Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Raksha Bandhan: a celebration of Shakti, the feminine energy that protects

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar_

We celebrate Rakshabandhan on the full moon day that falls in the month of Shravan, according to the Hindu calendar. Rakshabandhan epitomizes a bondage that protects you. It is celebrated throughout the country. Hindus, Muslims, Christians – everyone participates in Raksha Bandhan.

While today it is a festival for brothers and sisters, it was not always limited to that alone. A rakhi would be tied by anybody including a wife, daughter, or mother as a symbol of offering protection. In fact, the ancient seers also tied a thread to visitors who sought their blessings. They would also tie sacred threads to themselves as a protection against evil. Now, it is an occasion where a sister ties a rakhi – the sacred thread - for the safety of their brother and prays for their welfare.

Women are the backbone of any society. Their contribution to the development of every aspect of society, be it health, science, economy, knowledge, politics, and wisdom, is of immense importance today. In fact, their well-being and growth is the only criterion that determines whether a society is strong and harmonious or not.

We often assume that men are powerful and women are sometimes perceived as helpless, weak, and devoid of power. It is important to dispel this misconception; if we look closely, women embody power and women too can protect. It’s not just men who protect with physical strength. Women offer protection with their spirit, strong resolve, physical strength, emotional richness, depth and strong will. Indian scriptures accord enormous power in women. In fact, Shakti which is the primordial energy, the very life energy behind the entire existence, is feminine. That explains how women are revered as the highest and most glorious aspect of divinity- the Aadhya Shakti.

With this steadfastness and for e lf their intentions, they defend their brothers, sisters, elders, and men, and on the festival of Rakshabandhan, they offer this protection and blessing by tying the rakhis. This bond provides a sense of security. Women should never think of themselves as weak since they possess a divine strength and the ability to defend.

We live in a society and a world that has some ups and downs. There are always some arguments, misunderstandings, and differences of opinion. All this can create tension, insecurity, and fear. When family members fear one another, how can there be peace? Similarly, when society lives in mistrust and fear, peace and harmony can be hard to find.
When we renew our sense of belongingness and commitment to each other, families and societies get uplifted.

Rakshabandhan becomes an occasion to dispel distrust and distance from each other by giving an assurance, “Look, I am with you”.

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