Brother and sister bond celebrated - Mahesh Bang

RAKSHA Bandhan will be celebrated next Sunday, August 22. The most appropriate times to perform the Raksha Bandhan thread ceremony would be between 6.22am and 2.01pm. During the Covid-19 pandemic you could also tie a normal red string (mouli), which most people have in their home, while simultaneously video calling your sister. “Raksha Bandhan” means “bond of protection” and the festival intensifies the bond of affection between brothers and sisters and maintains this emotional relationship. The festival usually falls in August, on the full moon day of the lunar month of Sawan. Raksha Bandhan popularly celebrates all brother-sister relationships, of male and female who are biologically related or unrelated. It celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. On this day a sister ties a sacred thread called rakhi on the brother’s wrist, symbolising her love. She prays for him. The brother in turn vows to protect her lifelong and remains committed to do his duty as a brother. The ceremony of tying rakhi broadens the thoughts and strengthens the love beyond the borders of family, religion, ethnicity and nation. People can tie a rakhi for their neighbour. This promotes the feeling of unity and mutual commitment of social life. The significance: The festival of Raksha Bandhan has far-reaching significance in today’s scenario. It invokes love, care and respect, and emphasises the need for peaceful co-existence across all boundaries. The festival conveys the message of universal brotherhood and sisterhood as well as the need for purity of mind and deeds, making way to the Vedic concept of “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam” (whole world as one family). According to scriptures, once when Lord Krishna had hurt his hand, Draupadi tore a piece of her sarie and tied it on the wrist of Krishna. Krishna said that he will always protect her and at the right time she will get limitless benefits. This was seen when Lord Krishna protected her by supplying an infinite amount of cloth when it was most needed. Since then, on the day of Raksha Bandhan, brothers take a vow to protect their sisters. To mark the ceremony, sisters tie rakhi on the brother’s wrist. As per astro-advice, the following should be done:

  1. Before the ritual, tie the first rakhi for Lord Krishna or offer it to his feet. Leave it there until the next spiritual event.
  2. The brother can sit on a stool and face east. The sister will then apply a tilak (dot) and then a few grains of rice on the forehead of her brother, using her ring finger.
  3. The sister will thereafter tie the rakhis on the right wrist of her brother. She will then pray and express her wish for the well-being of her brother. The brother, in turn, pledges to take care of his sister lifelong.
  4. A whole coconut is given to the brother, and the sister also makes him eat some sweet dish. If possible give a pinch of jaggery (unrefined sugar) first.
  5. The sister rotates an aarti (a tray with a burning lamp) around her brother’s face.
  6. On the tray put a tiny lota (vessel) of water, with a few strands of grass. After completing the aarti, sprinkle the water on the right and left side of his shoulder. It will ward off bad eyes.
  7. The younger of the two should touch the feet of the elder, then they should hug each other.
  8. The brother must give a gift or money as a token of appreciation to his sister as soon as the aarti finishes.
  9. Always have rakhis tied in even numbers. So if one has one sister she can tie two rakhis to make it even.
  10. It is good to chant the “Hare Krishna” mantra, Gayatri mantra (if one knows the correct pronunciation), and/or “Om Namah Shivaya”.
  11. This is one of two days in the year dedicated to brother and sister festivals. The other falls two days after Diwali, called Bhai Dooj, where the brother goes to his sister’s house to celebrate, unlike on Raksha Bandhan when the sister goes to her brother’s house.
  12. People of other faiths also celebrate this day as a way to improve emotional bonds between a sister and brother. Astrologically, a sister’s sincere prayer for her brother can help him to prosper.
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