It’s that part of the year when our televisions are loaded up with the commercials of chocolates and greetings cards. Siblings are the most excited in the families looking forward to celebrating their bond of love on the full moon day of the month of Shravan. Yes, it’s the celebration of Raksha Bandhan, which falls on August 15th this year. Raksha Bandhan is the celebration of the sacredness and bliss of the sibling bond in an auspicious manner. The festival of Rakhi is regarding the sisters offering their prayers to God to bless their brothers; whereas brothers give an everlasting promise of providing protection to their sisters. Such is the panorama of this amazing festival which makes every sibling’s heart pound with happiness and exhilaration with its arrival in the calendars.
Importance of Raksha Bandhan
It holds massive significance in Hinduism. The name of the celebration, Raksha Bandhan is comprised of two words, Raksha (Protection) and Bandhan (Relation). This festival is celebrated to honor the purest bond that exists between brother-sister. On this day, a sister ties ‘Rakhi’ around her brother’s wrist and while tying the rakhi, she prays for his long life and prosperity. It is the traditional way of wishing for a healthy, safe, and prosperous life for her brother. For ages, it is believed that rakhi works as an armor (kavach) meaning that it acts as a defensive mechanism powered by the blessing of a sister that safeguards her brother from all the odds.
Does separation make a difference on Raksha Bandhan?
Traditionally, a sacred thread called Rakhi is tied on the brother’s wrist, on this day. If the brother-sister duo is geographically far, being located in different states, cities or countries, this day holds special to make the miles disappear. The phone’s ring with a different jingle, the doorbell sets a different pace to the heartbeat, the unexpected gifts or even the surprise visits, re-affirms the brotherly and sisterly love on this day. Married sisters are excited on this day by a special visit of their brothers at their homes to celebrate this eternal love.
Reason for the celebration of this festival
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is observed as a sign of duty between brothers and sisters. The occasion is meant to celebrate any type of brother-sister relationship even by those who may not be biologically related. On this day, a sister ties a rakhi around the wrist of her brother in order to pray for his prosperity, health, and well-being. The brother in return offers gifts and promises to protect his sister from any harm and under every circumstance. The festival is also celebrated between brother-sister belonging to distant family members, relatives or cousins.
Some Unknown Facts About Raksha Bandhan
Draupadi Once Tied Rakhi To Lord Krishna
Not many people know the whole story behind this fact. According to this story, Lord Krishna once cut his hand while kite flying. Seeing this Draupadi immediately tore a piece of cloth from her saree and tied to Krishna. In return for this Lord Krishna promised to protect Draupadi at any condition. Later Lord Krishna protected Draupadi during her Cheer Haran.
Rabindranath Tagore and Rakhi Bandhan
Not many people know that Rakhi was used as a social device by Rabindranath Tagore. The famous poet and freedom fighter suggested the custom of Rakhi to strengthen the bond between Hindus and Muslims during the freedom struggle. The festival also goes beyond the line of religion in the country even today.
Rakhi Was Tied To Lord Indra By Indrani
The custom of Raksha Bandhan was not always associated with brother and sister. In an event in prehistory Indrani, the wife of Lord Indra tied a thread on Lord Indra’s wrist. She tied it before Indra went on to fight the demons. It contradicts the popular belief that only sisters tie Rakhi to brothers in exchange for a promise to protect them. Later the context was changed to be a more popular festival in the way it is known today.
Raksha Bandhan in Nepal, Mauritius, USA, Sri Lanka, and UAE
Raksha Bandhan is a festival associated with India but it is more widely celebrated than you thought. It is celebrated by various and non-Indians living in Nepal, Mauritius, USA, Sri Lanka, and UAE. The festival also finds a wide acceptance due to its nature of representing a universal bond between brothers and sisters.