Have you seen Indian women sporting rakhis dangling from their bangles on Raksha Bandhan. That is the lumba rakhi, which is a special type of rakhi meant for your sister-in-law.
What Is A Lumba Rakhi?
As you already know, Rakhi is bond of love symbolised by a decorated thread that every sister ties on the wrist of her brother. The brother on his part gives her gifts and makes a silent vow to protect her from all the evils of life.
When the brother is married, then a lumba rakhi is tied on the bangle of the brother's wife (sister-in-law). 'Lumba' in marwari means 'bangle'. Thus the rakhi tied to the bangle is called lumba rakhi.
This is primarily a Marwari custom but it is catching up among other communities as well. These days even unmarried women (sisters) tie it to each other. But, this tradition associated with Raksha Bandhan has a special spiritual significance too.
Spiritual Significance Of Lumba Rakhi:
Fosters The Joint Family: Joint families were a social norm in India and the Marwari community still prefers to live in joint families. This tradition fosters relationships within a family. So by tying a rakhi to your brother's wife, you are not only strengthening your relationship with your brother but also with your sister-in-law.
Ardhangini: A wife is regarded as the 'ardhangini' or half of a man's body. So after your brother is married, no religious ritual can be complete without his wife. A husband is not allowed to sit in any puja (offering of prayer) without his wife. As Raksha bandhan is a religious festival that involves puja (prayer) and aarti (a Hindu ritual), your sister-in-law has to be a part of it.
Security In Marriage: When you tie the lumba rakhi on your brother's wife's bangle, you are wishing her a secured married wife. 'Security' both financial and emotional was a huge aspect of marriage when women were not educated and independent as they are today. By tying a rakhi, the new wife securely becomes an integral part of her new family. Rakhi is a prayer to strengthen her marital relationship with your brother and bring domestic bliss to the couple.
These are some of explanations for the tradition of lumba rakhi. So do not forget your sister-in-law this Raksha Bandhan.