The Mesmerizing Story Behind Raksha Bandhan
India is the land of festivals. Every two or three months we have a big celebration coming up with all thanks to our rich cultural diversity. It is beyond beautiful to watch people belonging to different religions bond beautifully over commonly-celebrated festivals of India. Amongst many such instances, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is one. Mainly belonging to the northern states of India, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with a lot of vigor. You must know how people celebrate the lovely festival of Raksha Bandhan but you might not be aware of the pious story behind Raksha Bandhan. It is for this reason that we recited it for you.
The roots of Raksha Bandhan
Hindu mythology is the proud home of Raksha Bandhan. This is where it all began. The oldest mention of Raksha Bandhan is in the holy Mahabharata which is a sacred book of the Hindus. When Lord Krishna inadvertently hurt himself, his wrist bled. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna. She couldn't bear to look at Lord Krishna's bleeding wrist. So, she tore a piece of cloth from her saree (the traditional garment of Indian women) and tied it on Lord Krishna's wrist to stop the blood from dripping. It was at that moment that a sacred bond between Draupadi and Lord Krishna was established. It was the bond of a sister and her brother. From that day on, a special day was dedicated to the celebration of the beautiful relationship that brothers and sisters share with each other. It came to be known as Raksha Bandhan. The story of Raksha Bandhan is truly a marvelous one.
Historical Perspectives: Rakhi in Ancient India
Raksha Bandhan has historical roots as well, with mentions in ancient texts and scriptures. The festival was not only limited to blood relations but also extended to neighbouring kingdoms and communities as a symbol of mutual respect and harmony. During the Mughal era, Rakhi was even exchanged between Hindu queens and Muslim rulers, further strengthening the spirit of brotherhood and unity.
The literal and symbolic meaning of Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is made up of two words - Raksha and Bandhan. Raksha means protection and Bandhan means bond. So, the literal meaning of Raksha Bandhan is "a bond of protection". Sisters pray for the long life and happiness of their brothers and tie a sacred thread called Rakhi on the wrists of their brothers to protect them from all sorts of evil influences. In return, brothers touch the feet of their sisters to gain blessings from them and promise to protect their sisters at all times. Brothers also offer a gift to their sisters as a token of their love and education. The festival of Rakshabandhan is all about wishing the best for your siblings and promising to stick up for them in times of need. So, that's everything that the previous Raksha Bandhan story was all about.
When is Raksha Bandhan celebrated
In the month of Shravana according to the Hindu calendar which usually falls around July or August of the English calendar, a full moon takes place. It is on this day that Raksha Bandhan is celebrated. The markets are decorated a couple of weeks in advance as sisters look for the prettiest rakhi for their brothers and brothers come in search of the best rakhi gift for brother.
Modern Day Celebrations: Honoring Love and Togetherness
With the advent of modern times, Raksha Bandhan has evolved into a grand celebration. While traditional customs still hold strong, online platforms now enable siblings separated by distance to send Rakhis and gifts to each other, bridging the gap and keeping the spirit of Rakhi alive.
Rakhi Feasts: Savoring the Sweetness of Togetherness
No festival in India is complete without a feast, and Raksha Bandhan is no exception. Families come together to enjoy delectable dishes, sweets, and desserts, creating unforgettable memories and strengthening the bond of love and togetherness.
Rakhi Around the World: A Universal Bond
Beyond cultural and geographical boundaries, Rakhi is a celebration of the universal bond of love between siblings. As the festival gains recognition worldwide, it echoes the message of love, care, and protection, transcending all barriers.