This divine festival is more ritualistic, real and important than you think. In spite of all it’s modern, customised and market friendly structure it dates back to indus valley civilisation even if you don’t believe the mythological parables. But In all our ancient scriptures, vedas and Puranas and historical references this ritual is mentioned again and again. It even mentions that the wife of lord Indra tied it to her husband and how Rajput women tied raksha on their men’s wrist before sending them off to the war.It surely can not be compared with valentine day or mother’s day. You surely need to brush up your basics.Raksha- Bandhan means ‘The Knot of protection’ and it is a hindu festival celebrated mainly across northern and western India. But It is mostly observed as a secular festival where a girl shows her love and affection for her brother by praying for his protection and prosperity by tieing a thread called Rakhi on his hand.It is celebrated as ‘Janai Purnima’ in Nepal. It is celebrated during Shravana Purnima avoiding Bhadra timings and typically falls in August. Here is everything you need to know about it from myths to history to pooja vidhi to online shopping portals. Your one website stop for Rakhi! Well, you sure love you sibling more than your valentine?
Since Vedic time it is observed as a ritual to ward off fear of ghosts,bad spirits and Vampires.It is believed as yearly ritual to provide protection against bad omens,diseases and other bad things.It nurtures the legendry traditions rooted back to the origin of vedas and Indus civilisation. The Puja Vidhi is elaborately described in ‘Vratraj’ and it states that tieing of Raksha or thread makes the worshipper fearless, enhances his spirituality and provide protection from the dark powers of evil and against all perils.
It is believed that when lord Indra was confronted by the Demon King in a long drawn battle who got better of him and drove Indra into wilderness then ‘Brihaspati’ the Guru of Gods advised him to seek protection through the auspicious Raksha at auspicious times of Shravan Purnima. So the Sachi ‘the wife of Indra’ tied Rakhi around Indra ‘s hands after ritualistic performances and then he advanced against the demon king and re-established his kingdom. And since then ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is celebrated for victory,comfort,health,wealth and against evil powers.
According to Bhagavata purana and Vishnu purana Goddess lakshmi tied rakhi around king Bali’s hand when The Lord Vishnu granted him the boon of immortality along with the promise to take care of his kingdom which included the exile of Lord Vishnu from Vaikunthdham and stay with Bali. Goddess Lakshmi did not like it and so after tieing the rakhi to Bali she asked King Bali to free Lord Vishnu from the request and facilitate his return back to Vaikunthdham which was accepted by King bali and he also accepted Goddess Lakshmi as his sister. This all happened on Shravana Purnima.
Another popular incident is when Draupadi tied Rakhi to injured Krishna who cut his finger while beheading Shishupal. And Krishna always protected Draupadi in return whenever she needed him.
There are other mythological references of Ganesha and Santoshi maa, Yama and Yamuna etc.
The widowed queen of King of Chittor sent Rakhi to Emperor Humayun and asked him to defend her kingdom from Sultan Bahadur Shah. Humayun started off with his troops but reached late and could not defend the kingdom. The incident dates back to 1535 CE.
The wife of King Alexander of Macedonia approached King Puru of India with Rakhi as her husband Alexander was shaken by mighty king Puru’s fury and he accepted her as his sister. When the opportunity arrived during the war Puru refrained from Alexander in spite of coming close to killing him and in cost of losing the battle.It dates back to 350 CE.
Maharaja Ranjit singh and his wife reinforced peace with Nepal through Raksha- Bandhan. The Bond of Rakhi was honoured when Maharani Jindan was given refuge by KIng of Nepal after the collapse of Sikh Empire during British Era.
RabindraNath tagore also invoked Rakhi to love and respect during British Era.
A rangoli should be drawn hear a wooden stool which is placed for the brother. Rangoli and wooden stool both signifies Satvik environment.
The brother should wear new clothes along with a cap and sister should also wear the new clothes. The sister should apply tilak on the brother’s forehead and stand before him with a platter of roli tilak diya sweet and wave the lit lamp to the brother.
Both brother and sister should close their eyes and pay obeisance to the Gods and pray to the deities for the protection of each other.
Then sister should tie rakhi on the right wrist of the brother. and wave the ghee lamp arti in a semicircle in front of the brother. Then she chants a prayer which is (there are other chants too mainly associated with wellbeing and prosperity of the brother and this particular chant was used by Yashoda for Lord Krishna)
May the lord of all beings protect you,
May the one who creates, preserves and dissolves life protect thee,
May Govinda guard thy head; Kesava, thy neck; Vishnu, thy belly;
the eternal Narayana, thy face, thine arms, thy mind, and faculties of sense;
May all negativity and fears, spirits malignant and unfriendly, flee thee;
May Rishikesa keep you safe in the sky; and Mahidhara, upon earth.
येन बद्घो बली राजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबल: ।
तेन त्वामपि बध्नामि रक्षे मा चल मा चल ।। means
“I tie you with the same Raksha thread which tied the most powerful, the king of courage, the king of demons, Bali. O Raksha (Raksha Sutra), please don’t move and keep fixed throughout the year.”
Then the sister should feed sweets or dry fruits to the brother.
Then the brother should gift something to the sister as the token of love and affection which further symbolises their bond and also pledges to protect and take care of her under all circumstances along with the protection of society, nation and dharma. The sister can also gift something to her brother demonstrating the same emotions.
According to ‘Vratraj’ the worship of Raksha is important and it involves tying it in form of Raksha Potli. The Raksha potli should be made of unbroken rice,white mustard and gold thread and it should be woven with colored fabric made up of cotton or wool which should be kept on a clean cloth for the Puja. All bhudeva should be worshipped before tying the rakhi and clothes should be offered to them.
Raksha Bandhan and colours
It’s very interesting to know just like roses in Valentines each colour in rakhi signifies something like white signifies friendship, red signifies love and loyalty. Orange and yellow rakhis are also popular in India as Lakshmi and yamuna used these colours for their brothers.
Rakhi Gift Ideas
Though gifting is a very personal idea and siblings are usually aware of each other choices,likes and dislikes. So the effort should be made to make it special as per the choices, hobbies or area of interest. But still there are few things which are common and popular like
Perfumes,Watches, Pen,books,Bags,Belts, Purse,Dry fruits, Sweets,Clothes
Jewellery,Perfumes, Watches, Cosmetics, Decorative Items, Crockery, Bags, Books, Dresses, Chocolates
Some online Rakhi selling sites
Raksha Bandhan Jokes
Raksha Bandhan Songs link
New Raksha Bandhan Quotes
“Brother, You are the best gift I have ever got from our parents. Thank you for sharing my childhood and being there.”
“Brother, Yeah Dad is my first love but your love is irreplaceable. No One can take your place in my heart.”
“The rakhi that I send you every year is just not a thread but it’s the symbol of my pride and love for you. It’s the token of love, affection and prayers for you. And it’s also a way to tell you that no matter how far we live, we are always in each others heart.”
“Sister, I love you and you know that but this declaration definitely does not mean that I would stop pulling your legs and breaking your stuffs. And yeah that remote is still mine.”
“Sister, My girlfriend needs the full approval from you and hope now you know how much important you are to me.”
” Sister, I might not be with you always but I can always be there where you are. Love is what I learnt from you and Mom.”
And this is for my brothers (I know they look stupid..hehe but Only I can say this..MIND IT!)
Enjoy this beautiful festival with your siblings.No excuse nothing! It comes once a year. And if your bros stay away far far far away from you just like me spam their whatsapp and facebook profile with all the brotherly messages and quotes. Let the bitches know about the other girl in their lives! Hell yeah!
P.S. one very interesting link of hindujagriti.com which states the scientifc reason behind Rakhi
image credits: google!