Bhadras on Rakhi Day : An opportunity to spend time with sisters… let’s catch up !!

Jagmohann Sharma
The onset of the month of Shravan ( Mid-July to Mid-August) on the Indian calendar heralds the coming of an extremely auspicious and wonderful festival of Raksha Bandhan, a glorious festival dedicated to the eternal love and affection that siblings share since their childhood. It is the day when sisters pray to the God Almighty to bless their brothers with a long, successful, and healthy life and the brothers in return undertake an everlasting commitment of love and protection to their sisters. Another great thing about this festival is that it is celebrated by many people without ever thinking about caste, creed or religion. Even in my own case a muslim lady, my Kouser Didi, has been tying Rakhi without a miss since I was born. The sole reason was a five decade old verbal commitment to my pregnant mother that if the latter had a male child, she will tie him a Rakhi. As soon as I was born, Kousar baaji became Kouser didi for rest of my life. This reflects the festival is not restricted to a particular religion or a few sections of our society. Many Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and others celebrate the festival to keep alive and strengthen the feeling of love, care, commitment and dedication towards their siblings.
This festival is celebrated on the full moon day of the Shravan month every year which happens to fall on 11th August this year. The day is also referred to as “Rakhadd Punneya” in our Duggar region and it is considered as the most auspicious day to perform any religious rituals. However a lot of confusion prevails this year owing to the mahurat timing for tying the rakhi is aligned towards late evening. Most of the people are a bit confused in deciding whether or not to tie the rakhi during the day time because pundits hold the view that nothing auspicious should be done during the Bhadra period that is there in the day time this Poornima.
Bhadra period is regarded as the most inauspicious phase of the muhurat of Raksha Bandhan. It starts in the first phase of the Purnima Tithi and ends before the sunrise on the day of Raksha Bandhan. So pundits are recommending avoiding Bhadra Mukha specifically to perform the Rakhi rituals. A chart issued by pundits suggests the following:
Auspicious Timings for Raksha Bandhan 2022
Date of Raksha Bandhan: 11th August 2022
Commencement of Purnima Tithi – 11th August 2022 at 10:38 AM
End of Purnima Tithi – 12th August 2022 at 7:05 AM
Auspicious Time for the Rakhi Tying Ceremony: (11th August) 08:51 PM to 09:13 PM
Total Duration: Only 22 minutes.
I am not a pundit by profession neither a learned scholar of the Hindu philosophy even though as a common man, I have every right to express myself on the issue. My religion never restrains me from doing so or puts me into any legal tangle if I do it. I equally respect those who believe in mahurats, as per their own beliefs and strictly abide by it. What all I want to say and what made me write the article is that we should take it as an opportunity to spend quality time with our sisters, hence have appropriately put the title to the write up as
“Bhadras on Rakhi Day springs an opportunity to spend memorable time with Sisters… let’s catch up!!”
You may or may not agree with me but so far as my observation or feeling is concerned, we all in general have started taking this occasion as a formality. We are always in hurry … getting the Rakhi tied at one sister’s place and rushing to another’s place in a hurry. We neither can afford taking leave from office nor keep the business place off for the day. This also reflects our preference to being at work, vis-a-vis the auspicious day, though sometimes there may be unavoidable compulsions. As our Prime Minister Narendra Modi once suggested to find “Aapda mein Avsar”, (opportunity in adversity) so why not take Bhadra on rakhi as an opportunity to spend quality time with sisters & just not let the day being limited to the formality of getting a piece of thread tied on the wrist.
The relationship between brothers and sisters is always special and beyond definition. The bond between them is remarkable and valued in every part of the world. This connection is all the more significant and special when celebrated on Raksha Bandhan day, a festival devoted exclusively to the brother and sister love. Let’s pledge this Raksha Bandhan to make it remarkable and memorable for ever. I have some Suggestions to make this happen :
Invite your married sisters for an overnight stay. During the day even if your work commitments do not allow you to be with them, in the evening you will surely be home for the occasion.
Get the ritual of tying the Rakhi performed as per the muhurat. After completing the Rakhi-tying ceremony, there still will be an ample amount of time in hand which can be put to a productive use. In fact, you should enjoy every moment of this evening by spending it with your sisters in the best way possible. There are many ways to achieve this, some listed as under :
Arrange an overnight / night long gathering, spend time gossiping over the childhood memories.
Mimic how you siblings as youngsters used to walk, speak, play pranks, and behave on different occasions.
Recall the fights over trivial things, those small stupid mistakes to absolute blunders you did in all your innocence as a young Samaritan.
You can play Antakshree or some housie game involving your parents also.
Try to cook something special for the sisters yourself or ask your sister to prepare the dish you always liked being cooked by her.
The festival is of course incomplete without the customary kite flying and musical bash. Try if it can be done involving the entire extended family to make it a unique experience. After all sisters also have every right to fun and frolic, forget the age factor for a moment.
All this will definitely make the occasion more special and unique. You can add more such ideas as per your choice.
Believe me you all shall have an extremely wonderful experience to cherish. Life is too small and uncertain – let us live the moment as we never know what tomorrow might have in store for us. Do act upon my advice, just try it. You will surely feel the time well spent. Last but not the least, top up the occasion by planning to watch the latest release of Akshay Kumar starrer Raksha Bandhan with the entire family as its release is aptly coinciding with the special day. Have a wonderful Raksha Bandhan.
(The writer is a News Reader at All India Radio, Jammu)