection with the divine. This thread symbolised a vow of righteousness, reminding all of their commitment to virtuous deeds. It tells us that the shield of true protection lies in walking the path of righteous action. As times evolved, the rituals transformed into sisters tying the thread to their brothers. Is protection only sought by sisters? What about sisters who don’t have brothers, or have very younger brothers? What if the siblings live far away from each other?


Beyond the surface, the ritual underscores the deep connection between righteousness and the safety of every individual. It imparts profound wisdom on re-establishing the sense of universal brotherhood. The call for protection is not just physical; it encompasses safeguarding ourselves from all that causes harm and suffering. The turbulence we witness in the external world often finds its roots in our internal emotional imbalances. Those tainted by the vices of lust, anger, greed, attachment, or ego bring about harm to themselves and others. Can anyone else protect us from these inner demons? To confront these inner demons, we must cultivate inner strength.

Each of us has to protect ourselves from anger, violence, jealousy, obsession, greed, attachment, hatred, criticism, manipulation, lust, domination, fear, anxiety … the list goes on. Choosing the righteous path is a personal pledge, a testament to our determination to safeguard ourselves from these vices. These very vices perpetuate the turmoil seen in today’s world. To shield ourselves, we must infuse our thoughts, words, and actions with purity by nurturing our innate qualities of peace, happiness, love, wisdom, purity, and bliss.

Rakshabandhan is more than a ritual; it’s a profound philosophy that encompasses protection, righteousness, universal brotherhood, and the ultimate quest for inner growth. Its teachings echo across time and space, uniting us all in a shared journey toward spiritual enlightenment. Just as the sacred thread signifies protection, let it also be a reminder that we are the protectors of our own selves, shielded by the armour of purity, virtues, and divine grace.

Courtesy: Rajyoga Meditation Center, Kingston (meditation courses and counselling are offered free of charge). Email: kingston@jm.brahmakumaris.org. Or follow them on Instagram: rajyoga_meditation_jamaica.