In India, festivals are the celebration of togetherness; It brings happiness to being one of the family. All festivals play a vital role to establish a better society where positive values prevail and the spirit of co-operation flourish. There are many auspicious festivals in India, and Raksha Bandhan is one of the significant occasion which bears a special significance.
What is Raksha Bandhan ?
Raksha Bandhan is an Indian ceremony of brothers and sisters. The bonding between brother and sister is so unparalleled that it goes beyond any description. Not only in India but also the simple relation between siblings is given importance in every part of the universe. It is a day when a sister ties a bracelet called Rakhi to her brother’s wrist. Rakhi Purnima is another name of Raksha Bandhan. The amulet which sisters knot around the wrist of their brothers symbolically means protection of them. Sisters get various gifts from their brother; This tradition does not confine between real siblings only but cousins sister brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and those who feel sibling’s affectionate to each other can celebrate this.
What is the meaning of Raksha Bandhan ?
The Festival consists of two words, namely “Raksha” and “Bandhan”. Based on Sanskrit terminology, the occasion bears the meaning “tie of protection” where Rakhi symbolizes the protection and “Bandhan” stands for the verb to tie. At one place, the Festival signifies the unconditional and eternal love of siblings relationship, which does not suppose only just the blood relationships.
When is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated ? ( Rakhi Kab Hai )
On the last day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Shravan it is celebrated, and it falls in August. People observe Rakhi on a full moon day of Shravan; for this reason, it is also known as Sharavan Purnima.
To know when is Raksha Bandhan this year, you can check All Indian Festivals Calendar.
History of Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is an ancient festival, Its origin related centuries before and there are many stories which enriched this Festival tremendously. Raksha Bandhan dates back its origin almost 6000 years ago when Aryans established first civilization. Some of the stories about this Festival related to Hindu mythology are given below.
- Sachi and Indra Dev: The tale of Indra Dev and Sachi is included in the ancient legend of Bhavishya Purana. Long long ago, there was a ferocious battle between gods and demons where Lord Indra was the chief deity of all gods, and King Bali was a powerful demon. The war stayed for a long time, and there was no eventual end. After observing the crucial situation, Lord Indra’s wife Sachi went to the Lord Vishnu who gave a holy bracelet to her, which is made of cotton thread. Sachi wanted to protect her husband, so she tied the sacred ribbon around her husband’s wrist. Consummately Lord Inrda had a victory against the demons, and he regained the Amaravati. Earlier women used to tie bracelets to their husbands when they were leaving for a War. But nowadays those holy threads are limited to the brother-sister relationship.
- Draupadi and Lord Krishna: For protecting the Dharma on the world once Lord Krishna killed the demon king Shishupal. In that war, Lord Krishna had an injury in his finger which was bleeding. Seeing the bleeding of his finger, Draupadi tore a slice of her saree and tied it around Lord Krishna’s finger to stop bleeding. Lord Krishna felt delighted and considered Draupadi’s concern and affection as a lofty thing. He gave a promise to repay the debt of gratitude in her future. After a long time, when Draupadi was in a helpless situation where Pandavas and Kauravas had attempted to remove the Saree of her Lord Krishna Protected her.
- King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi: King Mahabali, who was a great admirer of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu took the responsibility to protect Bali for his intense devotion. But there was a battle where Lord Vishnu won the three worlds from King Bali. King Bali requested Lord Vishnu to stay beside him in the place. The Lord accepted the request, and he started living with the demon king. Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Vishnu Had a wish to return to her native place of Vaikuntha. She tied a bracelet around the wrist of King Bali and considered him as a brother. Then the demon king asked her about the return gift. She asked him to release her husband from the vow of him and let him go with her. Bali agreed thus that incident become the tradition of Hindus.
- Santoshi Maa: Lord Ganesha had two sons, namely, Shubh and Labh. They were very frustrated because they had no sister. Lord Ganesha by the influence of their asking for a sister, created Santoshi Maa on the intervention of saint Narada. That also had happened on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
- Yama and the Yamuna: Yama, the death god, did not visit her sister Yamuna for 12 years. Once on the advice of Ganga, he went to meet his sister. The Yamuna became very happy to see her brother and treated hospitality to him. That made Yama delight, and he asked her for a gift. The Yamuna told him that he wants to see him again and again. Seeing the affection of his sister toward him, Yama made him immortal so that she could see him again and again. Mythologically on the primary account of this Festival called ‘Bhai Dooj”.
Importance of Raksha Bandhan for Different Religion
- Hinduism: Mainly, it is a festival of Hindus in the northern and western parts of India. But there are some other countries where Hindus also celebrate it such as Pakistan, Mauritius, and Nepal.
- Sikhism: This Festival inclined to the brother-sister love, and the Shiks observe it throughout the world. It is known as “Rakhardi” or “Rakhari” in Shikism.
- Jainism: It is a famous festival in the Jain community where Jain priests give ritual threads to the devotees.
Raksha Bandhan is a festival that ties brothers and sisters with affection, love, and concern. To pray for the brother’s prosperity, health, well-being, sisters tie a rakhi around the wrist of their brothers. In return, they also get gifts and protection from their brother. For a long time, this traditional practice has maintained family bonding.