Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi is a festival celebrated by Hindus across India with much fervour. The word Raksha literally means "Protection" and Bandhan means "Bond". This festival celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. Traditionally, sisters tie a bracelet called rakhi, made of interwoven thread of different colours, to their brothers' wrist. It is believed that when a sister ties a rakhi around the wrist of her brother, it becomes the duty of a brother to protect her and to honour his religious and brotherly obligations. And throughout the country, the relation between siblings is celebrated like this only. On this day they pray for each other's well being, happiness and goodwill. Brothers on this day take a vow to protect their sisters from all harms and troubles and sisters on the other hand, pray for long life for their brothers. However, nowadays, the festival of Rakhi has brought together others in the festivities too, like priests tying rakhis around the wrists of devotees, friends sharing rakhis with each other, women tying rakhis around the wrists of prime minister and also around the wrists of soldiers. Sometimes rakhis are made sacred in rice and grass before they are given and it is traditionally tied by those who know about the Vedas. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Shravana according to the lunar calendar; and according to the Gregorian calendar, it falls in the month of July or August.
Significance Of Raksha Bandhan
The spiritual significance of Rakhi comes true when a brother takes a vow of purity with God so that he can live a life of holiness in thoughts, words and actions. The thread tied on his wrist symbolizes that he must protect himself spiritually from the sin that humans commit in bondage of materialism. By doing so, he tries to make the soul reach its original and pure form of peace and silence. This purification starts with Shiva Ratri when God is believed to incarnate on earth to destroy the evil after a period of 5000 years. The brother defends the honour of his sister with his life and the sister shows respect in the form of worship.
Rakhi signifies the bond of brothers and sisters although in the past there have been instances where it has been tied for protection. The thread could be tied by a wife, a daughter or mother. The festival Rakhi Utsav was first popularized by Rabindranath Tagore to promote the feelings of unity and a commitment among all the members of the society and to protect each other and live a peaceful life. The festival involves a pledge of lifetime practise of moral, cultural and spiritual values which are attached to the rituals and customs which should be followed by those who believe in it as these will lead to peaceful and harmonious coexistence.
What is the true meaning of Raksha Bandhan? What does it mean to us? The article explains these questions here below.