Rakshabandhan – a single word with millions of emotions. This word fills our hearts with a lot of emotions and love towards our brothers/sisters.
Rakshabandhan aka Rakhi is considered to be the most divine and celebrated festival strengthening the brother-sister bond. It is celebrated on the last day of the Hindu Lunar Calendar month of Shraavana (also called Saawan Ka Mahina), which generally falls in the month of August.
This lovely expression “Raksha Bandhan” is taken from the Sanskrit language which means “the bond of protection, obligation and care”.
But, has anyone ever wondered, how did Rakshabandhan start? What is the reason that every year, women and girls go crazy looking for a perfect Rakhi for their brothers?
Well, as many of you might have guessed, there are many stories in the Indian history that signifies this auspicious festival. Each story has a similar moral but different context.
1. KRISHNA AND DRAUPADI
When we talk about Rakshabandhan, the most popular story in Indian Mythology is of Krishna and Draupadi, “The five Pandavas’ wife”.
One day, on Makar Sakranti, Lord Krishna accidentally cut his finger while handling sugarcane. His queen, Rukmini immediately prepared to give him a first-aid.
She sent an official to get the first-aid (bandages). Meanwhile, Draupadi, who was watching all this, tore off a bit, from her saree’s pallu and tied Krishna’s finger with it to stop the bleeding.
In return, Krishna promised to help Draupadi as and when required. In order to keep his promise, Krishna helped her during her unceremonious disrobing Draupadi.
He came and made her saree never-ending, saving her from the embarrassment and giving her the protection when she needed it, the most.
2. YAMARAJ AND YAMUNA
The ritual/festival of Rakshabandhan was also followed by Yamaraj, the God of Death and Yamuna, the river that flows in India. The story goes like this – when the Yamuna tied a Rakhi on Yamaraj’s wrist.
In return to this lovely gesture, he granted her immortality (the one who never dies become immortal).
It is said that Yamaraj was so much mesmerized with this gesture of tying Rakhi, that he declared that any brother (Amazon affiliate link) who has tied a Rakhi and offered to protect his sister till eternity would also become immortal.
There are many other stories pertaining to Rakshabandhan, each having the version of their own.
It is one of the most awaited festivals in India. Along with India, this festival is also celebrated in Nepal and Mauritius as well. This occasion is very special for all the brothers and sisters and is celebrated worldwide by Indians.
Girls apply mehandi on their hands and dress up well. Rakshabandhan is observed as a Public Holiday in a few parts of India and is a very important festival for the Indians.
The preparation of Rakshabandhan starts in advance. People engage in shopping and buying gifts for their brothers and sisters (Amazon affiliate link). Sisters buy Rakhi for their brothers or they make one on their own.
In a few areas of India, the ritual of tying Rakhi to sister-in-law (Bhabhi) is also followed. On this day, sisters tie the sacred thread (Rakhi) to their brother’s wrist and wish for their happiness, prosperity and success.
In return, brothers vow and pledge to take care of their sister till infinity. Tying of Rakhi signifies the tightening of the brother-sister bond. If brothers are not near, then sisters send Rakhi through post or courier.
As I shared in my previous article (Loving Relationship between Brother and Sister – A Sweet Story), I share the strongest bond with my Rakhi Brother. We live away from each other so I always send a Rakhi by courier.
I also send him Tilak (kumkum) so that he could apply the same on his forehead while tying Rakhi (Amazon affiliate link) on his wrist.
Rakshabandhan is a golden chance of getting together with cousins and other family members. As the festivals are incomplete without gifts, brother’s offer gifts to their sister’s in return of Rakhi.
Rakshabandhan is all about spreading love & peace and making the brother-sister bond the strongest.
Every sister shares a sacred and pure bond with her brother.
This festival is the most rejoicing and amazing festival of all times and this will continue to remain the symbol of connectedness and ever-binding love that brothers & sisters share.
This year, Rakshabandhan will be celebrated along with Independence Day, i.e. August 15.
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