A Divine Tie Of Reverence And Endearment

17 May 2016


The dulcet Indian tradition of esteeming the divine fraternal nexus between a brother and a sister through pious customs and sincere vows is famous as the “Raksha Bandhan” (“Raksha” meaning To Safeguard and “Bandhan” meaning Bond) ceremony all over the world. Hindus in India, as well as throughout the world, observe this chaste ceremony with devotion and earnestness during the mid of the month of August—more specifically on the day with a full moon night at the later part of August month. This holy observance essentially venerates the exquisite kinship connection between a man and a woman, which is known to the world as the brother-sister relationship. The prime ritual of the ceremony of “Raksha Bandhan” is that of the sister tying a colorful cord termed by Hinduism as the “Rakhi” on the right wrist of her brother with heart-felt affection and fondness for him and the brother gleefully accepting this cord with similar feelings for his sister. This pious tie fundamentally pledges a sister to pray to God for a gleeful and opulent life of her brother and commits a brother in meliorating with his best, the entity and existence of his sister. A classic tradition, as far as can be traced back, the ceremony of “Raksha Bandhan” began during the time of the thriving Indus Valley Civilization 6000 years back. The singularity of this observance is encircled in the fact that this observance, structured primarily upon tales of Indian mythology and history, lauds not only the bond of kinship between biological brothers and sisters and cousin brother-sister pairs, but also exalts the fraternal link, as when exists, among two unrelated man and woman. Tales from Indian mythology and history showcase how the chaste “Rakhi” cord has facilitated unrelated men and women in exploring each other’s support and patronage during one’s own necessitous times. The mytho-historical tale of the Mahabharata princess “Draupadi” dressing the wounded finger of Lord Krishna and the Lord shielding the princess’s honor during her most molesting times is considered to be the foundation of the “Raksha Bandhan” veneration and evinces how the feel of fraternity can thrive between two totally unconnected man and woman and become an exemplary bond of fraternal amity for times to come. The mythological tale of Goddess “Laxmi” tying the blessed “Rakhi” string to the “Vishnu”-devotee demon-king “Bali” and the king in return sacrificing his own desire of God “Vishnu”-‘s stay in his palace for the sake of his “feel” sister Goddess “Laxmi” –‘s wish of the God’s return to their conjugal home at “Vaikuntha” (The Heaven)---solely for displaying certitude to the vow of “Rakhi”, emphasizes to Hindu brother-sister pairs about the sincerity with which the “Rakhi” oaths should be considered by each of them. Thus, though at pace with the mythological tale of the river-Goddess “Yamuna” tying the Virtuous “Rakhi” on the wrist of her own brother the God of Death “Yama” and practiced social vibes of the bygone days, “Raksha Bandhan” ceremony is considered to be primarily observed between blood brothers and sisters---with the advancement of time and mental enlightenment of people, the cardinal fraternal fervor of this pious observance has gradually encompassed unrelated men and women also.

Not only related and unrelated brothers and sisters, the flow of time in India has further witnessed the wholesome use of the deistic “Rakhi” string to link people of India as such, by a feel of brotherly spirit and irrespective of caste and religion. The prime example of this phenomenon remains the gesture of the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore in observing the exemplary “Rakhi Utsav” (“Utsav” meaning Festival) by tying the holy “Rakhi” cord at the hand of every passer-by at the time of the proposed partition of Bengal and thus connecting every inhabitant of the undivided Bengal in a fundamental communal bond. This being a broader patriotic spirit of the chromatic “Rakhi” tie, from a comparatively enclosed social spectrum, the sanctified “Rakhi” string is also facilitated to exalt, with deep-felt warmth and emotion, the nurturer of one’s brother’s daily living, that is, his wife. The “Rakhi” with which a sister graces her brother’s wife, that is her sister-in-law, is called the “Lumba Rakhi” (“Lumba” meaning Bangle). Just like a typical designed and dyed “Rakhi” string, the “Lumba” is however, not tied to the wrist of one’s “Bhabhi” (Sister-in-Law)—rather it is tied to a bangle and the bangle with the tied “Lumba” is given to the sister-in-law. This custom, being primarily a Marwari one (“Lumba” is a Marwari word), has, with the moving forward of time and society, gained foothold within other Indian communities as well. This is substantially a worthy tradition to practice for sisters and to bond, in a delightful manner with one’s sister-in-law like two true sisters and thereby intensify the fabric of the family.

Relative to this praxis of “Lumba Rakhi”, a pleasing development has got added in accomplishing the “Raksha Bandhan” fete, that is presenting a twin “Rakhi” set to one’s “Bhaiya” (Brother) and “Bhabhi”. Popular as “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” these sets comprise of a typical textured “Rakhi” cord meant for the brother and a “Lumba Rakhi” meant for the sister-in-law. With the touch of the ardor of modernity in celebrating the gala of “Raksha Bandhan”, gifting “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” to the married brother and his wife has become an indispensable feature of impeccably realizing the day of “Rakhi Purnima” (the heyday of “Rakhi”). During the present times, various famous gift stores and the e-shopping zones offer diverse and impressive types of “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” pairs with loving and innovative shape and design of the “Lumba”. For bestowing one’s brother and his better half with an unique “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” set, a sister can choose from a vast array of pairs like Fancy Pearl “Rakhi” Set for “Bhaiya Bhabhi” (1 Brother “Rakhi”, 1 “Lumba (“Bhabhi”) Rakhi”), Designer “Moti Bhaiya Bhabhi” Set With “Bhabhi” Gift (1 Brother Rakhi, 1 “Lumba (“Bhabhi”) Rakhi”), Exclusive “Kangan Rakhi” for “Bhabhi” With Fancy “Bhaiya Rakhi”, Traditional Zardozi Work Fancy “Rakhi” Set (1 Brother Rakhi, 1 “Lumba (“Bhabhi”) Rakhi”), Exclusive Peacock “Moti Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” (1 Brother “Rakhi”, 1 “Lumba (“Bhabhi”) Rakhi”), A three piece set of “Rakhi” “Lumba” and “Bajubandh”, Resham Pearl & Diamond “Rakhi Lumba” Set (Set having Golden Zardosi work with Resham, Pearl & Diamond cut White stones), Pearls & Flowers “Rakhi Lumba” Set (Set having flowers in the center, “Lumba” hanging having White Motifs), Designer Fern And Petal “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” (Having Sparkling Red Beads and Pearls with Diamond), Finest Creativity Craft “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” Pair, Stylish Lotus Pearl “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” (Having Diamond, Red and Green Beads and White Pearls), “Raj Rani Keri” Pearls Pair (Traditional “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” with Colourful Beads and Orange and Golden Pearls), Unique Zari “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi”, Bracelet Style “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” Set (1 Premium Handcrafted “Rakhi” for “Bhaiya”, 1 “Lumba” for “Bhabhi”)Diamonds Work “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi”, Handcrafted Pearl “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi”, Maroon Velvet Ball with White Crystal “Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” Pair, Exclusive Premium Ruby “Bhaiya Bhabhi Ki Rakhi” Set (Studded Kundan Premium Rakhi Set), Choicest “Lumba” & “Rakhi” (An Excellent Combination of Red and White Pearly Beads in Floral Craft and Sequin Beauty), “Rudraksh Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhi” Set (Unique Rudraksha Shaped Beads, combined with Golden Flowers and Petals) and plentiful of such enticing duos.

A certain deviation to the essential flavor of the “Raksha Bandhan” conviviality, but this gesture of drenching the better half of one’s brother with the chaste color of the “Rakhi” cord, surely is a welcome protocol to be followed by “Behenas” (Sisters) for times to come. This social protocol enables sisters to emotionally embrace their Bhabhis as a desired member of their family and to thank them for their fulsome presence in their brothers’ lives. Hence, as is evinced, the blessed “Rakhi” bracelet fundamentally serves to strengthen the feel of congeniality and family within the race of human-beings inhabiting this world.

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