A Pious Cord Made Of Love And Meant For Coherence

14 May 2016

Of all the relationships in this world, the brother sister relation is one of the most chaste and dulcet one as this is a relation of adherence between the two genders of mankind which provides a wholesome assurance to man and a woman’s mind that, after parents, in this world there is someone to fall back upon during necessitous times and to hope for that exquisite heed and caress from the distinctive person, which got yielded only from parental hearts. The singularity of the brother-sister bondage lies in the fact that this is a link whose initiation can be done at any point of time, without any social or legal protocols. In addition to the inbred nexus of kinship shared by a man and a woman of the same blood, nascence of a bro-sis relation can happen between a lady and a gentleman at any moment, when they are connected to each other’s mind, by the feel of fraternity. This being a fundamental social truth, its certainty applies to all religions and cultures throughout the world. India, the land of traditions and values, designates a whole day for celebrating this aforementioned blessed bond between a man and a woman and entitles that day as “Rakhi Purnima”---a day with a full moon night in the month of August. On this day gets held the holy festival of “Raksha Bandhan” (Raksha=Safeguarding Bandhan=Bond), a most favored Hindu festival which commemorates, with rituals and joyousness, the divine linkage of fraternity between a brother and a sister. At this festival a sister, by blood or by “feel”, ties, with devout allegiance to all the related praxes, on the right wrist of her blood or “feel” brother a colorful cotton cord referred by Indians as “Rakhi”. By tying this “Rakhi”, a sister is committed for her lifetime to pray to God for her brother’s prosperity and gaiety and the brother is correspondingly avowed to render heart-felt melioration to his sister at all turns of her life. Thus the string of “Rakhi” is essentially a ritualistic symbol of the intrinsic and underlying oaths of the prized relationship shared by a brother with his sister and vice versa.

Selection of a knitted string of fabric, as the sign of “Rakhi” traces back its origin to the Mahabharata era, where princess “Draupadi” tied the wounded finger of Lord Krishna, her “Feel Brother”, by tearing away a part of her sari. This mythological anecdote is also one of the cardinal keys in the inception of the fete of “Raksha Bandhan”. The narrative showcases how Lord Krishna, emotionally affected by this gesture of the princess, promised to return each fabric of her cloth during her most needy spell and how he accomplished his promise by saving the dignity of “Draupadi” at her most destitute time. Thus this anecdote illuminates the importance of the “Rakhi” pledges which should be acknowledged by a related brother-sister duo.

A typical “Rakhi” is made of the fabric cotton and silk - with interwoven silken threads of color orange and yellow and resembles like the sleek wrist chain worn by boys. Some are enhanced with enticing embellishments like beads and sequins over the two fringed cotton ends, while some are simple chromatic strings, elegant solely by the trait of their chastity. The usage of the colors yellow and orange as the prime dye for crafting the interlaced strings of “Rakhi”, also bears a divine significance as the clerical belief emphasizes that these two hues are the chosen colors of the “Rakhi” used by the Hindu Goddess “Yamuna” and the Hindu Goddess “Lakshmi” to decorate the hands of their brothers, God “Yama” and the demon-king “Bali” respectively. The usage of the posh silk fabric to weave the main lay-out of a “Rakhi” and that of the simple but comfy cotton fabric to knit the girdled ends further expresses the combined essence of splendor and ease that delightfully bedecks a bro-sis nexus. From the period of Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to 6000 years, till this 22nd century, when diverse varieties of fanciful and mind-catching “Rakhi” cords of enthralling designs and textures have been brought in by numerous enterprises, the simple chromatic “Rakhi” strings, however, have not got faded away and just like all cherished vintage elements, continue to esteem universe’s most chaste bond between the two races of man and woman - the bond of brother and sister.

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