Raksha Bandhan

Published On : July 10, 2022  |  Author : Astrologer Pt Umesh Chandra Pant

Raksha Bandhan Festival

This is one of the most important festivals known as a strong medium to steer ahead connectivity in relation terms such as humanity, kindness, charity, cooperation, love, relations, and social harmony. This is the festival giving us the lesson of living the highest form of life and dedicating our purpose to the core value of humanity. This is a festival not only ancient, but also smoothens sacred relation between brothers and sisters, and keeps our religious, social and customs still intact. The festival is associated with many old tales found in religious texts, since the time immemorial, which demonstrate the power of protective bond, besides telling that how sanctimonious it is. The promise of brothers to safeguard the dignity of their sisters through this festival is novel. For instance, on one hand, a sister longs for the longevity of her brother by tying protective thread called Raksha Bandhan, wishing for success, safety and wellbeing of her brother; and on the other hand, a brother vows to protect the dignity of her sister and gifts his sister a variety of fineries and clothes. The festival of RakshaBandhan is the unique confluence of sanctity, sweetness and faith in the relationship of brothers-sisters.  Since a very long time, the festival has been in practice and is celebrated in Shukla paksha of Shravana month and Purnima day. The sister ties Raksha sutra (thread of protection) on the left hand of her brother, wishing for him eternal success, longevity, wellbeing, and prosperity in his life. The thread is actually adorned with cotton fabric or silk, consisting mixture of myriad colors, including pink, red, yellow and blue.

Raksha Bandhan And Its Beliefs

There are many Vaidik and mythological beliefs associated with Raksha Bandhan festival. It has been in practice since time immemorial. It is popular because of its theme concept of protection. On one hand, this festival is celebrated in schools, colleges, and on political and social level; on the other hand, sisters from around India send Rakhi to their brothers in Army. This emboldens the spirit of Armies to protect their motherland even more. Somewhere, there is custom of tying Rakhi by sisters-in-law to their brothers-in-law. Even the swinging of deities is adorned during this day. The festival comes to an end during Shravana Purnima.

How To Bind Rakhi During Raksha Bandhan

Keep Rakhi one day before Raksha Bandhan. You can either buy it from the market or make it on your own at your home. Along with Rakhi, keep the collection of other items like turmeric, flowers, rice, sindoor and sweets etc. Next day in the morning, finish your daily activities, wear new clothes and offer prayer to your God. Keep all necessary items on the plate, lit up diya and be seated northbound or eastbound. Sisters should apply turmeric tika with few grains of rice on the forehead of their brothers. Besides, brothers should keep a neat and clean piece of fabric on the head and offer wrist to sisters to let her tie rakhi on it. Sisters should tie Rakhi on the left wrist of their brothers and offer them sweets to eat. Brothers ought to touch the feet of sisters as a gesture of pranam. Offer sisters monetary items as per your capacity. Just as on many occasions, there is custom of tying sacred thread by Brahman priests, similarly, Rakhi is in practice during Raksha Bandhan.

Auspicious Time For Raksha Bandhan

There is specific time determined for Raksha Bandhan, that marks celebration of the festival. It is not to be observed on an inauspicious time or Muhurta. This does not give effectual results, and the purpose with which the occasion is celebrated does not come to its desired fruition. Therefore, see to it that the festival is celebrated in accordance with the time/Muhurta as prescribed. According to religious texts, Raksha Bandhan festival must be celebrated in noon or evening time of Shravana Purnima. It’s celebration during Bhadra period is prohibited. Bhadra period is malefic for king and subjects. Hence, the festival of Raksha Bandhan must be celebrated in accordance with the auspicious time as determined by shastra.

Significance Of Raksha Bandhan

The festival of Raksha Bandhan, on one hand, is very important according to the viewpoints of culture and religions, on the other hand, it is also very important from the standpoint of wellbeing and protection. This is called Raksha sutra, meaning protective thread, the sanctity of which can safeguard you from the ill effects of diseases, fear, mourn etc., and it ensures protection from many obstacles once you tie rakhi on your wrist. Those who don’t have sisters can approach to priests to have Rakhi tied on their wrists. There is importance of Raksha sutra during this occasion, but it is more important if the same is energized by mantras. Therefore, the mantra that energizes Raksha sutra is often chanted by priests which renders good effects. Mantra, such as – येन बद्धो बली राजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबलः। तेन त्वामनुबध्नामि रक्षे माचल माचल।। Meaning – Protection is ensured by teachers for students and vice versa during the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. And this accomplishes mutual safety and respects. People from all over the world, who observe the festival of Raksha Bandhan due to being Hindu or otherwise, celebrate this festival with a great splendor. Not only religious, but there is also social and political importance of this festival. On this occasion, great dignitaries, including Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi tie the knots of rakhi on their wrists by daughters-sisters. And it accentuates the importance of this festival. Meaning, in the time of difficulty, brothers, sworn to protect sisters due to Rakhi, come to their rescue in tie of needs. Similarly, Raksha sutra is tied around the barks of the tree like Peepal and basil plant to serve the purpose of nature’s conservation. Various types of food items are also prepared during this occasion. In the capital State of India, Delhi, there is provision of free bus ride by the administrators for mothers and sisters during Raksha Bandhan. People following Hindu and Jain religions observe this festival in great spirit. Vaidik Brahmans and priests observe this festival by conducting various activities and conclude the same on pilgrims or nearby the bank of water pool. This kind of ritual is called Shravana Purnima. Fairs are organized at various places during the occasion of Shravana Purnima

Stories Of Raksha Bandhan

There are many stories behind Raksha Bandhan, out of which is the ancient tale of Bhavishya Purana, according to which a monster named Bali once defeated lord Indra, and captured his kingdom, Amravati. Fed up by the tyranny of these monsters, all the Gods approached to lord Guru Brihaspati to ask for solution to their plight and achieve victory against the devils. Then, Guru Brihaspati had the rituals associated with Raksha sutra completed religiously for Gods. And Sachi took Raksha sutra from Brahmans, effects of which caused victory for Gods over devils. Another tale states that while Lord Shri Krishna was using his Sudarshan chakra to kill Shishupala for his obstinacy, Krishna sustained an injury in the process, causing trickling of blood from his wound. Seeing this, Draupadi came to his rescue, torn down a piece of fabric from her Saari and tied it around the wound, as a gesture of accepting Krishna as her brother. This made Lord Krishna very happy and he fulfilled this vow of protecting her sister Draupadi by saving her grace and continued protecting her, whenever there was danger around her. Later, Krishna made Yudhishthira and other Pandvas understand about the importance of Raksha Bandhan festival, which they followed since then and got victory over Kauravas. That was just the piousness of Raksha sutra which gave them the victory. There is political story behind the festival of Raksha Bandhan, saying that Shri Ravindra Nath Tagore appealed to the people of Bengal for cooperation on this festival, which worked effectively. The story of queen of Mewar, Karnavati, is also associated with this festival, to which when the queen came to know that Bahadur Shah was planning to attack on her kingdom, she sent Rakhi to Mughal emperor, Humayun for help in the war and to protect her kingdom. Humayun, even though he was Muslim by religion, accepted the rakhi and protected the kingdom, Mewar. Similarly, the wife of Alexander tied rakhi to the mighty king, Puruvas as a gesture of being sister to him and ensured safety of her husband. Many films and songs were made on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan and rakhi.

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