Rakshabandhan is one of the major festivals of India. Rakshabandhan is also known as Rakhi. The festival of Rakshabandhan is celebrated every year on the day of Shravan Purnima. Rakshabandhan is the festival of brother and sister. The full moon of Shravan Purnima is dedicated to the love and duty of brother and sister.
Rakshabandhan falls in the month of July or August. Rakshabandhan is such a sacred bond made of a thread of social, mythological, religious, and historical sentiment, which is celebrated with great pomp not only in India but also in Nepal and Mauritius by the name of Rakshabandhan.
The festival of Rakshabandhan is a symbol of brother-sister love. This festival increases the love between brother and sister and also strengthens the sense of caring for each other. On this day, while tying Rakhi to her brother, sister prays for her brother’s happy life.
On this day the brother promises to protect his sister from all kinds of troubles. Due to the tradition of tying Rakhi on this day, all the estrangement between brother and sister is removed and love increases between them. Well, brother-sister love does not last for a day.
The festival of Rakshabandhan appears in many forms. Men who belong to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh tie saffron colored rakhis for brotherhood. In Rajasthan, Nandan ties a special type of Rakhi to his sister-in-law called Lumbi. In many places sisters also tie Rakhi to their sisters. By doing this the love between the people increases even more.
Significance of Rakshabandhan
Rakshabandhan is a relation of protection where sister protects brother. On this day all the sisters tie rakhi to their brothers and promise that they will protect them and they will protect them. It is not necessary that those to whom they tie Rakhi should be their real brothers, girls can tie Rakhi to everyone and all become their brothers.
There is a very old tradition of tying Rakhi on the day of Rakshabandhan. All sisters and brothers take the responsibility of protecting each other with love and duty and celebrate Rakshabandhan with lots of best wishes. Rakhi is very important in Jainism.
Historical importance of Rakshabandhan
The history of Rakshabandhan is found in Hindu mythology. The story of Rakshabandhan is like this – there was a king who tried to rule the heaven after completing the sacrifice, then Devraj Indra sought help from Lord Vishnu.
Vishnu ji went to King Bali in the form of a Brahmin to beg for alms. King Bali donated three steps of land even after the Guru’s refusal. Lord Vamana had sent King Bali to the abyss after measuring the sky, the underworld and the earth in three steps.
King Bali had taken this boon from Lord Vishnu with the power of his devotion that he would be in front of him at all times. Lakshmi ji became very worried about this. On the advice of Narad ji, Lakshmi ji went to King Bali and tied him a rakhi and made him her brother and brought her husband back with her.
The day Lakshmi ji made King Bali his brother, that day was the full moon day of the month of Shravan. Similarly, the Queen of Pus had sent a Rakhi to the Mughal King Humayun and requested for protection and Humayun, despite being a Muslim, kept the shame of Rakhi. Similarly, Sikandar’s wife had made her husband’s enemy her brother by tying a rakhi and asked for her husband’s life as a gift.
For this reason, during the war of Puru, by giving life to Alexander, Rakhi and the promise of her sister were ashamed. When King Indra was attacked by demons, his wife did penance and prayed to the Lord. God listened to his prayer and gave him a protective thread.
She tied this Raksha Sutra on her husband’s right hand which gave her victory. The day on which he had tied this protection thread was the full moon day of the month of Shravan. For this reason, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated till date on the full moon day of Shravan month.
Rakhi in Mahabharata
Rakshabandhan is also mentioned in our Mahabharata. It was advised to celebrate the festival of When Shri Krishna’s index finger was hurt while killing Shishupala and was bleeding, Draupadi had torn her sari and tied it on his finger to stop the blood, that day was the full moon day of Shravan month.
When Draupadi was dismembered, Shri Krishna saved his shame and paid off his debt. In the festival of Rakshabandhan, there is a feeling of mutual protection and cooperation.
Preparations for Rakshabandhan
On the day of Rakshabandhan, brothers and sisters take a bath and wear clean clothes and start preparing to tie Rakhi. On this day sister ties Rakhi on her brother’s right hand and applies tilak of sandalwood and kumkum. After applying tilak, sisters perform the aarti of their brother and then feed him sweets. After tying rakhi, brother gives a gift to his sister.
If the brother is away from his home, then he comes back to his home to get Rakhi tied on the day of Rakshabandhan. If somehow sister is not able to tie rakhi to her brother then she sends rakhi by postal share. Various types of sweets are ordered in the house on this day. On this day, eating Ghevar among various types of dishes and sweets has its own fun.
In today’s time this festival has become the identity of our culture and our people of India are very proud of this festival. But in India, where this special festival is celebrated for sisters, some brothers are unable to tie rakhi on their hands because their parents do not allow her sister to come into this world.
It is a matter of shame that in a country where the law of worship of girls is in the scriptures, there is a murder of female foetus. This festival reminds us of the importance of sisters in our lives.