Symbolizing the sacred relationship between a brother and sister. Raksha Bandhan signifies the bond of love out which comes a sense of security and protection.
Raksha Bandhan has a great history too. Various stories have been passed but one of them draws its origin from Mahabharata. Once, Lord Krishna hurt his hand while fighting Shishupala. Draupadi rushed to cover the wound by tearing a piece of her sari and tying it around Lord Krishna's hand. In return, the Lord asked what she would like. Draupadi replied that she only desired His Divine presence at every moment of her life. Lord Krishna agreed. Much later, when the Kauravas tried to disrobe her, helpless, she called out to Lord Krishna to save her. The Lord gave her a sari that was infinitely long and the Kauravas were unable to disrobe her and her modesty was thus saved.
While the festival typically celebrates the relationship between brother and sister, it has a much deeper spiritual significance. When we take one step on the spiritual path, the Lord takes ninety-nine steps, as it were. This is the symbolism of Lord Krishna giving Draupadi an infinitely long sari in return for a protecting his wound with a small piece of cloth. At the absolute level, it is only when we give up our pathetic, finite egos that we are able to experience the joy of the Infinite.
But not all tales are associated with the Gods. One of the famous historical stories involves Emperor Humayun and Rani Karnavati of Mewar. When Mewar was attacked twice by Bahadur Shah Zafar in the mid 16th century, she sent a letter with a rakhi to Humayun as a last resort, to help her. The emperor was very touched by the gesture, and immediately left the military campaign that he was then involved in to protect her.
But how does one feel when the brothers or sisters are continents apart? Films & TV World spoke to a few cadets and officers on ship on foreign shores who don’t even have the pleasure of receiving a rakhi and tying it around their wrist. To know what they feel about the festival and their state of mind today, read on..
I don't have my own sister, so my cousins like sharmi di, Sandipa di, Ankita, Manju di, Anusha, Anindita, Arunima and Saumya tie rakhis to me. Even when I was studying and far from home, many of my name sake sisters used to tie rakhis or courier it to me. Times have changed now as I’m amidst chirpy waters on foreign seas, but Raksha Bandhan remains just as special. Even if we brothers and sisters are continents apart, the festival is just as exciting as it was when I celebrated at home or was studying. Not only that, today the festival goes much beyond real brothers and sisters to any two individuals who enjoy a deep relationship. So you are likely to see a woman tie a rakhi to her cousins, neighbours and even close friends.
Sailing on high seas it is nearly impossible to get my rakhi even if my sisters want to send. However, I have received it on my whatsapp. I also take this opportunity to wish a very Happy Raksha Bandhan to you Tanu di. You have been the guiding light in my life, and I thank you for all your love and support. I take this day to wish and celebrate the most auspicious occasion which is a symbol between a brother and his sister’s strong bond. Missing you a lot.
I feel that it matters even more now because I’m so far away and at times the mere avenues of communication also doesn’t exist for us on high seas. Though the times have changed and the meaning of the festival also must have changed but it still remains a festival cherished amongst us brothers and sisters. And as they say, distance only makes the heart grow fonder. I hereby takes this opportunity to send a message to my loving sisters Abhilasha and Rhythm - No matter how far or near we may be, you all are always close to my heart. Happy Rakshabandhan to both of you.
It is difficult not to miss something you have been doing all your life. Even we do feel for these lonely souls as they simply miss the act of getting the silken thread tied on their wrist - a ritual they have been doing since birth. But this tradition is more a memory for them and they are just looking forward to returning back home and getting the rakhi tied. That day will be their Raksha Bandhan. Till then, Happy memories…