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Friday, August 7, 2009

Thread of sacred love - HT inner voice

Raksha bandhan is a unique festival which marks the universal love between sisters and brothers in an exemplary manner. It signifies downright 24-carat sacred love and lasting bond. Shrawan Purnima marks the day every year when sisters tie the thread of bondship and brothers vow to offer their continued protection and support to their sisters. The sisters tie the thread chanting a mantra --yen badho bali raja danvantro mahabal/ Ten twambhunukmi rakshenami ma chal ma chal. There are many legends about Rakhi, and according to one of them, king Bali was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu had taken up the task to guard his kingdom, leaving his own abode. Laxmi, wishing to be with her Lord, went to Bali disguised as a Brahmin woman to seek refuge till her husband returned. During the Shravan Purnima celebrations, Laxmi tied the sacred thread to the king and revealed everything about her. The king was touched and sacrificed everything he had for the Lord. Rakhi has since traversed the length and breadth of the barriers of caste and tradition to remain limited to brothers and sisters. And people who subscribed to the concept of brother-sisterly love, it acquired a universal and a social significance in course of time.

Today Rakhi is one of the most celebrated festivals ushering in and cementing the bond of sacred ties between sisters and brothers. The holy thread, known as mauli, is tied in three rounds across the wrists of brothers, or whosoever is treated as a brother and who lives to love and protect her through her life.
R. L. Pathak
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