A rakhi being tied during Raksha Bandhan
|Official name||Raksha Bandhan.|
|Also called||Rakhi, Saluno, Silono, Rakri|
|Type||Religious, cultural, secular|
|Date||Purnima (full moon) of Shrawan|
|2017 date||Monday, 7 August (Friday, 28 July in Nepal)|
|2018 date||Sunday, 26 August|
|Related to||Bhai Duj, Bhai Tika, Sama Chakeva|
Raksha Bandhan, also Rakshabandhan, or simply Rakhi, is an annual rite performed in the Indian subcontinent, or by people originating from the Indian subcontinent, and centred around the tying of a thread, talisman, or amulet on the wrist as a form of ritual protection. The protection is offered principally by sisters to brothers, but also by priests to patrons, and sometimes by individuals to real or potential benefactors. Differing versions of the rite have been traditionally performed by Hindus in northern India, western India,Nepal, and former colonies of the British Empire to which Hindus had emigrated from India in the 19th-century, and have included, in addition, rites with names rendered as Saluno,Silono, and Rakri. The rituals associated with these rites, however, have spread beyond their traditional regions and have been transformed through technology and migration, the movies, social interaction, and promotion by politicized Hinduism, as well as by the nation state.
Raksha Bandhan is observed on the last day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Shraavana, which typically falls in August. On this day, sisters of all ages tie a talisman, or amulet, called the rakhi, around the wrists of their brothers, ritually protecting their brothers, receiving a gift from them in return, and traditionally investing the brothers with a share of the responsibility of their potential care. The expression "Raksha Bandhan," Sanskrit, literally, "the bond of protection, obligation, or care," is now principally applied to this ritual. It has also applied to a similar ritual in which a domestic priest ties amulets, charms, or threads on the wrists of his patrons and receives gifts of money. A ritual associated with Saluno includes the sisters placing shoots of barley behind the ears of their brothers.
Of special significance to married women, Raksha Bandhan is rooted in the practice of territorial exogamy, in which a bride marries out of her natal village or town, and her parents, by custom, do not visit her in her married home. In rural north India, where territorial exogamy is strongly prevalent, large numbers of married Hindu women travel back to their parents' homes every year for the ceremony. Their brothers, who typically live with the parents or nearby, sometimes travel to their sisters' married home to escort them back. Many younger married women arrive a few weeks earlier at their natal homes and stay until the ceremony. The brothers serve as lifelong intermediaries between their sisters' married- and parental homes, as well as potential stewards of their security. In urban India, where families are increasingly nuclear, and marriages not always traditional, the festival has become more symbolic, but continues to be highly popular.
Among women and men who are not blood relatives, there is also a transformed tradition of voluntary kin relations, achieved through the tying of rakhi amulets, which have cut across caste and class lines, and Hindu and Muslim divisions. In some communities or contexts, other figures, such as a matriarch, or a person in authority, can be included in the ceremony in ritual acknowledgement of their benefaction. Raksha Bandhan is also celebrated by Hindu communities in other parts of the world. Although rooted in Hindu culture, the festival has no traditional prayers unambiguously associated with it. The religious myths claimed for it are disputed, and the historical stories associated with it considered apocryphal by some historians. More recently, after enactment of more gender-neutral inheritance laws in India, it has been suggested that in some communities the festival has seen a resurgence of celebration, which is serving to indirectly pressure women to abstain from fully claiming their inheritance.
According to R. S. McGregor's Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, 1993, the name of the festival, the masculine Hindi noun rakśābandhan is composed of the Sanskrit loanword rakśā, a feminine noun, which means, "protection," "preservation," or "care." and a second Sanskrit loanword bandhan, a masculine noun, which means "fastening," or "tying together." According to V. S. Apte's Revised Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1957–1959, रक्षा pronounced rakṣā means, "protection," "preservation," or "guarding;"बन्धन pronounced, "bandhana," means "The act of binding, fastening, tying."
According to McGregor, the Hindi feminine noun, rākhī, (which is compared etymologically to rakśā described above) is a "protective talisman: a piece of thread etc., with a rosette, tied ceremoniously round a protector or patron's wrist on the full moon of the month Srāvan: especially by a sister round a brother's wrist, when the brother gives a small gift of money." In contrast, Apte defines one of the secondary meaning of रक्षा (rakṣā) to be: "A piece of silk or thread fastened round the wrist on particular occasions, especially on the full-moon day of Śrāvaṇa, as an amulet or preservative; (रक्षी (rakṣī) also in this sense).
According to Jack Goody, rakśābandhan is "cognate with the Sanskrit name for marriage, saṃbandhan, where the common element bandhan (Sanskrit: bandhá) refers to the act of tying. The ceremonies are complementary. Marriage (sam, reciprocally) ties spouses; rakśābandhan ties brother and sister."
Scholars who have written about the ritual, have usually described the traditional region of its observance as north India; however, also included are: central India, western India and Nepal, as well other regions of India, and overseas Hindu communities such as in Fiji. Anthropologist Jack Goody, whose field study was conducted in Nandol, in Gujarat, describes Rakshabandhan as an "annual ceremony ... of northern and western India." Anthropologist Michael Jackson, writes, "While traditional North Indian families do not have a Father's or Mother's Day, or even the equivalent of Valentine's Day, there is a Sister's Day, called Raksha Bandhan, ..." Religious scholar J. Gordon Melton describes it as "primarily a North Indian festival." Leona M. Anderson and Pamela D. Young describe it as "one of the most popular festivals of North India." Anthropologist David G. Mandelbaum has described it as "an annual rite observed in northern and western India." Other descriptions of primary regions are of development economist Bina Agarwal ("In Northern India and Nepal this is ritualized in festivals such as raksha-bandhan."), scholar and activist Ruth Vanita ("a festival widely celebrated in north India."), anthropologist James D. Faubion ("In north India this brother-sister relationship is formalized in the ceremony of 'Rakshabandhan.'"), and social scientist Prem Chowdhry ("... in the noticeable revival of the Raksha Bandhan festival and the renewed sanctity is has claimed in North India.").
Anthropologist McKim Marriott in his "Little Communities in an Indigenous Civilization," (1955) describes an "Indian-wide" tradition of Rakhi-bandhan, or Raksha-bandhan, in which a priest ties charms around their patrons' wrists and receives gifts of money, and a local tradition of Saluno in Aligarh district of North India in which sisters place ears of sacred grains on the heads and behind the ears of their brother in affirmation of the brother's role as their real or potential protector. Marriott's work also describes the field study of anthropologist Alan R. Beals in Namhalli, a village near Bangalore, who notes changes in the rakhi tradition brought on by modern technology.
While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent, different regions mark the day in different ways.
In the state of West Bengal and Odisha, this day is also called Jhulan Purnima. Prayers and puja of Lord Krishna and Radha are performed there. Sisters tie rakhi to brothers and wish immortality. Political parties, offices, friends, schools to colleges, street to palace celebrate this day with a new hope for a good relationship.
In Maharashtra, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated along with Narali Poornima (coconut day festival). Kolis are the fishermen community of the coastal state. The fishermen offer prayers to Lord Varuna, the Hindu god of Sea, to invoke his blessings. As part of the rituals, coconuts were thrown into the sea as offerings to Lord Varuna. The girls and women tie rakhi on their brother's wrist, as elsewhere.
In the regions of North India, mostly Jammu, it is a common practice to fly kites on the nearby occasions of Janamashtami and Raksha Bandhan. It's not unusual to see the sky filled with kites of all shapes and sizes, on and around these two dates. The locals buy kilometres of strong kite string, commonly called as "gattu door" in the local language, along with a multitude of kites.
In Haryana, in addition to celebrating Raksha Bandhan, people observe the festival of Salono. Salono is celebrated by priests solemnly tying amulets against evil on people's wrists. As elsewhere, sisters tie threads on brothers with prayers for their well being, and the brothers give her gifts promising to safeguard her.
In Nepal, Raksha Bandhan is referred to as Janai Purnima or Rishitarpani, and involves a sacred thread ceremony. It is observed by both Hindus and Buddhists of Nepal. The Hindu men change the thread they wear around their chests (janai), while in some parts of Nepal girls and women tie rakhi on their brother's wrists. The Raksha Bandhan-like brother sister festival is observed by other Hindus of Nepal during one of the days of the Tihar (or Diwali) festival.
The festival is observed by the Shaiva Hindus, and is popularly known in Newar community as Gunhu Punhi.
Myths and legends
The scriptures, epics of Hinduism is peppered with stories of rakhi and Raksha Bandhan. Some of these include:
According to Bhavishya Purana, in the war between Gods and demons, Indra – the deity of sky, rains and thunderbolts – was disgraced by the powerful demon King Bali. Indra’s wife Sachi consulted Vishnu, who gave her a bracelet made of cotton thread, calling it holy. Sachi tied the holy thread around Indra wrist, blessed with her prayers for his well being and success. Indra successfully defeated the Bali and recovered Amaravati. This story inspired the protective power of holy thread. The story also suggests that the Raksha Bandhan thread in ancient India were amulets, used by women as prayers and to guard men going to war, and that these threads were not limited to sister-brother like relationships.
King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi
According to Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana, after Vishnu won the three worlds from the demon King Bali, Bali asked Vishnu to stay with him in his palace, a request Vishnu granted. Vishnu's wife, Goddess Lakshmi did not like the palace or his new found friendship with Bali, and preferred that her husband and she return to Vaikuntha. So she went to Bali, tied a rakhi and made him a brother to her. Bali asked her what gift she desired. Lakshmi asked that Vishnu be freed from the request that he live in Bali's palace. Bali consented, as well accepted her as his sister.
Ganesha had two sons, Shubha and Labha. The two boys become frustrated that they have no sister to celebrate Raksha Bandhan with. They ask their father Ganesha for a sister, but to no avail. Finally, saint Narada appears who persuades Ganesha that a daughter will enrich him as well as his sons. Ganesha agreed, and created a daughter named Santoshi Maa by divine flames that emerged from Ganesh's wives, Riddhi (Amazing) and Siddhi (Perfection). Thereafter, Shubha Labha (literally "Holy Profit") had a sister named Santoshi Maa (literally "Goddess of Satisfaction"), to tie Rakhi over Raksha Bandhan.
Krishna and Draupadi
In the epic Mahabharat, Draupadi tied a rakhi on Krishna, while Kunti tied her rakhi on her grandson Abhimanyu, before the great war.
Yama and the Yamuna
According to another legend, Yama, the god of Death, had not visited his sister Yamuna for 12 years. Yamuna was sad and consulted Ganga. Ganga reminded Yama of his sister, upon which Yama visits her. Yamuna was overjoyed to see her brother, and prepared a bounty of food for Yama. The god Yama was delighted, and asked Yamuna what she wanted for a gift. She wished that he, her brother should return and see her again soon. Yama was moved by his sister's love, agreed and to be able to see her again, and made river Yamuna immortal. This legend is the basis for a Raksha Bandhan-like festival called Bhai Duj in some parts of India, which also celebrates brother-sister love, but near Diwali.
Raksha Bandhan is an ancient festival of the Indian subcontinent, and its history dates back thousands of years.
Alexander the Great and King Puru
According to one legendary narrative, when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BCE, Roxana (or Roshanak, his wife) sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with tradition, Porus, the king of Kaikeya kingdom, gave full respect to the rakhi. In the Battle of the Hydaspes, when Porus saw the rakhi on his own wrist and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.
Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun
Another controversial historical account is that of Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal EmperorHumayun, which dates to 1535 CE. When Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, realised that she could not defend against the invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor, according to one version of the story, set off with his troops to defend Chittor. He arrived too late, and Bahadur Shah had already captured the Rani's fortress. Alternative accounts from the period, including those by historians in Humayun's Mughal court, do not mention the rakhi episode and some historians have expressed skepticism whether it ever happened. Humayun's own memoirs never mention this, and give different reasons for his war with Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in 1535.
This is the story included by Letitia Elizabeth Landon in her long poem The Zenana within Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1834.
Muslim commentators in modern era publications mention this story as evidence of Muslim-Hindu communal ties in the past.
Rabindranath Tagore and the Bengal partition of 1905
Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel Laureate for literature, invoked Raksha Bandhan and rakhi as concepts to inspire love, respect and a vow of mutual protection between Hindus and Muslims during India's colonial era. In 1905, the British empire divided Bengal, a province of British India on the basis of religion. Rabindra Nath Tagore arranged a ceremony to celebrate Raksha Bandhan to strengthen the bond of love and togetherness between Hindus and Muslims of Bengal, and urge them to together protest the British empire. He used the idea of Raksha Bandhan to spread the feeling of brotherhood. In 1911, British colonial empire reversed the partition and unified Bengal, a unification that was opposed by Muslims of Bengal. Ultimately, Tagore's Raksha Bandhan-based appeals were unsuccessful. Bengal not only was split during the colonial era, one part became modern Bangladesh and predominantly Muslim country, the other a largely Hindu Indian state of West Bengal. Rabindranath Tagore started Rakhi Mahotsavas as a symbol of Bengal unity, and as a larger community festival of harmony. In parts of West Bengal, his tradition continues as people tie rakhis to their neighbors and close friends.
One of Tagore's poem invoking rakhi is:
The love in my body and heart
For the earth's shadow and light
Has stayed over years.
With its cares and its hope it has thrown
A language of its own
Into blue skies.
It lives in my joys and glooms
In the spring night's buds and blooms
Like a Rakhi-band
On the Future's hand.
In the 18th century, states Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair, Sikh Khalsa armies introduced the term Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan) as a promise of protection to farmers from Muslim armies such as those of the Mughals and Afghans, in exchange for sharing a small cut of their produce.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder and ruler of the Sikh Empire, and he observed Raksha Bandhan festival. His wife Maharani Jindan sent a Rakhi to the ruler of Nepal, who accepted her as sister and gave her refuge in the Hindu kingdom of Nepal in 1849 after the collapse of the Sikh Empire and annexation of its territories by the British.
Sikhs have observed Raksha Bandhan festival, and has sometimes been referred to as Rakhardi (literally, wristband) or Rakhari in historic Sikh texts. Like the Hindu tradition, the festival has involved the tying of the rakhi and giving of gifts. An annual fair is held on Raksha Bandhan at Baba Bakala in Amritsar district.
Multi-culturalism and activism
Some Muslims in India view it a secular, multicultural festival. Raksha bandhan has also been adopted by the Christian community in India who view it as a festival of historical and social importance.
In 2015, men tied rakhis on women seeking protection from the ‘misuse’ of section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. "Society has gone through massive changes in the last few decades and men are now considered on the same platform with women. Why should laws show a discrimination against them?" asked Amartya Talukdar, founder member of Hridaya, an NGO working for gender neutrality.
- ^McGregor, Ronald Stuart (1993), The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-563846-2 Quote: m Hindi rakśābandhan held on the full moon of the month of Savan, when sisters tie a talisman (rakhi q.v.) on the arm of their brothers and receive small gifts of money from them.
- ^Prasad, Leela (2012), "Anklets on the pyal", in Leela Prasad; Ruth B. Bottigheimer; Lalita Handoo, Gender and Story in South India, SUNY Press, p. 9, ISBN 978-0-7914-8125-7 Quote: While women-centered narratives cherish brotherly love, heroism, and chivalry (celebrated in festivals like nagapanchami in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and rakshabandhan in north India), they are all too aware of the fragility of sibling ties.
- ^Anderson, Leona May; Young, Pamela Dickey (2004), Women and Religious Traditions, Oxford University Press, pp. 30–31, ISBN 978-0-19-541754-8 Quote: "One of the most popular festivals in North India is the festival of Raksabandhana, observed in July or August.
- ^Gokulsing, K. Moti; Dissanayake, Wimal, eds. (2009), Popular Culture in a Globalised India, Routledge, p. xix, ISBN 978-1-134-02307-3 Quote: Glossary and acronyms: Raksha Bandhan: A popular Hindu festival of north India where sister ties a thread on brother's wrist, seeking protection. (page xix)"
- ^Goody, Jack (1990), The Oriental, the Ancient and the Primitive: Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia, Cambridge University Press, p. 222, ISBN 978-0-521-36761-5 Quote: "That relation is celebrated and epitomised in the annual ceremony of Rakshābandhan in northern and western India,"
- ^Agarwal, Bina (1994), A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia, Cambridge University Press, p. 264, ISBN 978-0-521-42926-9 Quote: "Brothers (even younger ones), and natal kin in general, are seen as women's potential protectors. In northern India and Nepal, this is ritualized in festivals such as raksha-bandhan (literally the tie of protection) and symbolized by sisters tying a thread (rakhi) on the brother's wrist.
- ^ abcMarriott, McKim (1955), "Little Communities in an Indigenous Civilization", in McKim Marriott, Village India: Studies in the Little Community, University of Chicago Press, pp. 198–202
- ^Wadley, Susan S. (27 July 1994), Struggling with Destiny in Karimpur, 1925-1984, University of California Press, pp. 84, 202, ISBN 978-0-520-91433-9
We are here providing some general and detailed information about the famous festival of “Raksha Bandhan” in the form of Essays, which would be useful for all age of people especially students of class second to twelve. Generally students require information about some specific topics for their school or college project, so we have provided these essays in very simple and easy language. You can also use the following essays for “Essay writing competition” organized at national or international level. Different types of essays on Raksha Bandhan are given below in two categories, “Short Essay on Raksha Bandhan” and “Long Essay on Raksha Bandhan” under various words limit.
Raksha Bandhan Essay
Short Essay on Raksha Bandhan
In this category of short essay, we have provided three essays (100, 200 and 300 words) on “Raksha Bandhan”. All of these three essays includes brief information and useful for students as per their requirements.
Raksha Bandhan Essay 1 (100 Words)
“Raksha Bandhan” is one of the favorite festivals of girls in all communities especially “HINDU” which is celebrated in the month “shravan maas” according to “Hindu calendar”. “Raksha Bandhan” is a secular festival and it is also popular as “Shravan Purnima” or “Rakhi” in different parts of India. The Festival “Raksha Bandhan” denotes the love and care between brother and sister by tying a colorful thread called “Rakhi” around brother’s wrist by his sister and in return brother gives her some gifts along with a commitment to protect her unconditionally all through the life. The festival is celebrated all over the world where NRIs are residing in other countries.
Raksha Bandhan Essay 2 (200 Words)
Raksha Bandhan, the festival of joy and happiness is celebrated in India in the month of Saavan and day of Purnima so is also called “Shravani Purnima”. The festival is famous for its symbolization of love, care, duty and affection between brother and sister. The main focus point of this fest is “Rakhi” which is made of a sacred thread decorated with colorful stones and some other decoration materials. Sister ties rakhi around her brother’s wrist and make a wish of his good health and wealth, brother also take pledge to protect her during whole life whether the condition is good or bad.
Many stories are found in Hindu scriptures which prove that this tradition of the festival “Rakhsha Bandhan” is followed since the pre-historical time. One of the famous stories is of “Krishna and Draupadi” in which Draupadi wrap up her piece of saree around Krishna’s finger when it was cut during fighting with shishupal than Krishna promises to save her always from any difficulty. In India, there are different types of religions and communities and this festival is celebrated by all religions with different rituals. Other than India, in Nepal “Raksha Bandhan” is mainly observed as “Janaeu Purnima”, on that day they change their janaeu and apply vermillion on each other’s forehead.
Raksha Bandhan Essay 3 (300 Words)
Raksha Bandhan, the symbol of love, care, emotions, duty and protection between real or cousin brother and sister. It is celebrated as a secular, non denominational and multicultural Hindu festival in different parts of India. The festival is also known as “Rakhi” or “Shravani Purnima” which falls in the month of Saavan on Purnima according to Hindu calendar. The practice of this festival is followed by all communities including Muslims and Christians too. On this holy festival, brother and sister shows their unconditional love and affection towards each other by doing some ritual things like sisters tied a rakhi on brother’s wrist and ask wish of her brother’s long life and prosperity. Brother also offers cards or gifts to sister along with a pledge to keep his sister away from any difficulties all over her life.
The tradition of “Raksha Bandhan” is celebrated since the pre-historical time period according to scriptures. Several stories are written in Hindu scriptures like Bhagwat Puran, Bhavishya Puran and Vishnu puran about this festival of “Raksha Bandhan” which proves that this ritual has been celebrated since ancient time. Raksha Bandhan is viewed as the secular festival which is celebrated in all communities with different rituals. Different parts of India celebrate the Raksha Bandhan in different ways (like in Maharashtra it is called Narali purnima, in Uttarakhand it is called Janopunyu and in Punjab several fairs held on this day, etc).
This festival brings all family members together under one roof and binds them in close relation and also fills up love, affection and care among brothers and sisters towards each other. This famous multicultural festival is celebrated all over the world where Non resident Indians are residing.
Long Essay on Raksha Bandhan
In this category of Long essay, we have provided two essays (400 and 600 words) on “Raksha Bandhan”. Both essays include detailed information on this topic and useful for all students of schools and colleges.
Raksha Bandhan Essay 4 (400 Words)
The festival, which expresses love, care and duty among brother and sister also with joy and happiness, is called “Raksha Bandhan”. The meaning of Raksha Bandhan is “the tie or knot of protection” where Raksha means protection and Bandhan means knot. So, when sister tie a knot on her brother’s wrist, brother gives her promises in return that he will take care of her throughout her life in all circumstances. This holy festival falls on the day of full moon in the month of Shravan maas; so, also known as “shravni purnima”.
Basically, the festival is for Hindu religion but now all communities celebrate this festival in different customs so it is also known as secular and multicultural festival. In India, different states celebrate this sacred festival with different rituals. In Uttarakhand kumaon religion people change their janaue on that day and called it as Janopunyu and in Maharashtra the festival is celebrated as Narali Purnima or Shravani Purnima where Narali means coconut. In different parts of Maharashtra especially fishermen community offer Nariyal into sea to please God Varun (God of sea) and also they believe that new season of fishing starts on this day.
Raksha Bandhan is the favorite festival of siblings or cousin brother sister. To celebrate this auspicious day, ladies starts preparation many days before such as they buy rakhi made up of colorful threads and stones from the market. Mehandi is also the part of this festival as girls apply mehandi on their hand for this occasion. On this special day, sisters prepare Pooja thali with kumkum, rice, diya, sweet and Rakhi. Sister ties Rakhi on her brother’s wrist and apply roli chawal on his forehead as tilak and in return brother takes pledge to keep her protected from any difficulty all over the life.
In India, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated as secular festival which involves all communities in bond of brother sister love and affection whether it is Muslims or Christians. The festival is not only for biologically related brother and sister, it is also for those people who are biologically unrelated, they also shows their feelings of love and care towards each other by celebrating this festival. This tradition is also celebrated among political leaders where women and girls tie rakhi to Prime minister, politicians, social leaders and also soldiers’s hands assuming them brother.
Raksha Bandhan Essay 5 (600 Words)
Raksha Bandhan is also known as “Rakhi Purnima”. It is a famous Hindu festival which falls on full moon day in the Shravan maas. Generally, this festival falls in the month of August. The festival is the symbol of love, care, duty and protection between brother and sister. On this occasion of Rakhi, a sister ties a colorful thread around her brother’s wrist and in return brother gives them gifts and also promises for their protection in all circumstances throughout life. This holy festival is celebrated between siblings, real or cousin brother sister and also distance family members to express their unconditional love and affection towards each other. Many of the sisters, who are living at long distance from their brother’s home, send Rakhi’s by post, mail, etc or brothers come to their sister’s home to celebrate this auspicious festival.
What are the Myths behind Raksha Bandhan
The practice of this festival is being followed since ancient period and several myths are written in scriptures for this tradition, some of these are given below:
Story of King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi
According to Vishnu Puran, Vishnu left his Vakunth and went to King Bali’s palace to protect his kingdom because Bali was great devotee of him. But, this activity was unaccepted by the Goddess Lakshmi, so she went to Bali and made him brother by tying a rakhi. In return, Bali asked her wish then she said that please, let God Vishnu go from your palace. Bali accepted her request and allowed Vishnu Ji to go from there. Since then, the tradition of calling sisters at brother’s home at this festival started forever.
Story of Krishna and Draupadi
One of the famous stories is of Krishna and Draupadi. Once, Krishna’s finger cut during fight with Shishupal (an evil king) then Draupadi immediately tore off a piece of her sari and wrapped on Krishna’s finger. Due to this sisterly loving act, Krishna felt in dept and promises to rescue her from any difficulty. So, when Draupadi needed cloth during “Cheerharan”, she pray to Lord Krishnna to save her from that shameful activity. Then Krishna came and gave her unlimited sari.
Another historical story of Alexander and Porus
When Alexander attacked on India in time period of 326 BCE then his wife mail a sacred thread to king of Kaikeya Porus and ask him not to harm her husband in battle field. Porus understood his responsibility and promised her not to harm her husband, Alexander. So, when he was in front of Alexander in battle field, he assured that personally he will not attack him.
Ritual of Raksha Bandhan
The preparation of this famous festival starts from many days before as markets in India became full of Rakhis, gifts and sweets during this raksha bandhan period. Generally, sisters buy rakhi or sometime they make it themselves for their brothers. They dress up nicely in the morning; prepare “pooja thal” with Deepak, Roli, Chawal, sweet and Rakhi. Firstly sisters tie rakhi around her brother’s wrist and do tilak on forehead, do aarti and then make wish of well being, good health, long life, prosperity and wealth for brothers. They also get in return some exciting gifts, surprises and commitment of unconditional protection whenever required in future.
Places where this festival is celebrated:
This ritual is followed in all parts of India with different communities and also all over the world where non resident Indians resides. Yet the festival is celebrated all over the world where NRIs are living but after India Nepal is the place where this festival is primarily observed. In Nepal, the festival of “Shravan Purnima” is also known as “Janaue Purnima”. On that day, senior members of the family tied a thread on every member’s wrist and also change their “Janeu” and enjoy by eating special food called Kwati (soup of seven grains).
Today, each and every person is so much involved in their own life so that they could not get time for their family and friends. This cultural festival helps us to realize the importance of our close ones. Raksha Bandhan is festival of brother and sister which brings both under one roof once in a year. It is a way to show feeling of love and care towards each other by performing some ritual things.
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