Kalava: The Sacred Red Thread


The Kalava Thread

kalava mouliA Kalava or Mouli is a red cotton thread that Hindus typically wear on their wrists. The Kalava is normally tied after the completion of a yajna, a havan or the worship of a deity by the priest who presided over the ceremony.

Traditionally males and married females are supposed to wear the Kalava thread on their right hand, while unmarried females wear it on their left hands.

The act of wearing the Kalava thread after a cleansing yajna or post the worship of a deity symbolizes a bond between the mortal and the almighty that will promote the sattvic element in an individual.

Religious significance of Kalava Thread

In ancient times, Queen Kunti tied the Kalava thread on the wrist of Prince Abhimanyu before he went for the battle in the Mahabharata.

The adornment of the Kalava thread around the wrist also bestows upon the wearer the blessings of the Holy trinity in Hinduism – Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva.

Rakshabandhan and Kalava Thread

The Hindu festival of Rakshabandhan is said to originate from the practice of tying a Kalava thread on the wrist. The word “raksha” means protection and the word “bandhan” means a bond.  The ritual of a sister tying a colourful thread (kalava) around her brother’s wrist signifies that the sister is invoking the almighty to protect the brother and bless their relationship.



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