Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi, is a festival where sisters of all ages tie a sacred thread/ amulet/ protection talisman around their brothers’ right wrists. Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the last day on the Hindu lunar calendar month of Sravana , which typically falls in the last week of August. The Rakhi can be made from various items, including inexpensive ones like raw thread, colorful & creative design, and silk thread to very expensive items like silver, gold and even platinum and gems.
What Raksha Bandhan means?
The term Raksha Bandhan literally means the bond of protection as Raksha means to protect and Bandhan means a bond. The term is coined for the siblings as they both pray and pledge their promise for protection. The sister prays for the well-being of the brother while the brother promises to protect his sister for as long as they live.
What Is The Significance Of Raksha Bandhan?
This festival is considered to be of prime importance to the siblings. While the sisters tie Rakhi on their brothers, the brother pledge a promise of protection in return. However, not everyone has brothers or sisters to celebrate the festival with and might feel lonely when they see siblings around them celebrating this festival. Hence, girls/ women of all ages tie a Rakhi on the boys/ men who they consider a brother and they, in return, offer her gifts and a pledge of protection.
Why Is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated?
Raksha Bandhan celebrates the endearing sibling relationship of brother- sister. Even when the siblings fight, they care for the other so much that no other person would dare disturb their siblings apart from them. This loving yet adorable fighting relationship is what makes this festival more special. Although sisters are the ones who tie the thread on their brothers’ wrist, in their absence, the younger girls in the family, daughters or mothers can tie the Rakhi on their relations’ wrist.
Who Started Raksha Bandhan First?
We consulted the experienced and knowledgeable Online Temple pandits, who informed us about the history. The legends date further back between King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi. When King Bali defeated the Gods and planning to do 100 Ashwamedha Yagya to be crowned as the King of Gods, the Gods went to seek the help of God Vishnu to prevent him from becoming invincible.
Since King Bali was a great devotee of Vishnu, he had numerous good virtues and was very generous. So, when Vishnu disguised himself as a Vaman Avatar (Dwarf, 5th Incarnation of Vishnu), and asked for 3 steps of land to be donated to him, King Bali immediately agreed. The Vaman then changed his size until his one step covered the land on Earth, the 2nd covered the skies and when he asked King Bali where he should put his 3rd step, King Bali was humbled and offered his head for the 3rd step.
The Vaman did so, and hence pushed King Bali to the Patal Lok (Underworld). Pleased with Bali’s righteousness, Vishnu offered him a boon. Bali asked him that wherever he looks at in his palace in the Patal Lok, he would be able to see God Vishnu. Since the palace has 52 doors, Vishnu became the Dwarpal (gate- keeper) of the palace. Seeing God Vishnu absent from the Vaikunth Dham, Goddess Maha Lakshmi got worried about him and heard the whole story from Narad.
In the disguise of a Brahmin woman, she went to ask for refuge from King Bali. She ties a sacred thread around his arm and explains that she is now his sister, so she would pray for his happiness and longevity. Then, she asks for a promise of protection and gift in return to which Bali agrees. The Goddess reveals herself and asks for God Vishnu as a gift, to allow her to take him back to Vaikunth & Bali agrees wholeheartedly.
When Did Raksha Bandhan Start?
From ancient times, an ongoing tradition between brothers and sisters began. Originally, the Bhavishya Puran states that this festival was celebrated only between brother Princes/ Kings and sister Princesses/ Queens. However as time went on, the tradition passed down to soldiers and the common people.
How is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated?
The siblings dress up in new traditional clothes after taking a bath in the morning. The sisters apply henna on their hands and get ready in their best attires. On this day, the sisters tie a sacred thread on their brothers’ wrists to protect them and wish them happiness symbolically. Once the Rakhi is tied, the sisters offer a prayer to the deities for the well- being and joy of their brothers.
Then, a tray (Puja Thali) with a lighted Diya/ Deepak (earthen lamp lit with oil/ ghee and a cotton wick) is ritualistically rotated around the brother’s face (in either a round circle or an Om shape) along with another prayer & well wishes. This is known as Aarti.
After Aarti is done, the sisters apply a tilak (thick paste made with crimson Roli and water). White rice called Akshat is stuck on the tilak. And in return, the brothers promise to protect her for as long as they live, and offer a gift in return. The sister then feeds her brothers sweets (desserts, dry fruits and/ or seasonal fruits & delicacies) with their own hands.
Before the process above, the Raksha Bandhan puja takes place- either online or offline. For online puja, Online Temple offers all online puja booking services. This puja is done for the well being of both siblings. Some basic benefits of the Online Temple’s puja include the following:
- Protection of siblings.
- Longevity of lives of siblings.
- Increase in wealth and riches.
- Boost of peace and prosperity.
Online temple ensure the devotees that they are not only doing the pujas online from the comfort of their homes, but also help them receive their puja enhanced blessings to achieve greater heights in life- personal, career or anywhere. The puja enables long lasting, loving relationships and respect between the brothers and sisters of the household.
The Online Temple puja is also performed to offer prayers to heavenly deities Ganesh, Shiva, Saraswati, Vishnu and Lakshmi and receive their blessings for the devotee and their loved ones. It increases serenity and calmness of the surroundings of the household while chasing away all negative energies in or nearby, dispelling darkness and gloom.
It enhances the devotee’s mental strength and positivity to face any situation that may cross them. Doing pujas have a powerful cleansing effect on theoul and washes away any previous mistakes, that may have been done knowingly or unknowingly.
Also Read :- Story of Lord Brahma | The Creator of The Universe