Today is the auspicious day of Shravana Purnima (the full Moon day in the auspicious month of Shravana as per the Hindu calendar). Usually it is said that it is the brother who protects and looks after his sister. Today we are celebrating a very special and unique tradition through the festival of Rakshabandhan, in which it is the sister who (takes the vow and) protects her brother! Women of our country are often called weak and powerless. So it is worth wondering how a woman who is considered as weak and fragile can protect a man and give him moral strength and support.
There is a growing misconception since the ages that women are weak and powerless. It is not so at all. Women possess a very unique power within themselves – the Sankalpa-Shakti (the power of will and determination). So a woman too can protect and give support to a man using her strong will power and inner strength. In India, we have never regarded women as weak or inferior in any way at all. How can a woman be weak? A woman has so much (inner) strength and power that she can stop the mighty Sun also! You all must have heard the story of Satyavan and his wife Savitri. She was so devoted to her husband that she fought the very Lord of Death from taking her husband away and brought him back to life. Similarly, you must have also heard the inspiring story of Devi Anusuya.
So, women possess the power of feelings and emotions, and have great inner strength within them. This is the greatest strength that one can have. If one loses one’s inner strength then outward physical strength is of no use. To be physically strong, one has to be strong from within first (referring to strong will power and courage). Inner strength here means both – the power of the intellect and also the strength of inner will and emotions. A woman possesses the unique and beautiful combination of both of these. So on the day of Rakshabandhan, it is the ladies who take a vow to protect the men (by tying a sacred thread on the wrist of the brother).