Rakhi or Rakshabandhan is one of the sweetest and cozy festival in India, as you all know we have at least 100+ different festivals of different occasions but Rakshabandhan is closest to my heart. The special bond me and my brother share is indescribable!! The love, the fights and the connection when we understand each others feeling without conversation.
Raksha Bandhan is a popular festival celebrated everywhere in India, irrespective of caste and creed people all around participate in this festival. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month Shravana (Shravana Poornima). The festival is also called as Rakhi or Rakhi Poornima, Nariyal Poornima and Kajari Poornima in different states and is celebrated differently.
‘Raksha Bandhan’ or ‘Rakhi’ is a special occasion to celebrate this emotional bonding between brother and sister by tying a holy thread around the wrist. This thread, which pulsates with love and sublime sentiments, is means ‘a bond of protection’, and Raksha Bandhan signifies that the strong must protect the weak.
On the occasion of this festival sisters generally apply tilak to the forehead of their brothers, tie the Rakhi to the wrist of their brothers and do arati and pray for their good health & long life.
Lets talk about History:
There are numerous legends associated with Raksha Bandhan. Though with time it has come to practice that Raksha Bandhan is observed for brotherly and sisterly affection, in the earlier days it was for all relationships at large. It was tied by wives, daughters, mothers and Rishis to people for protection.
As per the popular legend, 'Brihaspati or Guru' ask Indra to vanish all the demons for everyone's protection. During this war when Indra almost lost the battle with demons; Guru Brihaspati and Indrani(his wife) tied a sacred thread around his wrist on the auspicious Shravan Poornima day, after which he emerged victorious in the war. Hence Raksha Bandhan came to be celebrated on the Shravan Poornima day.
During Mahabharata Draupati tore her silk sari and tied it around the bleeding finger of Lord Krishna, who got hurt in the process of slaying the evil 'Sari'. Lord Krishna's grace towards Draupati explains His brotherly affection for Her.
According to another legend, Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna, (the river in northern India). Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved by the serenity of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection, will become immortal.
History is filled with examples where brothers died in defence of their sister's honour. Rani Karnavati of Chittor sent a Rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun when she was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Mewar. Humayun himself ride there to rescue her.
According to one legendary narrative, when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BC, Roxana(his wife) sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with tradition, Porus, gave full respect to the rakhi.
The Social Binding
As we learn from history, this ritual not only strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters, but also confines the whole family. When a Rakhi is tied on the wrists of close friends and neighbors, it underscores the need for a harmonious social life, where every individual co-exist peacefully as brothers and sisters. All members of the community commit to protect each other and the society in such congregational Rakhi Utsavs. Girls send Rakhi for Army and defence guard as a thank you for protecting us all year long.
Raksha Bandhan stands as the foremost among all festivals, celebrating unconditional love and universal harmony. Today when we talk about celebrating Raksha Bandhan in a new form, our main consideration should be safety of Universe above our family, society or nation. What we can do is that tie a thread of love around a tree and take the responsibility of its care. Worshiping of trees as of God, contains the interest of human in itself.
The festival of Rakhi conveys a message that has socio spiritual significance of the need for nurturing of positive qualities, purity in thoughts and deed.