The Significance Of The Red String In Hinduism

Hindus before the beginning of a religious ceremony tie Mauli or Kalava or Charadu, red string on their wrists. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu during his incarnation of Vamana tied a red thread on the hands of King Bali to grant him immortality and to rule the netherworld. Females tie the thread on the right hand and males and on the left hand. The thread is tied to invoke the blessings of the Hindu deities especially of the particular deity to whom the puja is dedicated. There is also a popular belief that the sanctified red thread with the blessing of the deity protects a person from diseases, enemies and other dangers.

Red String Mauli Kalava
A familiar sight on the wrists of Hindus is the red string.

By tying Mauli/Kalava; it is said that blessings of Trideva; Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and Tridevis; Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga are received. From the blessings of the Hindu god Brahma, you receive fame, from the blessings of Lord Vishnu you receive defending power from evil and by the blessings of Lord Shiva you receive the power to destroy your own bad and negative qualities. By the blessings of Mother Saraswati you receive knowledge, by the blessings of Mother Lakshmi you receive wealth and from Mother Durga you receive power.

ALSO READ: The Laxmi puja ritual. Here’s your how to for the puja!

What about the significance of the Raksha Bandhan thread?

The thread can also be called a Raksha or rakhi and is put on the brother by the sister to show the sister’s, familial love. The knots in the thread are said to hold the love of the sister when she tied the knot. Thus, the brother wears the rakhi as a sign of his sister’s love and wishes for protection. In other arrangements, the knots tied in the rakhi as the red strings are given to guests or tied around their wrists before a special ceremony or reception is also considered to hold the goodwill of those who offer it

On which wrist must the raksha sutra be tied?

Men wear it on the right wrist; females wear it on the left. It is tied to the wrist during the full moon in August (Shravana Purnima). Females tie on the left hand and males on the right. As mentioned in the scriptures of sacred texts of the Sarva Deva Pratishthaa Paddhati by Gopaladatta Shastri (page 54) it’s explained that the Raksha sutra (red string) is tied on the left wrist for a female and on the right wrist of males. 

Universal understanding of the knots in a red string

For every knot, you make a wish or say a prayer and the string should remain on as long as possible. If it breaks off before the time of the annual Luxmi prayer, you should tie it around a tree. The scarlet string is also mentioned in Genesis chapter 38 verses 28 and believed that it makes the wearer lucky and divinely protected. In China and Japan, it is called the ‘red string of fate’ and will attract love and a soul mate.


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  1. Knowledgeable information, thanks

  2. Your article on the significance of a red string and the hand that its tied on for males and females is incorrect. The priests at temples tie it or the left for females and right for males

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