Raksha Bandhan; Relevance In The Materialistic Society

Raksha Bandhan;Its Relevance In The Materialistic Society
Raksha Bandhan;Its Relevance In The Materialistic Society

By Anirbaan Hritiq

Bird’s Eye View:

The Hindu origin festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated every year on the last day of Shraavana month, the modern-day interpretation of the symbolic festival states that on this very occasion a sister ties an amulet, talisman, or a sacred thread on her brother’s right wrist to protect her against all troubles and against tying of Rakhi the sister receives a gift from the brother as a souvenir or sign of blessings.

Raksha Bandhan & materialism:

In today’s world where the nuclear family concept is at the boom, festivals like Raksha Bandhan are losing importance. People are slowly detaching themselves from old rituals of the Indian culture and are getting more inclined toward western variations of the same event. Today, friendship bands on the eve of International Friendship Day sell more than Rakhis or the sacred thread, adopting this modern-day culture the conventional Rakhi shops are keeping more variants of the Friendship Bands than Rakhis.

Coming, back to the core point how far we have understood Raksha Bandhan and its historic significance. Nowadays, relatives would give you a fishy expression and express a deep sense of discomfort if you ask them if your daughter, sister, or any female member of your family wants to tie a Rakhi to their son.

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The number one reason behind such discomfort is the cost of socializing and hosting a cluster of guests for a sake of Rakhi and the second one is what the person tying the Rakhi wants in return. Whether their intentions are pious and sacred or strictly materialistic. The actual reason behind such a thought process is a predefined societal norm that we have set for ages.

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This is simple, if someone ties a Rakhi she is entitled to receive a gift and a gift should always reflect the societal and financial standard of a family in general and the person (brother) in particular.

Nuclear Families & Raksha Bandhan:

All nuclear families took the very idea of ‘We Two, Our One’ seriously. Nowadays, if a family is having two children and luckily one is female then the Raksha Bandhan ritual is completed within the siblings with zero scope for cousins or outsiders. Meanwhile on the contrary children are losing their sense of valuing relationships and becoming extremely confined.

Children now even don’t understand that the world beyond their academic and social barriers exists. The actual essence of such festivals is to bring the family together and make the younger generation aware of moral values.

Raksha Bandhan & its variants:

In Odisha, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in the form of Gamha Purnima. Gamha Purnima is also celebrated as the birthday of Lord Balabhadra or Balarama, though the trinity (Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra & Devi Subhadra) are worshipped as Daru Brahma or the living entities the rituals associated with them are also realistic in nature. Devi Subhadra ties Rakhis to both her brothers Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra, and those are prepared by the members of the Patara Bisoi servitors. The servitors prepare four Rakhis in total, While, the Rakhi for Lord Jagannath is painted red and yellow, Lord Balabhadra’s rakhi is of blue and violet hues.

The Raksha Bandhan is also celebrated in other forms throughout India, previously in the Northern region when sisters used to get married in different villages and their parents weren’t supposed to visit their in-law’s houses, their brother used to be the sole link between their paternal and maternal homes. In West Bengal, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in the form of Jhulan Purnima, where Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha are worshipped together. In Maharashtra, it is celebrated amongst the Koli community in form of Narali Purnima.

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Apart from all variants, various legendary stories are also associated with the Raksha Bandhan, one of such stories were when Lord Krishna was hurt, his friend Draupadi the wife of five Pandava’s brothers tore a piece of cloth from her saree and tied it to the wound of Lord Krishna, favour of was returned by saving Draupadi’s honour while her husband lost her in the gambling game against Kauravas.

Raksha Bandhan though has been reduced to a social status competition ritual by the elite Indians but its rich legacy represents India’s idea of unified family culture and communal integrity.

Raksha Bandhan;Its Relevance In The Materialistic Society


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