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Raksha Bandhan, Indian Festival
Raksha Bandhan, Indian Festival

Bidyut Nath
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Raksha Bandhan is a popular festival, which is celebrated all over the India. This is a festival to celebrate the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shraavana. I want to know how this festival originated in India?

Posted On : 4/8/2009 11:49:48 PM

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Maniam PS [Guru]
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Raksha Bandhan the bond of protection in Hindi is a Hindu festival, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shraavana. The festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The elder brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her same while an elder sister returns offers to her younger brother. The brother and sister traditionally feed each other sweets. It is not necessary that the rakhi can be given only to a brother by birth any male can be adopted as a brother by tying a rakhi on the person, that is blood brothers and sisters , whether they are cousins or a good friend. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves. The rakhi may also be tied on other special occasions to show solidarity and kinship not necessarily only among brothers and sisters , as was done during the Indian independence movement. The History of Raksha bandhan:- There are many references to the significance of the Rakhi festival in Vaishnava Theololgy. Many of these significant historical facts are still not known or recorded.- Vritra-Indra: The origin of this festival is usually traced back to the historical incidents of Indra s fight with Vritra-Indra that resulted in Indra s loss. Then, his wife had tied a thread around his wrist and empowered it with divine powers to make sure Indra emerged victorious in the duel that followed.- Krishna and Draupadi: Another incident is the one that concerns Krishna and Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. She had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna s wrist to stop the flow of blood Krishna was so touched by her action that he found himself bound to her by love. He promised to repay the debt and then spent the next 25 years doing just that. Draupadi in spite of being married to 5 great warriors and being a daughter of a powerful monarch only trusted and depended wholly on Krishna. Krishna repaid the debt of love during Vastra haran of Draupadi. Draupadi s Vastra Haran was done in the assembly of King Dritrashtra,when Yudishter her husband lost her in gamble. At that time Krishna gave her saree extender her saree to save her.This is how He paid his debt towards rakhi tied to him by Draupadi.- King Bali and Goddess Laxmi: According to another legend the Demon King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu had taken up the task to guard his kingdom leaving his own abode in Vaikunth. Goddess Lakshmi wished to be with her lord back in her abode. She went to Bali disguised as a Brahmin woman to seek refuge till her husband came back. During the Shravan Purnima celebrations, Lakshmi tied the sacred thread to the King. Upon being asked she revealed who she was and why she was there. The king was touched by her goodwill for his family and her purpose and requested the Lord to accompany her. He sacrificed all he had for the Lord and his devoted wife. Thus the festival is also called Baleva that is Bali Raja s devotion to the Lord. It is said that since then it has been a tradition to invite sisters in Shravan Purnima for the thread tying ceremony or the Raksha Bandhan.- Yama and the Yamuna: According to another legend, Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Lord Yama the Lord of Death and his sister Yamuna. Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved by the serenity of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection will become immortal.

Posted On : 4/12/2009 10:46:21 PM

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Riya Sen [Guru]
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Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan is one of the major festivals in India. It is the celebration of brothers and sisters. The origin of the festival is mostly attributed to one of the following mythological incidents- Draupadi and Krishna during the Rajsuya yagya - After Shishupal s death, Krishna was left with a bleeding finger. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna s wrist to stop 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 many fold. Many years later when Draupudi was about to be shamed by being disrobed in front of the whole court by her evil brother-in-law Duryodhana, she called on Krishna to help her, and he did by divinely elongating her sari so it could not be removed. One of the earliest origins of Raksha Bandhan in documented history can be traced to the medieval era. During this period the Rajputs were fighting Muslim invasions. Rakhi at that time was a spiritual symbol associated with protection of the sister. History has it that when Queen padmini the widow of the then King of Chittor realised that she could in no way defend the invasion of the Sultan mohhammad khilji, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor touched by the gesture, accepted the rakhi thereby accepting Queen Padmini as a sister and immediately started off with his vast troops to protect Queen Padmini but by the time Humayun reached Chittor, it was defeated and war was over. Rani Padmini along with other 130000 Rajput women committed jauhar. There are many references to the significance of the Rakhi festival in Vaishnava theology. Many of these significant historical facts are still not known or recorded. According to another legend, the Demon King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu had taken up the task to guard his kingdom leaving his own abode in Vaikunth. Goddess Lakshmi wished to be with her lord back in her abode. She went to Bali disguised as a Brahmin woman to seek refuge till her husband came back. During the Shravan Purnima celebrations, Lakshmi tied the sacred thread to the King. Upon being asked she revealed who she was and why she was there. The king was touched by her goodwill for his family and her purpose and requested the Lord to accompany her. He sacrificed all he had for the Lord and his devoted wife. Thus the festival is also called Baleva that is Bali Raja s devotion to the Lord. It is said that since then it has been a tradition to invite sisters in Shravan Purnima for the thread tying ceremony or the Raksha Bandhan. According to another legend, Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Lord Yama the Lord of Death and his sister Yamuna. Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved by the serenity of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection will become immortal. It is one festival that primarily belongs to the North and Western regions of India but celebrated throughout the country with the same verve. Regional celebrations may be different but Raksha bandhan has become an integral part of those customs As per the traditions, the sister on this day prepares the pooja thali with diya, roli, chawal and rakhis. She worships the deities, ties Rakhi to the brother s and wishes for their well being. The brother in turn acknowledges the love with a promise to be by the sisters side through the thick and thin and gives her a token gift. The festival has been celebrated in the same way with the same traditions for centuries. Only the means have changed with the changing lifestyles. This too to make the celebrations more elaborate.

Posted On : 4/12/2009 11:11:53 PM

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Darshil Jal daru khanewala
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There are a number of legendary stories associated ... The ancient history of India tells us that when Alexander the great came to India with a purpose to make India a part of his kingdom, he was resisted by the brave king Porus. Bravery of Porus led the wife of Alexander doubt the safety of her husband. Then the lady addressed Porus as her brother and thus became his sister. And a bond of Rakhi was established between them. That is why Porus never harmed Alexander. n the Medieval Indian History the tale of Maharani Karnawati and the Mughal Emperor Humayun relates to the tradition of Rakhi. Maharani Karnawati was the queen of the Rajput Kingdom, Chittor, in Rajastan. When Chittor was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Mewar, the Maharani sent a Rakhi to Humayun, the Mughal Emperor of Delhi, and called him for help. Humayun was aware of the significance of Rakhi in the Hindu community so he immediately accepted her request to protect her. Nobody forced him to do so but he did so only out of his respect for the tradition of Rakhi.

Posted On : 4/13/2009 1:06:41 AM

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Manpreet Bharara
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shraavana. The festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The elder brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her same while an elder sister returns offers to her younger brother. The brother and sister traditionally feed each other sweets. It is not necessary that the rakhi can be given only to a brother by birth any male can be adopted as a brother by tying a rakhi on the person, that is blood brothers and sisters , whether they are cousins or a good friend. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves. Rani Karnavati of Chittor sent a rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun when she was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Humayun abandoned an ongoing military campaign to ride to her rescue. The rakhi may also be tied on other special occasions to show solidarity and kinship not necessarily only among brothers and sisters , as was done during the Indian independence movement. The origin of this festival is usually traced back to the historical incidents of Indra s fight with Vritra-Indra that resulted in Indra s loss. Then, his wife had tied a thread around his wrist and empowered it with divine powers to make sure Indra emerged victorious in the duel that followed. Another incident is the one that concerns Krishna and Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. She had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna s wrist to stop the flow of blood Krishna was so touched by her action that he found himself bound to her by love. He promised to repay the debt and then spent the next 25 years doing just that. Draupadi in spite of being married to 5 great warriors and being a daughter of a powerful monarch only trusted and depended wholly on Krishna. Krishna repaid the debt of love during Vastra haran of Draupadi. Draupadi s Vastra Haran was done in the assembly of King Dritrashtra,when Yudishter her husband lost her in gamble. At that time Krishna gave her saree extender her saree to save her.This is how He paid his debt towards rakhi tied to him by Draupadi. According to another legend the Demon King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu had taken up the task to guard his kingdom leaving his own abode in Vaikunth. Goddess Lakshmi wished to be with her lord back in her abode. She went to Bali disguised as a Brahmin woman to seek refuge till her husband came back. During the Shravan Purnima celebrations, Lakshmi tied the sacred thread to the King. Upon being asked she revealed who she was and why she was there. The king was touched by her goodwill for his family and her purpose and requested the Lord to accompany her. He sacrificed all he had for the Lord and his devoted wife. Thus the festival is also called Baleva that is Bali Raja s devotion to the Lord. It is said that since then it has been a tradition to invite sisters in Shravan Purnima for the thread tying ceremony or the Raksha Bandhan.

Posted On : 4/13/2009 3:38:18 AM

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Ratna Shah
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Monday, April 07, 2008
The relationships are the essence of celebration. This holds true for any Indian festival. Each festival brings the families together. That mere togetherness is celebration. It calls for a total festive environment. The celebration of one such relationship is Raksha Bandhan the celebration of brother sister relationship. The sibling relationship is nowhere so celebrated as in India. The brother sister relationship is no where so worshiped as here. It is this affection and love that is celebrated on the Raksha Bandhan. Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrating the bond of affection between brothers and sisters. The day when the siblings pray for each others well being and wish for each others happiness and goodwill. As the name Raksha Bandhan suggests, a bond of protection , Raksha Bandhan is a pledge from brothers to protect the sister from all harms and troubles and a prayer from the sister to protect the brother from all evil. The festival falls on the Shravan Purnima full moon day of shravan month which comes generally in the month of August. The sisters tie the silk thread called rakhi on their brother s wrist and pray for their well being and brothers promise to take care of their sisters. The festival is unique to India creates a feeling of belongingness and oneness amongst the family. hough now it is considered as a brother and sister festival, it was not always so. There have been examples in history where in rakhi has just been a raksha or protection. It could be tied by wife, a daughter or mother. The Rishis tied rakhi to the people who came seeking their blessings. The sages tied the sacred thread to themselves to safe guard them from the evil. It is by all means the Papa Todak, Punya Pradayak Parva or the day that bestows boons and end all sins as it is mentioned in the scriptures.

Posted On : 4/13/2009 9:21:52 PM

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Chetan Juneja
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Monday, April 28, 2008
Hello everybody - Rakhi for many centuries encompassed the warmth shared between the siblings but now it goes way beyond it. Some tie rakhi to neighbors and close friends signifying a peaceful co-existence of every individual. Congregations like Rakhi Utsavs, popularized by Rabindranath Tagore, promote the feeling of unity and a commitment to all members of society to protect each other and encourage a harmonious Social life. The day has a deeper perspective in today s scenario. The occasion holds for a life long pledge to practice moral, spiritual and cultural values. The values and the sentiments attached to the rituals of this festival are worth inculcating by the whole human race, the sentiments of harmony and peaceful coexistence. Raksha Bandhan assumes all forms of Raksha or protection, of righteousness and destroyer of all sin. The rakhi tying ritual has become so much a part of the families that come what may brothers and sisters try to reach out to each other on this particular day bringing back the oneness of the family, binding the family together in an emotional bond.

Posted On : 4/13/2009 9:25:13 PM

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Roopanjana Buddhiraja
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Friday, August 22, 2008
The chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister is one of the deepest and noblest of human emotions. Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a special occasion to celebrate this emotional bonding by tying a holy thread around the wrist. This thread, which pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments, is rightly called the Rakhi . It means a bond of protection , and Raksha Bandhan signifies that the strong must protect the weak from all that s evil. The ritual is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan, on which sisters tie the sacred Rakhi string on their brothers right wrists, and pray for their long life. Rakhis are ideally made of silk with gold and silver threads, beautifully crafted embroidered sequins, and studded with semi precious stones. This ritual not only strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters, but also transcends the confines of the family. When a Rakhi is tied on the wrists of close friends and neighbors, it underscores the need for a harmonious social life, where every individual co-exist peacefully as brothers and sisters. All members of the community commit to protect each other and the society in such congregational Rakhi Utsavs, popularized by the Nobel laureate Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. It won t be wrong to say the fashionable friendship band in vogue today is an extension of the Rakhi custom. When a girl feels a friend of the opposite sex has developed a kind of love too strong for her to reciprocate, she sends the guy a Rakhi and turns the relationship into a sisterly one. This is one way of saying, let s just be friends , without hurting the other person s soft feelings for her. In Northern India, Rakhi Purnima is also called Kajri Purnima or Kajri Navami, when wheat or barley is sown, and goddess Bhagwati is worshipped. In Western states, the festival is called Nariyal Purnima or the Coconut Full Moon. In Southern India, Shravan Purnima is an important religious occasion, especially for the Brahmins. Raksha Bandhan is known by various names: Vish Tarak - the destroyer of venom, Punya Pradayak - the bestower of boons, and Pap Nashak - the destroyer of sins.

Posted On : 4/14/2009 3:25:47 AM

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Siddharth Ray
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009
The strong bond represented by Rakhi has resulted in innumerable political ties among kingdoms and princely states. The pages of Indian history testify that the Rajput and Maratha queens have sent Rakhis even to Mughal kings who, despite their differences, have assuaged their Rakhi-sisters by offering help and protection at critical moments and honoured the fraternal bond. Even matrimonial alliances have been established between kingdoms through the exchange of Rakhis. 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. According to one mythological allusion, Rakhi was intended to be the worship of the sea-god Varuna. Hence, offerings of coconut to Varuna, ceremonial bathing and fairs at waterfronts accompany this festival. There are also myths that describe the ritual as observed by Indrani and Yamuna for their respective brothers Indra and Yama. Once, Lord Indra stood almost vanquished in a long-drawn battle against the demons. Full of remorse, he sought the advice of Guru Brihaspati, who suggested for his sortie the auspicious day of Shravan Purnima fullmoon day of the month of Shravan . On that day, Indra s wife and Brihaspati tied a sacred thread on the wrist of Indra, who then attacked the demon with renewed force and routed him. Thus the Raksha Bhandhan symbolizes all aspects of protection of the good from evil forces. Even in the great epic Mahabharata, we find Krishna advising Yudhishtthir to tie the puissant Rakhi to guard himself against impending evils. Rituals like Rakhi, there is no doubt, help ease out various societal strains, induce fellow-feeling, open up channels of expression, give us an opportunity to rework on our role as human beings and, most importantly, bring joy in our mundane lives. May all be happy May all be free from ills May all behold only the good May none be in distress. This has always been the idea of an ideal Hindu society.

Posted On : 4/14/2009 3:37:49 AM

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