The auspicious holiday of Rakshabandhan is celebrated between brothers and sisters. A sister ties a decorative sacred thread that has been offered to the Lord called a raakhadi on the right wrist of her brother, and while chanting the supreme mantra, “Om Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa Bhagwate Namaha,” she prays to the Lord to protect them both and to ensure her brother’s well-being, and to keep them united as brother and sister always.
She also applies chandlo to her brother’s forehead and offers delicious prasad sweets to him. The brother gives gifts to his sister in return after her prayers to the Lord for their protection, his well-being, and their unity.
On Rakshabandhan, disciples offer 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.
Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj is the current spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. He is the heir to Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj, and sixth in the lineage of ascetic Acharyas, which descends directly from Lord Shree Swaminarayan.