Happy Raksha Bandhan to all my brothers!

I have always love Raksha Bandhan.  Being the eldest in my family and growing up with no brothers, I have no idea what is brother's love.  I do have cousin brothers but being Chinese, brother's love was never emphasize.  

Until I came to Sahaja Yoga and realized how precious this relationship is.  

Having a brother means:

  • Sponsoring my air ticket to Italy to attend his wedding
  • Sponsoring my hotel stay in Italy (sharing with another sister)
  • Came back into Custom's checkpoint (although he has exited) to check why I was held back by Custom at India Airport and he spoke to the Custom's officer in Hindi that I was his sister
  • Giving good advice on Sahaja Yoga when I needed it
  • Getting yuva shakti to help me with my luggage upon arrival at puja place
  • And so many incidences and this is not just 1 brother

You see, being the eldest in the family means I have to always walk ahead first, try out things on my own and the world was so scary.  I was always told that I must be a good example to my younger sister and was always compared (my parent's style of upbringing).

Therefore, I relied heavily on one elder cousin sister (older by 1 year) as she walked 1 year ahead of me.  And for her, being the youngest in her family, she got exposed to a lot of things.  I was introduced to so many things by her, especially when it came to toys.  My parents were working 24/7 and they didn't have time to show us around so much.  I got to know about Barbie dolls, computer games, playing the piano, musicals, karaoke, watching movies together and having sleepovers.  It was the best part of my childhood.

But when she suddenly left me (yeah, am repeating myself for the umpteen time), I felt a void in my life.  I felt so lost.  I lost my direction and my purpose in life.  I just didn't know how to walk ahead, on my own anymore.

At that time, I was very new in Sahaj.  Thankfully Sahaj held me together.  I got to know another sister though from another race.  I learned to accept what it was and was introduced to many brothers and sisters.  

It was only then I realised this beautiful relationship between a brother and sister and it has nothing to do with romance.  Just genuine pure love and innocence.  I find the Indian brothers and sisters truly appreciated this festival compared to local brothers and sisters.  So I decided that every year, I will make my own rakhi and tie for the brothers, regardless who.

This year, I found this new method of weaving a friendship band/ rakhi.  Here are the steps.

Step 1: 

Cut a round shape base from a cardboard.  It can be any size, but not too big, not too small.  I just used a bowl's measurement.  In the middle of the circle, make a hole that a pencil can go through.  Then using a pencil, divide the circle into 8 equal parts, like a pizza or pie.  Slightly cut the sides to about 2cm deep slit.

Cut 7 threads.  You can use 7 different colours, which I have done earlier.  The length is about 1.5 of my arm size (from hand to elbow).  Tie a knot and push the knot through the hole that you made earlier.  And then put each thread into the sides that was cut slightly.  You will have 1 side that is empty.

Step 2:

To start off, make sure the thread is nicely pull tightly and not loose.  Otherwise the weaving won't be neat.  And ensure the threads are neatly pulled and tight as you go along.

First from the empty slit. go backwards and skipped 2 threads and remove the 3rd thread to insert it into the empty slit.  The 3rd thread slit now will be empty.  Then repeat the process by moving backwards.  You will find that you will always have to rotate the cardboard clockwise as you go along.  Always skipped 2 threads and take the 3rd one to fill up the empty slit. See the above picture. 

Step 3:

In the beginning, you might not see anything yet.  But as you continue, the band will slowly come out from the back.  In this picture, I have up-cycled the cardboard using an ice cream box.  And I have added beads to be more adventurous. 

This is a close-up of the final product.  Just keep on weaving until the end of the thread.  It took me perhaps about 1-2 hours (as I stop a lot) to finish one.  Might take a bit more effort compared to the simpler one that I made every year.

I find this weaving very meaningful as it uses 7 threads represents 7 chakras and weaving made it into 1 band.  Like all 7 chakras intertwining into our one subtle system.  And it goes clockwise around and round. 

Personally I think without beads look neater. 

I also made one using the 7 colours for the 7 chakras, with Gold representing Sahasrara.  It turned out beautifully.

As for the little kids, I made these for my girl.  And she tied rakhi for her cousin brother yesterday.  So cute and innocent.