This Raksha Bandhan i decided to educate my daughter about the festival. Though we celebrate it every year I did not know Raksha Bandhan has so many stories in history.
I get to know about all of them while trying to gather more and more information for her.
I as a part of my parenting journey want to educate my kids on different topics and i write about them too. Read below my previous articles and see if you get a connect somewhere
I thought why not compile all information at one place.So lets start by knowing what it is?
WHAT DOES RAKSHA BANDHAN MEANS?
Raksha Bandhan is a Sanskrit term which means ‘the knot of protection’.
It means to ‘safeguard’ and Bandhan is ‘to tie’.
This is a Hindu festival that has been celebrated since ancient times.
It’s a festivity of unconditional love between sisters and brothers.
Raksha Bandhan festival was started almost 6000 years back during Indus valley civilization.
India is a country that celebrates diverse culture.
Here celebration varies in different parts of the country.
It all started with sisters fastening a thread around the wrist of their brothers.
In return the brothers promise to protect and love their sisters forever.
Relationships are the spirit of any festival which is clearly evident in Indian celebrations.
WHEN IT IS CELEBRATED?
The ‘Shravan’ month brings in shades of celebrations and the full moon night is considered the day of celebration. Normally it takes place in Aug – Sep.
Indian families usually start Rakhi preparations 15-20 days in advance.
Ladies go out for shopping and there are colors of joy everywhere. It’s a carnival and a tradition in our country.
This sacred festival originated in the mythological times and there are many stories related to Raksha Bandhan.
These stories are based on history and i found them from various sources for you so that you can tell your kids about them.
So LETS SEE WHAT ARE THESE STORIES AND HOW IT ALL STARTED:
1. Lord Krishna and Draupadi
In order to save good humans Lord Krishna killed the wicked king Sishupal.
Post war Lord Krishna’s finger was bleeding. Draupadi not able to bear the scene tore a lining of cloth from her saree.
She tied it around the Lord’s wrist. It is said that this was all out of the sisterly affections Draupudi had for Krishna.
Thus the Lord promised to safeguard Draupudi all her life.
After years Draupudi was lost by the Pandaavas in the dice game.
To defame her Kauravas attempted to disrobe her. Krishna played a role here and thus Kauravas were not successful in their attempt.
2. The Great Alexander and King Peru
This is probably the most ancient reference of Raksha Bandhan festival dated back in 300 BC.
Indian King Puru showed extreme rage when Alexander Great had come to invade India.
The Great was moved by the anger Puru showed. Meantime, King Alexander’s wife came to know about Rakhi festival.
She then tied a knot on King Purus wrist.
3. Goddess Lakshmi and King Mahabali
King of Demons, Mahabali was a passionate devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu Impressed by his devotion and promised to protect Mahabali’s kingdom.
Vishnu left his own kingdom to stay in Mahabali’s place in order to fulfil his promise. Goddess Laskshmi, wife of the Lor Vishnu was set a back by all this.
Goddess Lakshmi approached Bali in the form of a Brahmin woman and showed her desire to stay at his place. On the occasion of Shravan Purnima, she tied a Rakhi on King Bali’s wrist.
After this, the day started knowing as Rakhi Purnima and even now Rakhsha Bandhan is celebrated on this day.
RAKSHA BANDHAN – Lets begin the festival preparations:
On this day the families prepare delicious sweets and cook vegetarian dishes.
The ritual takes place in the morning after a fresh bath.
Sisters prepare the puja thali containing tilak, rice grains, roli, Rakhi threads, incense sticks, sweets and diyas.
Puja is offered to Lord Krishna and other deities. Then the sisters do an aarti of their dear brothers and tie RAKHI.
They put chandan/kumkum powder on the forehead and offer sweet dishes.
MANTRAS TO BE CHANTED
“Suraj shakhan chhodian, Mooli chhodia beej
Behen ne rakhi bandhi / Bhai tu chir jug jee”,
It means the sun is bright and radiates its light.
The radish spreads seeds and I tie this rakhi to you dear brother and pray for long life.
The next lines are:
“Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala”
These lines say I tie the Rakhi that Lakshmi tied to King Bali.
O Rakhi do not fail to guard your devotee.
The brothers love their sisters unconditionally, pamper, blesses them and fills them with attractive gifts.
The aura of Raksha Bandhan is same throughout India.
Rakhi is a vibrant culture in Bengal
I was in Bengal last year during Raksha Bandhan so let me share how it is celebrated over there. It is said that the great poet Rabindranath Tagore started the celebration in West Bengal.
He wanted to promote love, unity and tried to create a harmonious society.
This Mahotsav is celebrated well in ‘Shantiniketan’, Bolpur and throughout Bengal.
This tradition is well accepted and continues till today. Even now neighbors and friends tie the sacred thread to each other.
SO NOW YOU KNOW ABOUT IT, WHAT’S NEXT NOW?
Rakhi, the thread which sister ties on brother’s hand has changed a lot with time. Now there is a huge variety of Rakhi available in the market. You get different types of rakhis, various colors and designs.
This festival is full of fun and calls for a family reunion.There is lot of love, warmth, delicious dishes, music, games and gifts.
There are moments to remember and cherish until next year.
Brothers and sisters who stay in distant land can send rakhi e-greetings, e-cards and can buy rakhis online.
Raksha Bandhan has its own significance.
It is a reason to celebrate love and bonding. Rejoice a day full of sentiments and emotions!!
** Editing this post as it is now a part of #themeblogging.
Adding links of other blogs from #festiveblogging.**