Rakshabandhan 2019- Why do we tie Rakhi? Tales and Origin of the Festival

Rakshabandhan 2019- Why do we tie Rakhi? Tales and Origin of the Festival

Introduction

Raksha Bandhan is one of the most celebrated festivals of India. It has a significant meaning in the life of every family and it unites and rejoices the eternal bond between siblings.  

Raksha Bandhan also is known as Rakhi is a phenomenon that celebrates the cultural and traditional values of India. It is a festival that commemorates love among brothers and sisters. It is the reason after the popularity of this festival across the world. People celebrate the festival of Rakhi in many different ways and spread the joy of the relationship of siblings.

The worth of its impact influences people around the world to celebrate Raksha Bandhan. It is an annual ritual in Indian traditions which typically falls in the month of August. People believe it as the carnival of care, obligation, protection, and opulence.

Meaning of Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan holds immense importance in the Hindu religion. The bond of sisters and brothers is extraordinary in every manner. On this day sister ties Rakhi (amulet) on their brother’s hand and prays for his prosperity. In return, brothers pledge for her protection.

This festival is made with two words. The first word is “Raksha” and the second is “Bandhan”. These words are in Sanskrit with the meaning “a knot of protection”.  The meaning derives the symbol of eternal love. relationship between brother and sister doesn’t mean only blood relations. It includes a celebration with all the other cousins, Bua (fraternal aunt), Bhabhi (sister-in-law) and Bhatija (Nephew).

Alongside these relations, women from current time tie Rakhi to their sworn brothers. In this way, Raksha Bandha unites people from different places, castes, and religion. This is a festival that brings together people above from differences.

Origin and History

Talking about the physical existence, Rakhi is just a thread which embellishes the hand of brothers with infinite prosperity &accountability to protect sisters forever. This special festival gets its origin from centuries ago. There are various stories & events from history, we are describing a few below-

–  Tale of Indra Dev and Sachi

The story of Indra Dev and Sachi is one of the ancient tales and it comes from Bhavishya Purana.

In a battle with Gods and demons, the principal divinity of sky Lord Indra was fighting on the side of Gods. He rains and thunderbolts. The war did not come to an influential ending because of the powerful demon king Bali. When Lord Indra’s life Sachi sees this, she goes to Lord Vishnu and he gives Sachi a holy bracelet made up of threads.

Sachi ties the thread around the wrist of Lord Indra and he finally wins the war and recovers Amaravati. The history says these threads to be amulets which were used by women in prayers. In the ancient days, these threads were not limited to the relationship between brothers and sisters.

– Story of Goddess Lakshmi and King Bali

The story of Goddess Lakshmi and King Bali is accounted for in Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana. Once, Lord Vishnu wins the three worlds from the demon sovereign Bali. He has to stay beside Bali in the palace.

Goddess Lakshmi, wife of Lord Vishnu wants him to return to Vaikuntha. She visits the palace of Bali and ties Rakhi on his wrist. On asking about return & gift, she asks Bali to free her husband.  Bali agrees to the request and frees LordVishnu.

– The bond of Krishna and Draupadi

Their story is accounted for Mahabharata. Before the war begins, Kunti ties Rakhi to Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu and Draupadi ties a rakhi to Lord Krishna. In the era of Mahabharata, women tied Rakhi to brothers before they leave for war.

– An Epic story of Santoshi Maa

Shubh and Labh, sons of Lord Ganesha were not happy that they don’t have a sister. They kept asking for a sister from their father. Obliging to their request, Lord Ganesha created Santoshi Mata (Goddess Santoshi). She was a creation of divine flames on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.  

– Story of Yama and Yamuna

In accordance with the mythological tales, Yama was the Lord of Death. Yama did not meet his sister for 12 years. His sister the Yamuna was saddened with this. After advice from Ganga, Yama visits Yamuna’s house. Delighted with the hospitality offered by the Yamuna, Yama asks her for the return gift the Yamuna expressed the wish to see her brother again. Yama then makes her immortal so that she would meet him again.

His sister the Yamuna tied him Rakhi on his wrist for the first in the world. It blessed him with eternity. The festival of Rakhi is celebrated at that time. This incident gives the origin of the festival of “Bhai Dooj”.

Reason behind Celebration

There are numerous stories behind the celebration of Raksha Bandhan. People from the different region believe in different tales connected with Rakhi.

Men and women who are not biologically related also celebrate Rakhi because it is a festival to celebrate the love of siblings as well as sworn relations.

Raksha Bandhan in Indian History

History of Celebration in India includes many stories.

  • Wife of Alexander and King Porus  

In a battle between the army of the Greek king, Alexandar and the Hindu king Porus, wife of Alexander sends a sacred thread to King Porus. She asks Porus not to harm Alexander.

Porus gives full respect to her rakhi and restrains himself from attacking Alexander.

  • Queen Karmavati and Humayun

Chittor’s queen Karmavati sent a Rakhi to Humayun for protecting her from Bahadur Shah Zafar. Out of respect for Rakhi, Humayun turns back to carry his brotherly duty. Unfortunately, he arrives late after Chittor’s custom of Jauhar in which she immolates herself.

  • Rabindranath Tagore’s Story

Variation and Rituals

In 1905, at the time of partition of Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore uses the festival to give a call for spreading the national spirit and maintaining harmony among people of the country.

Just like other major Hindu festivals, the celebration of Raksha Bandhan takes place in numerous ways in different religions and regions.

  • Hindu

This festival is celebrated majorly in the northern portion of the country. People from every family gather in the morning. Sister comes with a plate embellished with Diya (lamp), sweets, and Tilak. The Sister ties a rakhi on the hand of brother and he gives her gift in return. Countries like Nepal and Pakistan also celebrate Raksha Bandhan.

  • Sikh

In the Sikh community, the festival is celebrated by the name “Rakhardi”. They believe this day for the devotion of love & care shared by siblings.

  • Jain

In the Jain community, people observe this festival with ceremonial threads to the devotees.

Final Thoughts

Every family considers the festival of Raksha Bandhan a little more special because it brings together people out of their variations. It offers strength and affection. On this day siblings promise each other a bond of a lifetime with undying trust & loyalty. The festival of Rakhi is a commemoration of purity, fondness, and devotion.

You may also read astounding stories of divine glance Lord Krishna and his birthday.

Raksha Bandhan this Year and Next Five Years

In year 2019 Raksha Bandhan is on the Thursday, 15th of Aug (8/15/2019).

Day Date Year
Monday 3rd August 2020
Sunday 22nd August 2021
Thursday 11th August 2022
Wednesday 30th August 2023
Monday 19th August 2024

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