Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan Calendar
Weekday
Date
Year
Thu Aug 18 2016
Mon Aug 7 2017
Sun Aug 26 2018
Thu Aug 15 2019
Mon Aug 03 2020

 

Significance

The depth of love in the brother-sister relationship is indicated by two words of Raksha and Bandhan. They are the epitome of strong blood bonded chords between both of them.

The auspicious day of Shravana Purnima in the month of August holds tremendous significance for the Hindus. On this particular day, festivals like Raksha Bandhan, Avni Avittam, Nariyal Purnima, Pavitropana and Kajri purnima are observed in various parts of India. Way before the auspicious day the people start preparing for it.

  • On this day, the family members wake up early in the morning. After cleansing their mind, body and soul they perform Puja.
  • The women in the household fast till the completion of the rituals. They prepare delicious recipes for the family and also assemble holy items for Arti in a Thali.
  • On the set Muhurat, they tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brother and perform their Arti.
  • She then makes her brother eat a piece of mithai (sweet). This sweet refers to the sweetness their relationship engrosses and has kept since the childhood days.
  • Gifts are exchanged between brothers and sisters and this is the way they show their love for each other. The rituals are followed by feast.
  • As all the family members gather under one roof, there is joy everywhere. Delicious recipes are prepared. If the woman is married the brother comes to her house and performs the rituals.


Rituals

Raksha Bandhan is basically a North Indian festival. But the element of enthusiasm and happiness can be seen all across the country. It falls on the Shravana Purnima, that is, a full moon day in the month of August.

If we turn the pages of history, we find that Raksha Bandhan held great importance in the lives of our ancestors. It was not merely a ritual, but they used to stand by the oath they had taken to protect their sisters. For instance, Porus spared the life of Alexander as he promised his sister, Alexander's wife, to guard her husband on the battlefield.

  • Way before the auspicious day the people start preparing for it. On this day, the family members wake up early in the morning. After cleansing their mind, body and soul they perform Puja.
  • The women in the household fast till the completion of the rituals. They prepare delicious recipes for the family and also assemble holy items for Arti in a Thali.
  • On the set Muhurat, they tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brother and perform their Arti.
  • She then makes her brother eat a piece of mithai (sweet). This sweet refers to the sweetness their relationship engrosses and has kept since the childhood days.
  • Gifts are exchanged between brothers and sisters and this is the way they show their love for each other. The rituals are followed by feast.
  • As all the family members gather under one roof, there is joy everywhere.
  • Delicious recipes are prepared.
  • If the woman is married the brother comes to her house and performs the rituals.


How is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated?

  • On the auspicious eve of Shravana Purnima, the girls tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers. In turn, the brother takes the vow of protecting his sister from all the dangers that come her way.
  • Many women observe fast till the completion of the rituals. After the thread tying ceremony, the girls perform Arti of their brothers so as to invoke divine blessings to bestow on their brothers. Traditionally, the following mantra is chanted while performing Arti:

    "Yena baddho Bali Raja
    Daanavendro mahabalah
    Tena twam anubadhanaami
    Rakshe maa chala maa chala"


  • Every year on the day before Rakhi, sisters can be seen applying mehendi on their hand and buying all the things required for doing the puja before tying the thread around their brother’s wrist.


  • Applying Mehendi on Rakhi

  • Brothers can also be seen doing last minute shopping for gifts to be given to their sisters; many brothers prefer to give cash, so that the sisters can buy whatever they wish to. Though Rakhi is primarily a Hindu festival, people from other religions also take part in this.


  • Rakhi Gifts

  • The brother in the celebration does not necessarily have to be a blood relation, any male can be adopted as the brother and the Rakhi can be tied on his wrist.


  • Rakhi Celebration

  • In different parts of India, the day of Rakhi is celebrated in their traditional way and is known by various other names as well.



  • Rakhi Prayer

    Suraj shakhan chhodian, Mooli chhodia beej
    Behen ne rakhi bandhi Bhai tu chir jug jee

    English - "The sun radiates its sunlight, the radish spreads its seeds,
    I tie the rakhi to you O brother and wish that may you live long."

    Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
    tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala

    English - I tie you the rakhi that was tied to king Bali, the king of Demons, O Rakhi I pray that you never falter in protecting your devotee.


    Raksha Bandhan Gift Ideas

    Someone rightly said "A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life." and though you might share a bitter-sweet sibling rivalry with your sister, she is still the sweetest person around, isn't she? And now that the festival of Rakshabandhan is here, she deserved to be spoilt silly, and while she is busy spending hours picking the best Rakhi for you, we hope that you are equally prepared with a gift for her.

    Find more...
    Raksha Bandhan Gift

    Legends

    There are numerous Legends associated with the festival of Raksha Bandhan. In this section, we have come up some of the defining stories on Raksha Bandhan.

    • Raksha Bandhan means the sacred thread that is the symbol of a vow taken by the person on whose hand it is tied on.
    • Almost every festival in India has a mythological origin. It is believed that when Indra went to fight the Vritra( Asura), his wife tied a sacred thread on his wrist of Guru Brahaspati. Indra won over the Daitya Raja and established his granduer in Swarga again.
    • The festival of Raksha Bandhan has strings attached to Pauranic Shastras. Yamuna was the sister of Lord Yama, the God of Death. She used to tie Rakhi to Yama on every Sharada Purnima. Since then, it is the custom that girls tie rakhi to their brothers.
    • Another legend has been taken from the epic Mahabharata. Yudhishtra, the eldest son of Pandava was advised by Shri Krishna to observe the rituals of Raksha Bandhan to ensure his safety in the upcoming war. He did so and we know the amazing results. Despite the fact that Pandavas had lesser manpower and other war resources, they gained victory over Kauravas.
    • Alexander had a narrow escape due to Rakhi. In the battlefield, Porus stopped hitting Alexander with the sword remembering the Rakhi pledge. Alexander's wife tied Rakhi on the wrist of Porus and asked him to take the vow of protecting her husband.
    • Yet another story behind Raksha Bandhan, which needs a mention belong to the Mughal Era. A Rajput Princess Karnawati sent Rakhi to King Humayun and asked for help in fighting against a Gujarat Sultan. Despite, he was busy in some other work, he immediately went for Rani's help. However, it was a tragedy that Rani had already lost the battle and had committed suicide before Humayun could reach.

    History

    Rakhi is a rather popular festival amongst Indians and people attribute its origins to one of the following incidents, however the jury is still out on this one because nobody is able to agree on one specific incident.

    • It is said that once Lord Indra, (the king of the gods) stood completely vanquished in the battle against the asuras (demons). Full of remorse he approached his Guru Brihaspati for advice. At the behest of his Guru Brihaspati, Indra's wife Sachi tied a thread around her husband's wrist to ensure his victory in the upcoming duel, which he fought with renewed zeal and emerged victorious.
    • Indian history is replete with women asking for protection from men who weren't their brothers by virtue of birth but only through the ceremonial tying of the Rakhi. Take the instance of Rani (Queen) Karnavati of Chittor, a Hindu princess, who sent a Rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun when she was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Mewar. Humayun, on his part, abandoned a crucial ongoing military campaign to come to her rescue. Such is the power of the delicate thread for it binds a brother to the well being of his sister for eternity.
    • Another legend goes back to the time of the arrival of the Aryans in India. The Aryan men folk would perform Yajnas (prayers) before going to war in order to invoke the blessings of the Gods. Before departing for the battlefield their women ties sacred threads or amulets around their arms to protect them and also to remind them to uphold the honour of their tribe.
    • Once Lord Krishna was left with a bleeding finger. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, tore a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna's wrist to staunch the flow of blood. Touched by her concern, Krishna had declared himself bound to her by her love. He further promised to repay the debt manifold, and spent the next 25 years of his life doing just that. For all that Draupadi was the daughter of a powerful monarch, sister to a legendary warrior, and wife to five warrior princes, Krishna remained the only man she could ever truly depend on.
    • History has it that the great Hindu King Porus refrained from striking Alexander, the Great because the latter's wife had approached this mighty adversary and tied a Rakhi on his hand, prior to the battle, urging him not to hurt her husband.

    Raksha Bandhan Cards

     

    Last Updated: 12th July, 2017