Universal Oneness: Rakshabandhan Celebration with Sugar Land & Stafford City Councils

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HOUSTON: HSS conducts outreach programs to introduce Hindu values to our friends and neighbors from other faith traditions.  Recently, HSS Houston chapter used the occasion of a traditional Hindu holiday known as Raksha Bandhana (pronounced ruck-SHAH bund-HUN) to meet with civic leaders and public safety officers.

Hindus have traditionally observed Rakha Bandhana – loosely translated as the “Protection Connection” – as a holiday reaffirming the relationship between sisters and brothers.  The sister ties a string known as a Rakhi (pronounced rah-KEY) around her brother’s wrist as a symbol of her love.  Not only does the brother promise to protect his sister, but the sister’s Rakhi also protects the brother from life’s adversities.

Since 2004, HSS has celebrated this holiday as “Universal Oneness Day,” broadening its scope from the family to the community with the simple idea that we should all love and protect each other.  We have met with civic leaders and public safety officers throughout the country and offered them the Protection Connection by tying Rakhi’s on them.

Members of HSS Houston chapter enjoyed the honor of celebrating Rakshabandhan with council members and city officials of Sugar Land and Stafford this year.

On September 14, group of HSS members including kids went to Sugarland Citi Hall. They were well received by Mayor  James Thompson and council member Harish Jajoo. Importance of Rakshabandhan and why we see it as Universal Oneness and its need today was explained to the Hon members. Then HSS members tied rakhis and gave a beautiful card with Rakhi message to everyone.

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The book about the Hindu culture and tradition was gifted to Hon Mayor and thanked them for the opportunity extended. Mayor and other council members highly appreciated HSS effort in spreading harmony message within society.

Similarly, Mayor of Stafford invited HSS during their general meeting on September 16. Mayor Leonard Scarcella and council Member  Ken Mathew received and welcomed HSS members during Stafford cilty council general meeting. Ken Mathew introduced the concept of  Raksha bandhan celebration in Indian sub-continent as cross-religion and cross faith bonding with lucid historical examples going back to Alexander’s time in India.

One of the HSS members then took this opportunity and told all the members and public officials about HSS views in extending the family concept to entire society as family and need of Universal Oneness in today’s time. Later-on rakhis were tied and cards were given to all the members and officials.

A book on Hindu culture was gifted to Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella. He then thanked HSS for celebrating Rakshabadhan with entire city council and officials and much appreciated the efforts.

Both the Mayors appreciated this festival, the unique message it brings out and social service HSS offers in their constituencies as well as nationwide.