Raksha Bandhan, meaning “Knot of Protection” is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated by throughout the world. The festival stands for the beautiful relationship of love, care and affection between siblings. The innocent bond of love between a brother and a sister is one of the deepest of all human emotions. This thread, which pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments, is rightly called the ‘Rakhi’, sisters tie the sacred rakhi string on their brothers’ right wrists, and pray for their long life. This ritual is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu month of shravan.
Social Binding: This ritual not only strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters but also strengths the whole family.
Friendly Knot: It won’t be wrong to say the friendship band in vogue today is an extension of the rakhi custom which turns a friendship relationship into a sisterly one or vice versa.
Auspicious Full Moon day: Different part of India celebrates raksha bandhan day with different names- in northern India, rakhi purnima is also called as kajri purnima, the time of the year when wheat or barley is sown by farmers, and goddess bhagwati is worshipped. In Western India, the festival is called nariyal purnima. In southern India, shravan purnima is an important religious occasion, especially for the brahmins. Other known names for raksha bandhan are vish tarak – the destroyer of venom, punya pradayak – the bestower of boons, and pap nashak – the destroyer of sins.
Thus, Raksha Bhandhan symbolizes all aspects of protection of the good from evil forces. Even in the great epic Mahabharata, we find Krishna advising yudhishthir to tie rakhi to guard himself against all evil energy. In the ancient puranik scriptures, it is said that King Bali’s stronghold had been the raakhi.
Hence while tying the rakhi this stanza is usually narrated “Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah , tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala”. The meaning of Raksha Mantra is- “I tie you with the same Raksha thread which tied the most powerful, the king of courage, the king of demons, Bali. O Rakhi, do not falter throughout the year”
Festival like rakhi, there is no doubt, help ease out various societal strains, induce fellow-feeling, open up channels of expression, and give us an opportunity to rework on our role as human beings and, most importantly, bring joy in our routine lives.