Thursday 11 August marked this year’s Rakshabandhan – an auspicious occasion celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters. Raksha, means to protect, Bandhan means a bond, and thus this day symbolises the bond of protection.
Acharya Swamiji Maharaj returned to London today from his 51-day vicharan in North America – symbolically returning on this day to protect His disciples in the UK.
Traditionally on this day, sisters of all ages tie a talisman or amulet called a Raakhdi around the right wrists of their brothers to signify their bond. For disciples of the Lord, the sister is thus praying to the Lord to protect them both and to ensure her brother’s well-being, and to keep them united.
On Rakshabandhan, disciples offer a Raakhadi to the Lord, who then returns it as prasad for us. This raakhadi is then tied on our wrists symbolising the Lord’s protection for us, His disciples. By tying this raakhadi, we also pray that the Lord keeps us under His divine shelter forever and that we remain good disciples, always abiding by His commands.
The congregation of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury was incredibly fortunate that this year’s Rakshabandhan fell while Acharya Swamiji Maharaj was presiding in London, and therefore, were fortunate enough to receive their Raakhdi from Bapa on this auspicious occasion.
Acharya Swamiji Maharaj graced the sabha with His divine ashirwad today, explaining that in the divine context of the Lord, Rakshabandhan is about showing gratitude to our true, one and only protector, Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa; and that which He is protecting us from are our internal enemies that hinder our progress on the path to eternal salvation, namely, Kaam (lust), Krodh (anger); Lobh (greed); Maan (pride); Moh (uncontrolled fascination or bewilderment into something or about someone); Mad (arrogance); Matsar (vanity); Aashaa (an intense hope for someone or something); Trushnaa (desires or yearning for things or someone); Ahankaar (self-pride); Irshaa (envy or jealousy).