Raksha Bandhan Festival – Rakhi or Raksha bandhan festival is one of the most important festivals of India and celebrated with lots of jubilance by Hindus. Raksha bandhan festival is associated with the very special relationship between brothers and sisters, on this day sisters tie a rakhi or decorative thread on the wrist of their brothers and in return brothers pledges to protect their sisters when the need arises. Marked by rakhi tying and traditional pooja ceremony, the festival of Raksha bandhan in India reinforces the protective bond and firms the loving fraternal relationship between brother & sister. Sisters wait throughout the year for this special day that lets them to express their unconditional feelings of affection and care to their brothers.
The festival of Rakhi in India is celebrated every year on the full Moon Day of Shraavana (July-August) Month. Rakhi festival in India that symbolizes the sweet bonding between brothers and sisters is a very significant occasion and is awaited with great zeal. To celebrate the Raksha bandhan festival, the preparations start well in advance. The families and the markets as well starts making their best efforts to make the joyous festivities of Rakshabandhan so special. On the festive day everyone gets ready very early to celebrate the occasion. After praying to God, the sisters perform the aarti of their brothers and put 'tika' and 'chawal' on their forehead, praying for their well being. Sisters tie a Rakhi thread on the wrist of brother and brothers pledges to take care of her, in any condition.
Legends of Raksha Bandan
The festival nurtures a rich heritage of legendary traditions, some rooted back to the ages of the great epics. In the Hindu tradition the Rakshaa has indeed assumed all aspects of protection of the forces of righteousness from the forces of evil.According to the Mahabharata, Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pancha Pandyava (the five brothers belonging to the family of king Pandu), asked Sri Krishna, an incarnation of lord Vishnu, how best he could guard himself against impending evils and catastrophes in the coming year. Krishna advised him to observe the Rakshaa Ceremony. He also narrated an old incident to show how potent the Rakshaa is. It went like this.Once, Indra, the king of heaven was confronted by the demon king - the Daitya-raaja - in a long-drawn battle. At one stage, the Daitya-raaja got better of Indra and drove him into wilderness. Indra, humbled and crest-fallen, sought the advice of Brihaspati, the Guru of Gods. The Guru told him to bide his time, prepare himself and then take on the mighty demon. He also indicated that the auspicious moment for sallying forth was the Shraavana Poornima. On that day, Shachee Devi, the wife of Indra, accompanied by Brihaspati tied Raakhi around Indra's right-wrist. Indra then advanced against the Daitya-raaja, vanquished him and reestablished his sovereignty.This is how Raksha Bandhan came into being in the ages of old Hindu mythology and has transcended into the modern ages acquiring more of new and modified customs with itself. The oldest story may have roots in the days when devas (gods) and asuras (non-gods) were engaged in a fierce struggle to dominate the creation. Indra, the king of devas, was defeated several times. Indrani, his consort, then did penance and prepared a bond of protection which she tied on the wrist of Indra. With the help of its power he defeated the asuras.
Another mythological story tells how Bali, the ruler of the earth, had to give away his whole empire to God Vishnu who appeared to him as a dwarf. Raksha Bandhan is believed to mark that event as well.
In the Hindu tradition the Rakshaa has indeed assumed all aspects of protection of the forces of righteousness from the forces of evil. Once, Yudhishthira asked Sri Krishna how best he could guard himself against impending evils and catastrophes in the coming year. Krishna advised him to observe the Rakshaa Ceremony. He also narrated an old incident to show how potent the Rakshaa is.