Today, August 10 is the festival of Raksha Bandhan. Raksha means protection and Bandhan means a bond or relationship. On this day, women tie a thread (called Rakhi) around the wrist of men and pray for their well-being. In return, men vow to protect them. Although, mostly thought of as a custom between a sister and a brother in modern times, historically it was not the case. Draupadi tied a Rakhi to Krishna and Kunti tied a Rakhi to her grandson Abhimanyu before the great war of Mahabharata.
The festival is celebrated on the Full Moon (Poornima) day of the Shravana month of the Vedic calendar. This year’s exact Full Moon takes place today at 11:09 AM pacific time in the constellation of Dhanishtha.
Dhanishtha inspires us to let go of our own song and reverberate with the Divine music. The symbol of Dhanishtha is a mridanga or a flute or a drum. These instruments are hollow from the inside and have no sound of their own. They reverberate and hum with the sound played by the musician. Dhanishtha is preceded by Shravana. In Shravana, we calm ourselves down and listen to the cosmic silence. But in Dhanishtha, we go one step further and offer ourselves as a vessel for the Divine music to play.