Raksha Bandhan which is sometimes referred to as ‘Rakhi’ is a ritual observed by the people residing in India each year. The rite includes tying a thread or an amulet over the wrist. This auspicious event falls on a full moon day of Shravan month as per the Hindu calendar. However, the dates might change accordingly.
Raksha Bandhan is a unique Hindu festivity where the bond between a brother and sister is fortified. Apart from India, this festival is celebrated in Nepal which is considered to be an epitome of love between the siblings.
What is the meaning of the term ‘Raksha Bandhan’?
The term ‘Raksha Bandhan’ refers to ‘tying a knot for protection’. The words ‘Raksha’ refers to protection and ‘Bandhan’ represents tie. This major Hindu festival is also observed amongst sisters, sisters-in-law, and cousins as well. According to Hindu community, the festival is observed mostly by people residing in northern and western parts of India. It would include Mauritius and Nepal.
The Jain community celebrates this major event where Jain priests offer ceremonial threads to the devotees. Likewise, the Sikh community laid special emphasis on the brother-sister relationship. They often term it as ‘Rakhari’ or ‘Rakhardi’.
History of Raksha Bandhan
The concept of Raksha Bandhan seems to be in existence centuries ago. According to the Hindu mythology, Draupadi who was the consort of Pandavas tied an amulet around the wrist of Lord Krishna. At the same time, Kunti devi tied a ‘rakhi’ to her grandson Abhimanyu before the commencement of the war.
It is during this auspicious day a sister ties an amulet over the wrist of her brother. This rite is performed with a purpose. This is to ensure optimum health, prosperous life, and well-being. The brother guarantees to safeguard his sister from problems and obstacles by offering special gifts.
My views and thoughts about ‘Raksha Bandhan’
According to my version, Raksha Bandhan is a unique Hindu festival which is solely dedicated to the well-being of a brother and sister. It is during this period of time siblings mutually express their love and affection.
They mutually exchange vows to safeguard and protect them in the long run. This famous Hindu festivity is celebrated across certain parts of India with optimum fun, zest, and gaiety. It reminds me of a touching story of a princess belonging to the Rajput family. She presented a ‘Rakhi’ to the Mughal Emperor Humayun to rescue from the destructive attack of Gujarat Sultanate. However, the emperor was involved in a fierce battle against Bengal. He quickly turned back and advanced immediately to save the princess. Unfortunately, the kingdom was already invaded and the princess committed suicide.
Before commencement of this auspicious event, plenty of preparations are needed in order to make this festival a memorable event and cherish forever. It is during this major Hindu festival, top quality sweets along with Rakhi are presented. Furthermore, a few quantities of rice along with vermillion is also offered. Special Rakhi gifts and food such as Ghevar, Vermicelli Kheer, and Rava laddoo are supplied or exchanged between the siblings.