Raksha Bandhan is a modern name for Raksha Sutra. It is a Hindu Festival celebrated throughout South East Asia and some parts of the Middle East.
There are a lot of articles claiming that Raksha Bandhan is Patriarchal and Sexist. They have concluded that modern 21st-century women should refrain from celebrating such oppressive days and stop encouraging toxic masculinity.
A majority of people are demeaning this festival. It is time we find the truth ourselves by shedding the layers of centuries of mind colonization.
“This is the 21st century and Indian women are strong and independent who don’t need brothers to protect them.” writes Arun Chandra in his article on Youth Ki Awaaz.
I agree with you- Women do not need protection. The Raksha Sutra protects the person on whose wrist it is tied. Indian women have done that for centuries.
And why is protection even seen as a bad thing? We all like to protect the people we love. If a brother is not tying rakhi to his sister’s wrist, does that mean the sister has no obligation to protect the brother?
There are many myths and stories related to this festival;
As per the “Kaula Siddha Dharma”, the tradition of Raksha Sutra started from the Raksha Sutra tantra of Bhagawan Shiva. The Sapta Rishi’s then incorporated the Raksha Sutra in their rituals in the form of Mauli. They used it for protection purposes and adornments of surwa or hawan stick, tying various objects like kalasha, yantra, idols, trees, herbs, even animals. They use the Raksha Sutra in almost everything. ( Source- kaulapedia.com)
It started as Upakarma ritual on Sravana Purnima. The brahman ties a thread called raksika to the wrist of people. This thread is an oath of protection. Sons tie it to fathers, Sisters to their brothers. Even lovers to their beloved.
According to Bhavishya Purana, the sister ties the Raksha Sutra on the right wrist of her brother with reverence to protect her from all calamities.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the Raksha Sutra can be put around any person’s wrist by anybody with the authority to give you protection.
The comparatively modern ( a century-old) stories completely changed the narratives by shifting women’s role as the ones giving protection to the ones asking for it from the brother.
1- There is a popular story in Rajput Heritage about Raksha Bandhan. Maharani Karmavati, the queen of Mewar sent a ‘Rakhi’ to the Mughal emperor Humayun to protect her from Governor Bahadur Shah who laid siege on her kingdom. Surprisingly, Humayun chose to help the Rajput queen and chased away Bahadur Shah.
2- In 1909, Sri Rabindra Nath Tagore used the symbolism of Rakhi to unify Hindus and Muslims and encouraged people of all religions to accept each other as brothers and sisters.
There is a quote, ” Don’t be so thirsty for an opportunity that you drink from every cup handed to you… That’s how you get poisoned.”
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Do your research and find your Truth before joining the crowd.
Let’s unmodernize the regressive Raksha Bandhan and do it the way our ancients did. This thread in an oath of protection. Sons should tie it to their fathers, sisters to brothers, and even lovers to their beloved.