Raksha Bhandhan :- Celebrating the bond of protection and love & affection between a brother and his sister

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Raksha Bandhan :-
                   Raksha Bandhan, or simply Rakhi is a Hindu festival, celebrated in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, notably India and Nepal. Raksha bandhan means "bond of protection". It is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar month of Shravana, which typically falls in Gregorian calendar month of August.
                 
                      Image credit google

The festival celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. It is also popularly used to celebrate any brother-sister type of relationship between men and women who may or may not be biologically related. On Raksha Bandhan, a sister ties a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother's wrist with a prayer for his prosperity and happiness. This symbolizes the sister's love. The brother gives her a token gift and a promise to protect her.


                   
 Image credit google
                                                         
Significance:-
            Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means "the tie or knot of protection". The word Raksha means protection, while Bandhan is the verb to tie. It is an ancient Hindu festival that ritually celebrates the love and duty between brothers and their sisters. The sister performs a rakhi ceremony, then prays to express her love and her wish for the well being of her brother; in return, the brother ritually pledges to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances. It is one of the several occasions in which family ties are affirmed in India.

                   
 Image credit google
                                                         
Prepare for Raksha Bandhan:-
        Women shop for rakhi, the ceremonial thread to tie around her brother's (or brother-like friend's) wrist. Some women make their own rakhi. A rakhi may be a simple thread, woven and colorful, or may be intricate with amulets and decorations. Sometimes, a rakhi may be a fancy watch or men's wrist accessory in the form of bracelet or jewelry. Rakhi in the form of a colorful woven thread is most common. Typically the brother also shops for gifts for his sister. The gift from the brother can be a simple thoughtful token of love, and may be more elaborate

                
Image credit google

Rakhi ritual:-
                       On the morning of Raksha Bandhan the brothers and sisters get together, often in nice dress in the presence of surviving parents, grandparents and other family members. If the sister and brother are geographically separated, the sister may mail the rakhi ahead of the Raksha Bandhan day, along with a greeting card or letter wishing her brother well. The ritual typically begins in front of a lighted lamp (diya) or candle, which signifies fire deity. The sister and brother face each other. The sister ties the rakhi on her brother's wrist.

                
Image credit google                                                                   

Mythological facts behind raksha       bandhan:-
Lord Krishna and Draupathi:-              
                         In order to protect the good people, Lord Krishna killed the evil King Shishupal. Krishna was hurt during the war and left with bleeding finger. Seeing this, Draupathi had torn a strip of cloth from her sari and tied around his wrist to stop the bleeding. Lord Krishna, realizing her affections and concern about him, declared himself bounded by her sisterly love. He promised her to repay this debt whenever she need in future. Many years later, when the pandavas lost Draupathi in the game of dice and Kauravas were removing her saari, Krishna helped her divinely elongating the saari so that they could not remove it.


                   
 Image credit google


Indra and Indrani:-
                      Turns out, Raksha Bandhan wasn't just meant as a symbol of sibling love, as is illustrated by the story of Indra and Indrani. During a war between Gods and demons, wherein Indra was losing to King Bali, Indra's wife Indrani prayed to Lord Vishnu, who gave her a holy thread which she tied around Indra's wrist. Blessed with its powers, Indra won the war and the thread became his protection against any evil.


Image credit google


  Queen Kunti and Abhimanyu:-
                           Queen Kunti is said to have  tied a sacred thread as a measure of  protection, on the wrist of her grandson, Abhimanyu--the son of Subhadra and Arjun--during the battle of Mahabharata. 


Image credit google
                                          


King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi:-
                       According to this, when a turn of events led to Lord Vishnu disguising himself as the doorman of King Bali--the grandson of Vishnu's ardent devotee Prahlada--Goddess Lakshmi became restless because of his absence in Vaikuntha (their abode). She came to earth in the guise of a Brahmin woman and told Bali, the story of her husband having gone away for some work, due to which she requested for shelter from the King. Bali not only gave her a place to stay, but also took care of her. It's said that on the full moon day (Purnima) of the Shravana month, she tied a thread around Bali's wrist with prayers for his protection and happiness. Touched by her affection, Bali granted her a wish. She requested him to free her husband, the gatekeeper. The incident had Bali confused as he couldn't envision the lady as the doorman's wife. It's then that both Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi revealed their true selves to the King, who urged Vishnu to return with the Goddess to Vaikuntha. The festival is also known Baleva.




  Image credit google                                                     

Santoshi Maa:-
               On seeing Lord Ganesha celebrate Rakhi with his sister, his sons Shubh and Labh started insisting upon a sister, leading to the creation of Santoshi Maa, from the flames that emerged from his consorts, Riddhi and Siddhi.


Image credit google
                                                       


Alexander the Great's wife Roxana and King Porus:-
                       Legend has it that during Alexander the Great's invasion of India in 326 BCE, his wife Roxana sent a sacred thread to Porus, requesting him not to harm her husband in battle. It's believed that on the battlefield, the thread on his wrist was a constant reminder of his promise to Roxana, preventing him from attacking Alexander directly.



   Image credit google                                                    

Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun:-
                        Rani Karnavati--the widowed queen of Chittor--is said to have sent a rakhi to Mughal Emperor Humayun, upon the looming threat of invasion from the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah. Though Humayun turned up too late, it's no secret that he honored the sentiment with which it was sent.
From Lord Ganesha's sons pestering their father for a sister to Roxana's rakhi--legends like these can't be taken on face value, but they always make the festival a fun affair.

                     

 Image credit google                                                      

Rakhi has been promoted as a way of harmonious life by many a social workers and philoophers. It is a festival that dictates the values of brotherhood and self-perseverance.



Image credit google
                                              




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