Meaning & Significance of Raksha Bandhan
What is Raksha Bandhan?
Raksha Bandhan is a festival (Hindu Festival) celebrated by Hindu People all over the world. It is a festival that symbolizes the pure relationship, care, protection and love between the sisters and brothers. If we break the word Rakshabandhan, we get two words “Raksha” and “Bandhan” which means protection and tying the thread of love respectively. So, this festival is a festival for manifesting the bond between the brothers and sisters. This festival is celebrated in the month of Sravana in the Lunar calendar.
The word “Raksha” literally means protection, while “Bandhan” means to tie. During this festival, usually, sisters tie a rakhi, made of red and gold threads, around her brothers’ wrist to celebrate their relationship and prey to god to protect their brothers from all bad deeds. While brothers promise their sisters to protect them from all harms and troubles.
While in the past Raksha Bandhan was celebrated just by the brothers and sisters, today this festival has developed and others have joined in the festivities. On this day, holy priests tie the rakhi or a sacred thread around the congregation members. Also, women tie rakhis around the wrist of soldiers, close friends and even the Prime Minister of India.
In Nepal, it is celebrated on ShravanPurnima and called JanaiPurnima as well. Janai (a sacred thread) is changed in this day in Brahmin and Kshetry family. A sacred thread is tied on the wrist by the senior family member and relatives. Nepalese people enjoy this day by eating a special dish named Kwati, which is also a soup of sprout of seven different grains.
Significance and purpose of Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is considered as a holy day to celebrate the pure and divine relation of a brother and a sister. However, this festival is not only limited to the brothers and sisters. It is also celebrated to strengthen the close social bonding of the people. When a Rakhi is tied around the wrist of neighbors or close friends, it underscores the necessity for a harmonious life, where each individual live peacefully as the brothers and sisters. When Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in this way, all the members of the society comment to protect each other.
Similarly, it would not be wrong if we say that friendship band in a fashion of today is an addition of the Rakhi Custom itself. Friends also celebrate this festival to remain loyal to each other and love each other as friends forever and ever. On the day of Raksha Bandhan, if a girl sends a rakhi to a male, it means that they turn the relationship into a sisterly bond.
Raksha Bandhan is a day that is immensely important for all the priests too. Priests tie rachis or other sacred thread on their patron’s wrist and in return receive offerings from them as well. Some parts of India and Nepal also reserve this day important for the sacred thread changing ceremony as well when the young Brahmin boys discard the old one and wear one ritualistically. However the Raksha Bandhan is being celebrated these days, this festival always symbolizes the everlasting bond between the brothers and sisters which are definitely one of the most important aspects of this auspicious day.
Mythological and historical references
One incident from the epic Mahabharatsymbolizes the importance of Raksha Bandhan and gives a Mythological reference about this festival is celebrated for a long time. It issues Krishna and Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. She had once torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna’s wrist to staunch the bleeding from a battlefield wound. Krishna became touched via her movement and declared her to be his sister, even though they were unrelated. He promised to repay the debt and then spent the subsequent 25 years doing simply that. Draupadi, despite being married to five great warriors and being a daughter of an effective monarch, trusted and depended wholly on Krishna. Krishna repaid the debt of affection for the duration of the “Cheer-Haran” of Draupadi, which befell within the assembly of King Dhritarashtra when Yudhisthira lost her to the Kauravas in gambling.
According to yet another legend, Raksha Bandhan was a ceremony followed by the Lord of Death, Lord Yama and his sister named the Yamuna. The Yamuna, the sister of Yama tied rakhi to Yama and gave immortality. Yama was so stirred by the tranquility of the occasion that he confirmed that whoever gets a rakhi from his sister and promised her protection in return, will become immortal
A famous narrative this is targeted around Rakhi is that of Queen Karnavati of Chittor along with Mughal RulerHumayun, which dates back to 1535 CE. Whilst Rani Karnavati, the queen of the king of kingdom Chittor, realized she couldn’t shield against the attack by means of the king of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she despatched a Rakhi to Emperor Humayun. Moved, the Emperor instantly prompt with his troops to shield ChittorHumayun arrived too overdue, and Bahadur Shah controlled to sack the Rani’s fort. Karnavati, at the side of a mentioned thirteen thousand other ladies within the fortress, finished Jauhar on March 8, 1535, killing themselves to avoid dishonor whilst the men threw the gates open and rode out on a suicidal rate towards Bahadur Shah’s troops. when he reached Chittor, Humayun evicted Bahadur Shah from the citadel and restored the kingdom to Karnavati’s son, Vikramjit Singh. Even though modern critics and memoirs do now not point out the Rakhi episode and a few historians have stated skepticism about it, it is stated in one mid 17thcentury Rajasthani version.
The message of Rakhi
Raksha Bandhan symbolizes the bond of care, respect, and love between the brothers and sisters. However, in broader viewpoint, this festival also conveys the inherent message of widespread sisterhood and brotherhood. Thus, the rakhi delivers the message that has socio mystical significance highlighting the need for fostering positive qualities, transparency in the thoughts, word, and action.
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Writer: Asmita Sharma