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Rakshabandhan (Rakhi): A knot of sisterly love and brotherly protection!

Word For Peace Special 

  1. Rakshabandhan or Rakhi is one of the most popular festivals in India. It is celebrated on the full moon day of Sharavana which falls on the month of August.

Raksha essentially means “Protection” and Bandhan means “Bond”. So, basically it signifies a protection bond between Brothers and Sisters. On Rakshabandhan, sister ties a thread called Rakhi on her brother’s right wrist. This thread is believed to protect her brother from all evils. In return, brother takes oath that he will protect his sister rest of his life.

This festival basically strengthen the bond of love between brothers and sisters. In sisters love brothers wear rakhi for entire day and sometime for a week after Rakshabandhan.
In early days when sister ties Rakhi the brother would offered money. But over the time this has replaced by gifts such as clothes, make-up, perfumes and are quite common. Because it is the only time when brother shows his sister that how much he loves and cares for her.

On Rakshabandhan, an Indian woman goes to her brother’s house and performs Pooja (prayer) and invokes blessings on him. She also applies Kumkum (sindoor) on him and some rice and grains on his forehead. Apart from that, she gives him many blessings that his brother meets with a lot of success in his life and in return, he gives her gifts and takes vow to protect and love her for the rest of his life.

Historically, the festival of Rakhi has its roots right in the epic of Mahabharta. Once Krishna visited his aunt house named ‘Satywati’. She gave birth to the deformed child ‘Shishupala’. Satyavati told Krishna that Shishupala was as handsome as Krishna. Krishna took the baby (Shishupala) and sat down with the baby on his lap. Satyavati told Krishna about heavenly voice which has said that Shishupala would die one day in the hands of person who held him in his lap. She made Krishna promised that he would excuse Shishupala hundred times before kills and Krishna agreed.
Shishupala has grown up and become the ruler of ‘Chedi Kingdom’. He used to be very brutal. He once started to abuse Krishna. Shishupala on that day had crossed his hundered mistakes. Krishna slit the throat of Shishupala with his Sudershan Chakra. It was the time when Shishupala had to lose his life despite having been warned by Krishna. In this incident Krishna’s finger got injured. Dropti who was standing there immediately tore the piece of her saree and tied around Krishna’s finger. Krishna said,”you have come to my rescue in need so will I help you whenever you are in trouble and Krishna indeed kept his words by rescuing Dropti.

In later times when Korvas tries to insult Dropti in full court by dragging her saree. This incident has let the ritual of Rakshbandhan continue to this day.

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