RAKSHA BANDHAN – The Eternal Bond
Do we ever stop to marvel at the magic of love? It is said that love is such a delicate flower that a single touch can bruise it, and yet so strong as to withstand all storms. Purity makes love bloom and strengthens it for all time. Love born out of purity, begets faith and security; this is undoubtedly the most powerful energy force we can possess today. Real Love knows no limitations nor nurtures any prejudice. Love is the epitome of freedom and power but only when grounded in purity and spiritual principles. The Festival of Raksha Bandhan (Bond of protection) speaks of this sacred, loving relationship that nurtures, protects and uplifts.
Although the present era has modernized the festival, we often do not know its simple and significant meaning . A number of legends are connected with the tying of the ‘Rakhi’ - symbolising the bond of love and protection - but the most intriguing one is where the devtas (deities) are said to have lost their heavenly kingdom to the asuras (devils). Before he sets out for war to regain the lost sovereignty, Lord Indra’s (king of the devtas) wife applies a tilak of victory on his forehead and ties a rakhi. In due time, the deities gain victory and return to heaven.
How is this fable applicable to us? Are only sisters or females in need of protection? Does fear arise from only external sources? Taking sacred vows to serve and protect a person from all evil and sorrow…. what kind of protection do we really require? Is protection possible if a brother is younger in age, disabled, or living far away? How does purity play a role in this? Can purity protect us? The legends of Raksha Bandhan take us deep into the spiritual meaning, thus allowing us to appreciate its immense value.
Wouldn’t God - our Beloved Supreme Parent, True Teacher, Sat Guru - be a more effective and loyal Protector than a human being? The Rakhi is undoubtedly the only bond that truly frees us from all other bondages – all insecurities, fear, sorrow… And it is God alone who can share the wisdom behind tying the sacred Rakhi , i.e. taking a vow…
Having forgotten our true identity of being an infinitesimal point of divine energy – Soul, Atma, Ruha, Spirit – we got entangled in the web or bondages of the vices (lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego). These enemies overpowered us and influenced us into performing negative actions, which in turn caused sorrow. God comes to awaken and enlighten the inner being; He teaches us how to regain our lost sovereignty. When the tilak of soul-consciousness is applied, and I ‘tie’ the sacred thread, i.e. take the pledge to stay in my original nature of peace, love, purity, wisdom, mercy… my every thought, word and action becomes elevated and divine. I see every other being as a child of God and part of my spiritual family. This unlimited vision of brotherhood breaks all barriers of caste, creed, age, gender, religion, socio-economic status, sanskars (personality traits)…. I can then live by my true self-respect and help others to do the same. The more I purify my consciousness, the stronger is my connection with God. God, then, looks after me; and my positive actions ensure that I receive His blessings and good wishes from all souls… my global family… these work as my protection and stay with me forever.
‘Pavitrata sukh-shanti ki janani hai’ (Purity is the Mother of Peace and Happiness) .
So, let us bind ourselves in this spiritual relationship. One small promise of love and purity on our side will bind us to God, The Almighty Authority, for eternity…
Isn’t it time to see God work the magic of True Love…?
(B.K Karuna – Mt Abu)