Monday, July 22, 2013

Raksha Bandhan- the bond of protection

Raksha Bandhan (called and Rakhi) is an hindu festival celebrated every year on the full moon day of the moth of Shravan (August).

This festival is the divine attachment of love between brothers and sisters; it is celebrated usually in North India by all religion people.

It is a popular festival in which girls tie rakhi or sacred thread around their brother’s right wrist. 

 The sacred thread signifies the bond of protection in which sister pray for the well being of her brother and brother promises to protect her sister from all harm. Brothers give gifts or money to her sister on this day. 

Rakhis are ideally made of silk with gold and silver threads, beautifully crafted embroidered sequins, and studded with semi precious stones.

 

The Auspicious Full Moon

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. 

Rakhi Myths & Legends

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.
In the ancient Puranik scriptures, it is said that King Bali's stronghold had been the Raakhi. Hence while tying the rakhi this couplet is usually recited:
Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala

"I am tying a Rakhi on you, like the one on mighty demon king Bali. Be firm, O Rakhi, do not falter."

A rakhi shop at Begum Bazaar in Hyderabad







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