Rakhi and Namaste Buttons

As many of you know, August 7th is Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan that is celebrated in many parts of India. As the tradition holds, millions of Hindu and Sikh women tie a band around their brothers’ hand as a brother-sister bond and pray for their wellbeing. In return, the brother promises to honor them and protect them. My sister in India has always mailed me Rakhi for the past fifty years. She also did so this year, reminding me to put it on August 7th. But before I could have done that, my wife already put it on her wrist. How cool is that!  Why can’t Rakhi, in addition to being as the tradition holds, be a symbol of love, unity and connectedness of us all. My wife used to make these bands (very simple – just two woolen strands of red and saffron with two knots in-between) that I used to hand out to the visitors coming to our temple. For no reason, as many things happen, she stopped making them. I will ask her to start making them again (why can’t I make them?).  And, why can’t we all walk around wearing them – Hindus and non-Hindus, Male and female) all year as a reminder of our connectivity? How cool would that be?

Now moving on from the topic of Rakhi to the Namaste Buttons. Are the two topic connected? Absolutely. Many of you read my previous Blog on “Wearing a Namaste Button – Proudly!” a week or so ago. My student and I were in Raleigh, NC for a workshop where yesterday we went the FedEx office to mail back a package to Minneapolis. My student had gone there two day ago to pick it up. The store clerk (an African American young man – not that it matters) recognized my student, and with two fingers pointed to his eyes and then to my student’s eyes and said: we are connected.  Hearing that, I pointed to my button (pictured below) and said that we are all connected and gave that button to him. He immediately put in on. How cool was that?

Best regards,

Narendra – SOHAM-MN™

PS: At this workshop, several ladies commented on my Namaste button that they know of Namaste from their yoga classes. I don’t know if they connect Namaste and yoga with Hinduism, I hope they do but I don’t care – I was Happy!


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