Fortification Our social unity, national integrity, the lines dividing the untouchables from the rest of the society and the impregnable walls that heads of reli- gious sects build around themselves are matters of grave concern. Rakshabandhan has the potential to emerge as the solution to this grave problem.

The festival which binds brothers and sisters with the symbolic cord of love also brings the message of “Balam Upasas- va” (I worship the power). This power is the power of harmony. “Sanghe Shak- tihi Kalauyuge” (the power of unity is stronger than any other in all ages). The strength of a united, harmonious so- ciety is what will prevail over that of any individual or kingdom and even of all the wealth in the world. Even if we want to venerate power, we shall need to cultivate the strength of unity and harmony.

Indrani had tied a “Raksha” to Indra as a prayer for his safety when he challenged the demons. Today, we face the demons of social evils and mothers need to pray for the safety of our heroes who will ultimately triumph over them. Kunti blessed Abhimanyu with a “Raksha” when he took up the challenge of penetrating the Chakravyuh in Arjun’s absence.

Today, we do not have the comforting presence of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekanand, Dr. Hedgevar or Dr. Ambedkar to help us with the chakravyuh of social ills. Only the blessings of our mothers can help us conquer the forces that are bent on shattering our society.

Lakshmi’s symbolic string of love enabled Vishnu to emerge from Baliraja’s grip; every Gruhlakshmi (the lady of the house) today will have to pray fervently to free the society from the ropes of divisiveness that re- strain it. Yēna Baddho Bali: Rājā Dānavēndro Mahābala:. Tēna Tvāmanubadhnāmi Raksē Mā Cala Mā Cala.. (I tie you by a thread as Bali, a great brave, king of demon was tied by this. O! Thread of protection! be steady and do not move.)

A Degenerative Disease Several attempts have been made in the past to create harmony in the society; however, the more we tried to remedy it, the more the degenerative disease of disharmony raised its head. Though the efforts were backed with good intentions, they failed due to the negative approach of society as a whole.

In fact, there are some people whose slogan is “Jati-Todo” (divide the race). People have created a new race by themselves.

They engage in disgusting efforts to achieve their own vested in- terests in the name of reformation of society.

It is their underlying aim to encourage diversity and continue back- wardness. As if this is not enough, they also plot conspiracies to widen the chasm between factions of society through zealous sectarianism.

It is important to go back to the teachings of our great social scientists such as Yagnyavalkya, Parashar and Vashishth.
Somewhere in their ideals will we find the key to solve the problems that confront us.

After all, as each of these ancient thinkers have held, the individual is the most important unit of society; it is only through the individual that we can tap the outlook, ambitions, effectiveness and even the very existence of the society as a whole.