Wednesday, August 6, 2014


BETWEEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS Rakshabandhan is the one of the most popular Hindu festival. It is the celebration of the bond between a brother and a sister. It is one of the ancient festivals of India and therefore has a whole lot of myths and legends associated with it. Rakshabandhan is a very special occasion for all brothers and sisters, irrespective of being related by blood or not. This festival of Rakshabandhan is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan which is also known as the Rakhi Purnima.
Traditionally, the sisters tie a thread (rakhi) on their brother's wrist as a mark of protection from the evil. In return, the brothers vow to protect their sisters from all kinds of evil and take care of them as long as they live.

Thus, Rakshabandhan is a mark of bonding between brothers and sisters. A bond of protection which implies protection from both sides. It is also a mark of social bonding. Though it is popular as a festival of brothers and sisters, Rakhi can also be tied as a mark of protection by wife to her husband, mother to son etc. A lot of myths and legends surround the festival of Rakshabandhan.
One of which says that Indra was attacked by a demon who succeeded in capturing Amaravathi (Indra's abode). It was then Indra's wife Sachi went to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu gave Sachi a holy cotton thread to tie around Indra's wrist to protect him from evil. Sachi tied the thread on Indra's wrist and eventually he was able to defeat the demon. Thus, the concept of Rakhi or the thread of protection came into existence. 

This year, Raksha Bandhan falls on Sunday, the 10th of August, 2014. Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan is a special Hindu festival marking a strong bond between brothers and sisters. It is an auspicious occasion in the Hindu Calendar when sisters tie a sacred thread called 'Rakhi' on the wrist of their brothers and pray for their long life. It is widely celebrated as a festival across India and around the world. Sanchita Chowdhury, Sub Editor in Boldsky and writer of this article, says that Indian history is full of instances where women have tied Rakhi on the wrists of great men as a mark of bonding and have prevented many catastrophes. Others, tell about Draupadi tying Rakhi on the wrist of Lord Krishna or mention that Goddess Parvati tied Rakhi on the wrist of Lord Vishnu and accepted Him as Her brother. In return Lord Vishnu vowed to protect Goddess Parvati in times of danger. The day of Rakhi purnima is considered extremely auspicious. In North India, Rakhi purnima is also known as Kajari purnima when crops like wheat and barley is sown and Goddess Bhagawati is worshipped. In Western India it is known as Nariyal Purnima when offerings of coconut are made to the sea God, Varuna. We are all brothers and sisters in this world. We should increase the bonds of love one to each other. In the bandha raksa ceremony, the brothers and the sisters annually promise to always protect each other in whatever it may be. This compromise must also exist between the female and the male devotees in a Vaishnava family. We should remember that in our next lifetime we will be subjected to the same injustices we are creating for others today. Let us all start to stop unnecessary violence wherever we can. Therefore, it is in everyone's interest not to commit any injustice to anyone, but we increase and maintain the conditions of love to all our brothers and sisters. (Editor's note).

In the Vedic/Hindu tradition, there are many festivals that are observed throughout the year. There are major festivals and numerous minor ones, as well as those that are celebrated on a local or regional basis, which are celebrated differently according to the location, or even named differently. Raksha Bandan is one of the major festivals. It celebrates the love of a sister for her brother. On this day, sisters tie a rakhi, a colorful bracelet made of silk thread, on the wrist of their brothers to protect them against evil influences. It is celebrated in July-August. Raksha Bandan is celebrated in some parts of India as a festival to honor the sea god Varuna, where coconuts are offered to the sea. Because of its three eyes, the coconut represents the three eyes of Shiva. As a mark of auspiciousness, coconuts are also broken at shrines and temples. This is also the day set apart for Brahmins to change the sacred thread they wear.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Hindu Festivals”

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

1 comment:

Journeymart said...

Rksha bandhan is not only a festival it is rally a bond of love between brothers and sisters.