August 2019: Ilford Recorder – Pranav’s Spiritual Life Column
Raksha Bandhan – with rights come responsibilities to others.
It has often been said that with rights come responsibilities to others. The notion of responsibility is celebrated by Hindus on the festival of Raksha Bandhan (meaning “bond of protection”) taking place on 15 August 2019. Alongside the principle of responsibility, underpinning the festival is a social contract between siblings who promise to care and protect each other. It is common for sisters to tie a Rakhi (a sacred string) on their brothers and in return receive a gift. In reality, the festival is not limited to an agreement between siblings but can be extended to wider family and community members. In the 21st century, the irony of social media and technology is that it has created a world where people are both more connected yet potentially more isolated from each other than ever before. It is far easier to social media message someone than make the effort to spend quality face to face time with them. With over nine million lonely people in the UK with four million of them being older people there is no reason why the principles underpinning the festival of Raksha Bandhan cannot be used to remind the wider Redbridge and UK population of the importance of responsibility to each other in order to create stronger links between the diverse range of communities that exist. My faith has taught me that all human beings are one big family. Consequently, through implementating the principles of Raksha Bandhan, why not use this summer to make time to personally meet colleagues, friends and family to remind them of your mutual responsibilities of protection and care to one another.