Raksha Bandhan, one of the most well-known Hindu holidays, is held as a day to celebrate the bond between a brother and sister. The term “Raksha Bandhan” means “the link of protection, obligation, or care” in English. Raksha Bandhan occurs on the final day of the lunar month of Shravan in the Hindu calendar.
Raksha Bandhan will be observed on August 30 (a Wednesday) in 2023, and the muhurat for tying rakhi has been set from 10:38 AM until 07:05 AM. For those who are a part of the Hindu culture in India, Raksha Bandhan, which symbolizes the unbreakable link between siblings, has a unique meaning. Only sibling love is the focus of this festivity.
It works out for brothers and sisters to be together on this auspicious day, even if they live far apart. The occasion calls for a raucous celebration that includes the giving and receiving of Rakhi gifts, food, holiday cheer, and pulling practical jokes.
This year, August 30, 2023, will be designated as this auspicious day. According to the Hindu calendar, Raksha Bandhan is observed on Shravana Poornima. Hindus view the English month of July–August as Shravana, which they deem to be very auspicious. Various religious rituals and celebrations are observed during this month.
The full moon day is regarded as the ideal for this celebration and a number of other religious chores since it is the most auspicious day of the month and has greater significance than the other days.
As a result, Rakhi, one of the most anticipated Hindu holidays, is celebrated on the day of the full moon with a lot of joy and excitement. The holiday is celebrated on a different date each year, however, it always takes place between July and August according to the Gregorian calendar. The event goes by numerous names throughout different regions and parts of India.
Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan is the name given to the festival of Raksha Bandhan in the north, Avani Avittan to it in the south, and Nariyal Poornima to it in the Malabar region.
In remembrance of their cherished link, a girl applies tilak to her brother’s forehead, leads his aarti, and binds a Rakhi around his wrist on this day.
The brother promises to look after and protect his sister in all situations in exchange for special presents that he gives to his sister. There is a tradition among the Marwari and Rajasthani people to tie a “Lumba Rakhi” on the bracelet of their brother’s wife.
Since the wife is regarded as the better half, it is thought that the ceremony would be lacking without her. She would also share equally in her husband’s duty to see that his sister is taken care of. Other Indian communities are quickly adopting this rite as well.
History of Rakshabandhan
Indra and Sachi Devi: According to the Bhavishya Purana, when Indra, the King of the Devas, was suffering defeat at the hands of Vritra Asura, Deva Guru Brihaspati instructed him to wear a Rakhi as a defense against adversaries (Demons). In response, Sachi Devi, Indra’s wife, tied a Rakhi around her husband. Rakhi was meant to represent the devotion to the sea god Varuna, according to one legendary allusion.
As a result, this celebration is accompanied by coconut gifts to Varuna, ritual bathing, and festivals by the water. During the Nariyal Poornima celebration, fishermen typically offer coconuts and rakhi to Varuna, the Sea God.
The beginning of Raksha Bandhan can be traced back to the time of the Gods and Goddesses. In accordance with a well-known myth, Draupadi fastened a piece of fabric to Lord Krishna’s wrist after he injured his finger while battling the evil King Shishupal. Krishna pledged to look out for her in return. Another noteworthy account of a brother’s commitment to his sister can be found in medieval history.
Rani Karnavati of Mewar sent a Rakhi to Emperor Humayun to ask for assistance when she was being attacked by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. The Mughal emperor was moved by the gesture, giving up his military campaign to immediately rush to the queen’s aid.
Rabindranath Tagore founded Rakhi Mahotsav, a large-scale Raksha Bandhan celebration, in 1905 during the Partition of Bengal in an effort to foster a sense of unity and love among Bengal’s Hindus and Muslims.
It is well known that he established this custom to fight the British’s efforts to stoke tension between the villages. According to legend, Alexander’s wife tied a Rakhi to the powerful Hindu king Purushottam of Punjab when he conquered Alexander to prevent her husband from being killed.
It is thought that during the reign of Emperor Humayun, Rani Karnavati (Queen of Chittor) sent a Rakhi to the emperor in order to obtain protection from Bahadur Shah, who was encroaching on her realm. Despite belonging to a different religion, he jumped to her assistance.
Significance Of Rakhi
Protection is at the heart of the Raksha Bandhan concept. In temples, it’s common for individuals to visit the priests and have a sacred thread fastened to their hands.
The place where this is found is in Varanasi’s Kala Bhairava temple, where visitors have their wrists bound with a black thread. At the Sri Vaishnodevi Temple in Jammu, we saw a similar practice whereby worshippers fasten a red band to their foreheads.
We can see the priest tying a string to the wrist of the ritual performer(s) prior to the ritual’s start in Hindu religious ceremonies. If the Yagnopaveetam (sacred thread worn across the breast) is kept holy, it is thought and stated to function as a Raksha (protection) for the wearer.
Mangala Sutra, which is put around the bride’s neck, and Kankana Bandhana, which is a thread connected to the wrists of the bride and the groom by each other, both have intrinsic meanings in the marriage concept. Rakhis are not only tied between brothers and sisters.
It might also be linked by a disciple to the Guru or a wife to her husband. This connection need not be between blood relatives; a female might adopt a boy as her brother by putting a Rakhi around his wrist.
This custom transcends the confines of the family and deepens the love that already exists. Close friends and neighbors receiving a Rakhi on their wrists serve as a reminder of the importance of having a positive social life. This aids in enlarging one’s perspective to encompass the entire world (vasudha) as one big family, or Vasudhaiva kutumbakam. Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of the unbreakable link of love, caring, and respect.
However, when seen in a broader context, the Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan) holiday expresses an underlying message of sibling and brotherhood around the world. Rakhi Day thus emphasizes the need of fostering good traits and purity in mind, word, and deed while also conveying a message of socio-spiritual value.
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