The relationship between a brother and a sister is truly special and is beyond words to explain. The siblings’ friendship is exceptional and is granted value in every part of the planet. But when it comes to India, the partnership is all the more relevant as there is a festival devoted to sibling love named “Raksha Bandhan.”
This is a popular Hindu festival conducted in India and countries such as Nepal symbolizing the affection between a brother and a woman. Raksha Bandhan’s occasion is celebrated in the month of Shravana on the full moon day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar and usually falls in the Gregorian calendar month of August.
Meaning of Raksha Bandhan
The festival is composed of two terms, namely “Raksha” and “Bandhan.” According to the Sanskrit language, the occasion implies “the connection or defensive knot” where “Raksha” stands for defense and “Bandhan” implies the verb to bind. Together, the festival symbolizes the eternal love of the brother-sister relationship which does not mean just the blood relationships only. It is also celebrated among cousins, sister and sister-in-law (Bhabhi), fraternal aunt (Bua), and nephew (Bhatija) and other such relations.
Importance of Raksha Bandhan among various religions and States in India
- Hinduism- The festival is observed predominantly by the Hindus in the northern and western sections of India along with countries such as Nepal, Pakistan, and Mauritius.
- Jainism- The Jain culture, where Jain priests send the devotees ritual threads is often respected for the occasion.
- Sikhism-The Sikhs observe this festival dedicated to brother-sister love as “Rakhardi” or Rakhari.
- South India- Rakhi Purnima is celebrated as Avani Avittam in South India. The Brahmins change the holy thread called Janeyu on this day which they wear after taking a holy dip. The change of the Janeyu is symbolic of Prayashchitam, the atonement of all previous sins and a Mahasankalpam, a vow to live a life of goodness, strength, and dignity. This day, scholars begin the reading of the Yajur Veda.
- Gujarat – The people of Gujarat worship Lord Shiva on this auspicious day. As a tradition, whoever worships Lord Shiva on this day will be free of all his sins. Pavitropana is made of Pavitras, a few cotton and Kasa grass filaments interwoven and knotted together, and then immersed in a mixture of five cow products called Panchgaivya (cow’s ghee, milk, curd, semen, and gobar). Then, this cord is wrapped around the Shivalinga.
- Eastern Regions This festival honors the relationship between Radha and Krishna, like West Bengal And Odisha – Jhulan Purnima -popular as Jhulan Yatra. There’s a dazzling week-long show of perfectly crafted swings amid music and dancing. This is a very significant festival, particularly for the Vaishnavas.
Origin of Raksha Bandhan Festival
Raksha Bandhan festival is believed to have started centuries earlier and there are many tales linked to this particular festival celebration. Below are some of the different accounts related to Hindu mythology:
- Indra Dev and Sachi- According to Bhavishya Purana’s ancient myth, once there had been an intense war between gods and demons. Lord Indra- the key deity of the moon, winds, and thunderbolts who battled the war on the side of Gods had a strong resistance from the mighty demon king, Bali. The war continued for a long time and did not come on a decisive end. Seeing this, Indra ‘s wife Sachi went to Lord Vishnu who offered her a cotton-threaded holy bracelet. Sachi tied her husband’s holy thread around her husband’s wrist, Lord Indra who eventually defeated the demons and recovered the Amaravati. The earlier account of the festival described these holy threads to be amulets which were used by women for prayers and were tied to their husbands when they were leaving for war. Unlike the present times, those holy threads were not confined to relationships between brother and sister.
- King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi- According to an account provided by Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana, when Lord Vishnu claimed the three worlds from the demon King Bali, he ordered the demon king to live in the palace next to him. The Lord accepted the request and started living with the demon king. But Lord Vishnu ‘s wife Goddess Lakshmi wanted to return to his native Vaikuntha location. So, she tied the rakhi around the wrist of a demon king, Bali, and made him a brother. Once questioned about the gift of return, Goddess Lakshmi begged Bali to free her husband from the pledge and let him back to Vaikuntha. Bali agreed to the petition and Lord Vishnu and his queen, Goddess Lakshmi, returned to his house.
- Santoshi Maa- It’s claimed that Lord Ganesha’s two sons namely Shubh and Labh were disappointed that they didn’t have a girlfriend. They begged their father for a sister who eventually obliged their sister on Saint Narada ‘s involvement. So Lord Ganesha produced Santoshi Maa through the divine fire, and Lord Ganesha’s two sons got their sister for Raksha Bandhan ‘s occasion.
- Krishna and Draupadi- Draupadi, Pandavas’ wife bound a rakhi to Lord Krishna on behalf of Mahabharat while Kunti bound the rakhi to grandson Abhimanyu before the epic battle.
- Yama and the Yamuna- Another legend says that the death God, Yama did not visit his sister the Yamuna for a period of 12 years who ultimately became very sad. On the advice of Ganga, Yama went to meet his sister the Yamuna who has very happy and performed hospitality of her brother, Yama. This made the Yama delighted who asked the Yamuna for a gift. She expressed anxiety about seeing her brother again and again. Hearing this, Yama made the Yamuna his sister immortal, so he could see her again and again. This mythological account forms the basis of the festival called “Bhai Dooj” which is also based on the brother-sister relationship.
Reason for the celebration of this festival
Raksha Bandhan festival is observed as a sign of service for sisters and friends. The day is intended to honor some sort of brother-sister bond that might not be physically linked between men and women.
A sister wraps a rakhi around her brother’s wrist on this day to pray for his wealth, safety, and welfare. The brother in exchange provides presents, and in all conditions vows to shield his sister from any harm. The festival is often conducted for brother-sisters who belong to distant members of the family, relatives, or cousins.
When is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated?
According to the Hindu calendar, Raksha Bandhan is observed on the day of the full moon in the month of Shravan (August). This is why is the festival is also called Rakhi Purnima. There are also other festivals that the different cultures of India observe on this day such as people in the south celebrating Rakhi Purnima as Avani Avattam, and this day is celebrated as Kajari Purnima in certain parts of North India. The following are some of the rituals and festivals celebrated across India on this day.
Avani Avattam: Brahmin culture observes this day. We share threads named ‘janeu’ and appeal to their gods for their sins’ redemption, and make them offerings to thank them for their teachings.
Kajri Purnima: The northern and central portions of India observe this. Farmers and mothers praise Goddess Bhagwati on this day for healthy crops and the well-being of their son.
Pavitropana: The devotees of Shiva make a thread from the mixture of panchgaivya and place it on the Shivalinga.
Nariyal Purnima: Fishermen commemorate this festival in the coastal regions of West India by giving nariyal or coconut to the god of the Ocean, Varuna, and by praying for their prosperous maritime trade.
Raksha Bandhan 2020 Muhurat, Date & Time: Know when to tie ‘rakhi’ on your brother’s wrist
Festival of brother and sister relation i.e. Raksha Bandhan is just around the corner. Due to lockdown, this year Raksha Bandhan will be more special for every sibling. The auspicious festival is dedicated to the pious bond between a brother and a sister. As per the tradition, on this festival, a sister ties a sacred thread on the wrist of her brother.
As per Hindu belief, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the Purnima Tithi (Full Moon Day) in the month of Shravan. This year, the festival will be celebrated on August 3.
This year, Purnima Tithi will begin at 9:28 PM on August 2 and will end at 9:28 PM on August 3.
Know Shubh Muhurat of Puja:
- Sisters can tie the thread on the wrist of their brothers between 9:28 in the morning to 9:17 pm at night.
- According to Hindu belief, the correct time to tie the thread would be Aparahna Muhurat which is between 01:48 pm to 04:29 pm.
- In case, you miss the Aparahna muhurta, the sacred thread can be tied during the Praodsh time which starts at about 07:10 pm and will end at 09:17 pm.
Don’t tie rakhi during this muhurat:
Sisters should not tie the rakhi during the Bhadra period, which usually falls in the early first-half of the Purnima day.
- Bhadra Panchha – 5:16 AM to 6:28 AM
- Bhadra Mukha: 6:28 AM to 8:28 AM
- Bhadra ends at 9:28 AM.
Due to the coronavirus, one should not forget to follow the social distancing and other important guidelines issued by health ministry while celebrating the festival.
Types of Rakhi and Their Meanings
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by tying a rakhi to the brother for his well being and protection. There are a variety of rakhis out there in the market as well as online which have a unique look and meaning of its own. Here we have listed down various kinds of rakhis and their meanings.
- Zardosi Rakhi – These rakhis are designed in the style of zardosi which is made using silver wires, decorative stones, velvet satin, and many other decorative materials.
- Spiritual Rakhi – Spiritual rakhis are the ones that are made in the shape of God or have religious symbols on it. Some spiritual rakhis are Om rakhis, Ganesha rakhis, Ek Omkar Rakhi, Rudraksha rakhis, etc.
- Kid’s Rakhi – Kid’s rakhi are designed with cartoon characters such as Chhota Bheem, Doraemon, Ben10, Barbie, Tom, and Jerry, etc. These kinds of rakhis are ideal for little brothers.
- Lumba Rakhi – Lumba rakhis are designer rakhis that are tied on the bangles of Bhabhis or sisters. It is a common tradition in the Marwari community.
- Handcrafted Rakhi – The Sisters themselves make handcrafted rakhis. They use different handicraft materials to make rakhis such as craft gemstones, ribbons, colored paper, etc.
What are some good songs for Raksha Bandhan in 2020
Since Indian festivals are greatly influenced by Bollywood, Rakshabandhan is no exception. Our Hindi movies have several songs for the occasion which can fill up the environment this Raskhabandhan 2017 with emotions you sometimes fail to communicate.
Here is a list of awesome Raksha Bandhan songs you can play on this occasion and we also tell you why they are a good choice.
- Resham Ki Dori
Behena ne Bhai ki Kalai se Pyar bandha hai
Pyar ke do taar se sanssar bandha hai
Resham ki dori se sansaar bandha hai….
- Bhaiya mere rakhi ke bandhan- Chhoti Bahen (1959)
rakhi ke, bandhan ko nibhaa.na
choti behan ko, na bhulaana
- Ye Rakhi Bandhan hai Aisa- Be-Imaan (1972)
Yeh Rakhi Bandhan hai Aisa, yeh Rakhi Bandhan hai Aisa
Yeh Rakhi Bandhan hai Aisa
jaise Chanda aur Kiran kaa
jaisa badari aur Pawan Kaa, Jaise dharti aur Gagan kaa
yeh Rakhi Bandhan hai Aisa, yeh Rakhi Bandhan hai Aisa
These popular Old Bollywood song from the movies talks about the deep emphasis of the bond that every sister shares with her brother. This relationship is not just about protecting each other but staying connected even if life drifts you apart.
- Hare Rama Hare Krishna
Phoolon ka taaron ka, sabaka kehana hai
Ek hazaaron mein meri behena hai
Saari, umar, hamen sang rehana hai….
Sung by legendary Kishor Kumar for the iconic Bollywood movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna, this song refuses to slip down the charts every Rashabandhan and for all the right reasons.
- Bachpan Kahan…Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
Bhai Se Yaari
Behno Se Masti
Udti Patango Jaisa Tha Mann
Jitne The Riste
Saare The Mann Ke
Unme Na UljhanNa Thi Jalan
Hoti Na Thi Anban Jahan
Darpan Bata Bachpan Kahan…
Spend a nostalgic time with your brothers and sisters and this song has a lot to contribute. Sung by Himesh Reshamiya, this song from the popular Bollywood movie Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is a beautiful version of childhood memories that we often miss out on during busy schedules. Take a break and soak in the memories.