Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan
Examples of Rakhi.
Official name Raksha Bandhan
Also called Rakhi
Observed by Hindus
Date Purnima (full moon) of Shraavana
2011 date 13 August
Related to Sibling
Friendship

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Raksha Bandhan (Hindi: रक्षाबंधन), (Gujarati: રક્ષા બંધન), (the bond of protection), or Rakhi (Hindi: राखी, Bengali রাখী,), is a festival primarily observed in India, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is also called Rakhi Purnima in certain parts of India, like the south.[1][2] The festival is observed by Hindus and Jains.[3][4][5] The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother's wrist. This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her.[6][7] The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar.[6][8][9][10] It grew in popularity after Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a rakhi to the Mughal emperor Humayun when she required his help.[5]

Contents

Observance

A Rakhi tied on the wrist.

The festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread, by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her as she presents sweets to him. The brother and sister traditionally feed one another sweets. Since north Indian kinship practices give cousins a status similar to siblings, girls and women often tie the rakhi to their male cousins as well (referred to as "cousin-brothers" in regional parlance) in several communities.[11][12] Unrelated boys and men who are considered to be brothers (munh-bola bhai or adopted brothers) can be tied rakhis, provided they commit to a lifelong obligation to provide protection to the woman or girl.[13] Additionally, in cases when a sister is out of town, then another sister or cousin may tie a second Rakhi in her place.

Historical occurrences and mentions

Santoshi Ma

Jai Santoshi Maa. Ganesh had two sons, Shubh and Labh. On Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh's sister visited and tied a rakhi on Ganesh's wrist. Feeling and his two wives, Riddhi and Siddhi, for a sister. Finally, Ganesh conceded the demand, and Santoshi Ma (literally the Mother Goddess of Satisfaction) was created by divine flames that emerged from Riddhi and Siddhi.[14]

Krishna and Draupadi

Another incident from the epic Mahabharat concerns Krishna and Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. She had once torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna's wrist to staunch the bleeding from a battlefield wound. Krishna was touched by her action and declared her to be his sister, even though they were unrelated. He promised to repay the debt and then spent the next 25 years doing just that. Draupadi, in spite of being married to five great warriors and being a daughter of a powerful monarch, trusted and depended wholly on Krishna. Krishna repaid the debt of love during the "Cheer-Haran" (literally "clothing-removing") of Draupadi, which occurred in the assembly of King Dhritarashtra when Yudhisthira lost her to the Kauravas in gambling. At that time, Krishna indefinitely extended her saree through divine intervention, so it could not be removed, to save her honor. This is how he honored his rakhi vow toward Draupadi.[15]

King Bali and Goddess Laxmi

According to a legend the Demon King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu had taken up the task to guard his kingdom leaving his own abode in Vaikunth. Goddess Lakshmi wished to be with her lord back in her abode. She went to Bali disguised as a woman to seek refuge till her husband came back.

During the Shravan Purnima celebrations, Lakshmi tied the sacred thread to the King. Upon being asked, she revealed who she was and why she was there. The king was touched by her goodwill for his family and her purpose and requested the Lord to accompany her. He sacrificed all he had for the Lord and his devoted wife.

Thus devotion to the Lord. It is said that since then it has been a tradition to invite sisters in Shravan Purnima for the thread tying ceremony or the Raksha Bandhan.[16]

Yama and the Yamuna

According to another legend, Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna, (the river in northern India). Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved by the serenity of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection, will become immortal.

Alexander the Great and King Puru

According to one legendary narrative, when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BC, Roxana (or Roshanak, his wife) sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with tradition, Porus, a Katoch king, gave full respect to the rakhi. On the battlefield, when Porus was about to deliver a final blow to Alexander, he saw the rakhi on his own wrist and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.[17]

Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun

A popular narrative that is centered around Rakhi is that of Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun, which dates to 1535 CE. When Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, realised that she could not defend against the invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a Rakhi to Emperor Humayun. Touched, the Emperor immediately set off with his troops to defend Chittor.[18] Humayun arrived too late, and Bahadur Shah managed to sack the Rani's fortress. Karnavati, along with a reported 13,000 other women in the fortress, carried out Jauhar on March 8, 1535, killing themselves to avoid dishonor while the men threw the gates open and rode out on a suicidal charge against Bahadur Shah's troops.[19][20] When he reached Chittor, Humayun evicted Bahadur Shah from fort and restored the kingdom to Karnavati's son, Vikramjit Singh.[19] Although contemporary commentators and memoirs do not mention the Rakhi episode and some historians have expressed skepticism about it, it is mentioned in one mid-seventeenth century Rajasthani account.[21]

Other festivals on this day

In southern & Central parts of India including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Orissa, this day (i.e. Shravan Poornima day), is when the Brahmin community performs the rituals of Avani Avittam or Upakarma.

Balarama Jayanti

This is also celebrated as Shri Baladeva birth Ceremony. Lord Krishna's elder Brother Prabhu Balarama was born on this Poornima.[22][23]

Raksha Bandhan celebrations in India and Nepal

While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated all over the country, different parts of the country mark the day in different ways.

In Nepal, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on shravan purnima. It is also called Janai Purnima (Janai is sacred thread and purnima means full moon). Janai is changed in this day, in Brahmins and Kshetry families. A sacred thread is tied on wrist by senior family members and relatives. Nepalese people enjoy this festival, eating its special food "Kwati", a soup of sprout of seven different grains.[24][25][26]

Rakhi Purnima

Rakhi is celebrated as Rakhi Purnima in North India. The word "Purnima" means a full moon night.[27][28] p>Ǣ♣

Gamha Purnima

Rakhi is also celebrated as Gamha Purnima in Orissa. On this date, all the domesticated Cows and Bullocks are decorated and worshipped. Various kinds of country-made cakes called Pitha and sweets mitha are made and distributed within families, relatives and friends. In Orissan Jagannath culture, the lord Krishna & Radha enjoy the beautiful rainy season of Shravana starting from Shukla Pakhya Ekadashi (usually 4 days before Purnima) and ending on Rakhi Purnima with a festival called Jhulan Yatra. Idols of Radha-Krishna are beautifully decorated on a swing called Jhulan, hence the name Jhulan Yatra.[29][30]

Narali Purnima

In western India and parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa this day is celebrated as Narali Purnima. On this day, an offering of a coconut (naral in Marathi) is made to the sea, as a mark of respect to Lord Varuna, the God of the Sea. Narali Purnima marks the beginning of the fishing season and the fishermen, who depend on the sea for a living, make an offering to Lord Varuna so that they can reap bountiful fish from the sea.[31]

Jandhyam Poornima

Jandhyam is Sanskrit for sacred thread, and Poornima denotes the full moon in Sanskrit.[32][33][34]

The people of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, celebrate Raksha Bandhan and Janopunyu(जन्यो पुन्यु) on the Shravani Purnima, it is a day on which people change their janeu जनेयु or जन्यो (sacred thread). On this day, the famous Bagwal fair is held at Devidhura in district Champawat. Punyu in Kumauni means Purnima or full moon it is the purnima in which the sacred thread Janeu or Janyo is ceremonially changed. The Raksha Bandhan celebrations are similar all across North India. The thread changing ceremony is done all over India.[35][36][37]

Kajari Purnima

In central parts of India such as Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkand and Bihar this day is celebrated as Kajari Purnima. It is an important day for the farmers and women blessed with a son. On the ninth day after Shravana Amavasya, the preparations of the Kajari festival start. This ninth day is called Kajari Navami and varied rituals are performed by women who have sons until Kajri Purnima or the full moon day.[38][39][40]

Pavitropana

In parts of Gujarat, this day is celebrated as Pavitropana. On this day, people perform the grand pooja or the worship of Lord Shiva. It is the culmination of the prayers done throughout the year.[41][42][43][44][45]

Jhulan Purnima, Poonal/Jandhya Poornima/ Janyu

According to Bengali Culture & Celebration, in the state of West Bengal (India), this day is also called Jhulan Purnima there pray & puja of Lord Krishna & Radha. Sister tied rakhi to Brother and bestowed immortality. Political Parties, Offices, Friends, Schools to colleges, Street to Palace celebrate today with a new hope for a good relationship. Brahmins in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Konkan, and Orissa change their sacred threads on the same day (Janayu, called as Poonal in Tamil, Jandhyam in Sanskrit).[46][47][48]

References

  1. ^ K. Moti Gokulsing, Wimal Dissanayake (2009-02-04), Popular culture in a globalised India, Taylor & Francis, 2009, ISBN 9780415476676, http://books.google.com/books?id=5oT-OIKadyoC, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... Raksha Bandhan: A popular Hindu festival of India where sister ties a thread on brother's wrist, seeking protection ..." 
  2. ^ Sylvie Langlaude (2007), The right of the child to religious freedom in international law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007, ISBN 9789004162662, http://books.google.com/books?id=PeSvEHvjoNoC, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... certain festivals which many Sikhs share with Hindus (namely Divali and Rakhri) ..." 
  3. ^ Ellen Grigsby (1960), The March of India, Volume 12, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India), http://books.google.com/?id=rhjoAAAAMAAJ&q=Raksha+Bandhan+Muslim&dq=Raksha+Bandhan+Muslim, retrieved 2011-08-16, "In fact, the popular practice of Raksha Bandhan has its historical associations also. The Rajput queens practised the custom of sending rakhi threads to neighbouring rulers, Hindu as token of brotherhood and good ..." 
  4. ^ Misbah Nayeem Quadri (August 5, 2009), "Rakhi strengthens communal ties", DNA India, ISBN 9780852297605, http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_rakhi-strengthens-communal-ties_1279825, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... But even today, in many cities across the country, Hindu girls tie rakhi on the wrist of Muslim youths they consider their brothers and Muslim girls, likewise, tie rakhi on the wrist of Hindu boys ..." 
  5. ^ a b "Rakhi: Symbol of secularism". The Economic Times. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2008-08-16/news/27715450_1_raksha-bandhan-rakhi-hindu-festival. Retrieved 2007–03–25. "Raksha Bandhan is a secular festival, say liberal Muslims who have no qualms about celebrating it within and outside the community. Even the ulema has given its nod of approval. “We should not forget that historically, the festival became popular after Rani Karnawati, the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a rakhi to the Mughal emperor Humayun when she required his help,’’ says eminent cleric Maulana Abu Hassan Nadvi Azhari. “Islam favours everything that promotes peace and harmony. Raksha Bandhan cannot be associated with one particular religion. It is a secular festival and Muslims should not have a problem accepting a rakhi.’’" 
  6. ^ a b Raksha Bandhan, BBC, 2009-08-28, http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/holydays/raksha.shtml, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... when a woman ties a rakhi around the hand of a man it becomes obligatory for him to honour his religious duty and protect her ..." 
  7. ^ Dale Hoiberg, Indu Ramchandani, Students' Britannica India, Popular Prakashan, 2000, ISBN 9780852297605, http://books.google.com/books?id=AE_LIg9G5CgC, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... Raksha Bandhan (also called Rakhi), when girls and women tie a rakhi (a symbolic thread) on their brothers' wrists and pray for their prosperity,happiness and goodwill. The brothers, in turn, give their sisters a token gift and promise protection ..." 
  8. ^ Festivals - Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan) UCLA.
  9. ^ Rakhi: The Thread of Love About the Raksha Bandhan Festival.
  10. ^ Shravan Purnima ~ Hindu Blog
  11. ^ Christine Moorcroft (1995-03-31), Folens religious education, Folens Limited, 1995, ISBN 9781852763978, http://books.google.com/books?id=yg-OXEpbWYcC, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... sisters tie to their brothers' or male cousins' wrists ..." 
  12. ^ Alison Shaw (2009-01), Negotiating risk: British Pakistani experiences of genetics, Berghahn Books, 2009, ISBN 9781845455484, http://books.google.com/books?id=BIL6Xrk_2jcC, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... in Urdu and Panjabi the full kinship terms for cousin mean, literally, the brother or sister born to a maternal or paternal aunt or uncle ... he's my 'cousin-brother' or she's my 'cousin-sister' ..." 
  13. ^ Edward Balfour (1885), The cyclopaedia of India and of eastern and southern Asia, Volume 2, B. Quaritch, 1885, http://books.google.com/books?id=yvNWAAAAMAAJ, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... Muh-Bola-Bhai. Hind. An adopted brother ... Brother-making; Rakhi ..." 
  14. ^ Robert L. Brown (1991), Ganesh: studies of an Asian god, SUNY Press, 1991, ISBN 9780791406564, http://books.google.com/books?id=oF-Hqih3pBAC, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... The boys are jealous, as they, unlike their father, have no sister with whom to tie the rakhi. They and the other women plead with their father, but to no avail; but then Narada appears and convinces Ganesa that the creation of an illustrious daughter ... a flame that engenders Santoshi Ma ..." 
  15. ^ Gambit, Volume 3, 1965, http://books.google.com/books?id=bWtaAAAAMAAJ, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... the great blue god Krishna who first put meaning into the rakhi. Listen. He had cut his wrist in the field and it was bleeding. Everybody went running here and there for something to bind his hand with. But Queen Draupadi, wife of the Pandava, without any hesitation tore a strip from her beautiful saree and tied up the ..." 
  16. ^ Scientific Details about Raksha Bandhan
  17. ^ India cultures quarterly, Volume 25, School of Research, Leonard Theological College, 1968, 1968-01-01, http://books.google.com/books?id=BBvjAAAAMAAJ, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... They themselves took her to Porus and there she performed the ceremony of raksha bandhan ..." 
  18. ^ History and Significance of Raksha Bandhan Raksha-Bandhan.com
  19. ^ a b Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, 2009, 2009-05-01, ISBN 9788120740747, http://books.google.com/books?id=oGVSvXuCsyUC, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... Rani Karnavati with 13,000 women shut themselves into a vault filled with gunpowder, which they set alight, and they passed into eternity ..." 
  20. ^ Sylvia A. Matheson, Roloff Beny (1984-10), Rajasthan, land of kings, Vendome Press, 1984, ISBN 9780865650466, http://books.google.com/books?id=dCVuAAAAMAAJ, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... With no time to prepare a sufficiently huge funeral pyre, Karnavati led thousands of women and children, clad in bridal gowns and jewellery, to underground magazines and storerooms full of gunpowder ... The remaining warriors, carrying the changi, the Mewar royal insignia of a golden sun on black peacock-feathers, charged to their final mortal combat with the attackers ..." 
  21. ^ Satish Chandra (2005), Medieval India: from Sultanat to the Mughals, Volume 2, Har-Anand Publications, 2005, ISBN 9788124110669, http://books.google.com/books?id=0Rm9MC4DDrcC, retrieved 2011-08-16, "... According to a mid-seventeenth century Rajasthani account, Rani Karnavati, the Rana's mother, sent a bracelet as rakhi to Humayun, who gallantly responded and helped. Since none of the contemporary sources mention this, little credit can be given to this story ..." 
  22. ^ Balaram Jayanti
  23. ^ Balaram Jayanti 2010
  24. ^ The Himalayan Times : Janai Purnima today - Detail News : Nepal News Portal
  25. ^ Janai Purnima,nepal culture, nepal family festivals, nepal religionnepal tourism festivals - colorfulnepal.com
  26. ^ http://www.nepalhomepage.com/society/festivals/janaipurnima.html
  27. ^ Rakhi : Rakhi Purnima : Rakhi : Rakhsa Bandhan : rakhi
  28. ^ Rakhi Purnima 2011 : Rakhi
  29. ^ http://www.orissa.gov.in/portal/LIWPL/event_archive/Events_Archives/89RakshaBandhan_GamhaPurnima.pdf
  30. ^ Lord Jagannath: Festivals - Gamha Purnima,Festival of lord jagannath, Jagannath Puri, Jagannath Temple | orissa.oriyaonline.com
  31. ^ Narali Poornima/ Coconut Festival
  32. ^ Jandhyala Purnima ~ Hindu Blog
  33. ^ I Love Hyderabad
  34. ^ Sacred Thread Changing Festival in India | A blog by Rakesh HP
  35. ^ Janopunya Festival Uttarakhand Janopunya Festival Tour Uttarakhand Tourism Uttarakhand Fairs and Festivals Uttarakhand Tour Packages
  36. ^ Fairs and Festivals :: About Uttaranchal - Maps, Tours, Holidays & Tourist Destinations, News, Jobs, Business Listing | eBharat - Discover Bharat
  37. ^ Uttaranchal, Information about Uttaranchal Festival, Uttaranchal Festivals
  38. ^ Vittal sangh: Rakhi Purnima festival 2010 date is on 24th August 2010, Tuesday
  39. ^ Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas
  40. ^ Raksha Bandhan - Mythology
  41. ^ Pavitropana,Pavitropana Festival
  42. ^ PAvitropAna - PutradA EkAdasi
  43. ^ Pavitra Ekadashi 2011 – Pavitropana Ekadasi ~ Hindu Blog
  44. ^ Pavitropana Ekadasi
  45. ^ Pavitra Ekadashi Vrat - How To Observe Pavitropana Ekadashi Vrat, Story Of Pavitra Ekadashi Fasting
  46. ^ Jhulan Purnima | Puri Waves
  47. ^ Poonal/Guru Nanak
  48. ^ Yagnjopaveetham (Poonal)

External links



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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Raksha Bandhan — (Hindi, m., रक्शा बंधन, rakśā bandhan, wörtl.: „schützende Verbindung“) auch Rakhi Purnima (Purnima wörtl: Vollmond) oder einfach Rakhi genannt, ist ein wichtiger Feiertag im Hinduismus. Besonders im Norden von Indien populär findet er nach… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Raksha Bandhan — Le Raksha bandhan est une fête indienne qui célèbre le lien de fraternité qui unit deux êtres humains, qu ils soient frère et sœur dans la vie de famille, ou qu ils soient de sincères amis, comme frère et sœur. Ce lien est représenté par un petit …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Raksha bandhan — Le Raksha bandhan est une fête indienne qui célèbre le lien de fraternité qui unit deux êtres humains, qu ils soient frère et sœur dans la vie de famille, ou qu ils soient de sincères amis, comme frère et sœur. Ce lien est représenté par un petit …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Raksha — In Hindi, Raksha means protection . This word is derived from the Sanskrit language.Raksha is the basic spirit with which the festival Rakshabandhan is celebrated in India. In this festival, a sister ties a string, known as Rakhi, around the… …   Wikipedia

  • Bhai Dooj — Raksha Bandhan (Hindi, m., रक्शा बंधन, rakśā bandhan, wörtl.: „schützende Verbindung“) auch Rakhi Purnima (Purnima wörtl: Vollmond) oder einfach Rakhi genannt, ist ein wichtiger Feiertag im Hinduismus. Besonders im Norden von Indien populär… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Rakhi — Raksha Bandhan (Hindi, m., रक्शा बंधन, rakśā bandhan, wörtl.: „schützende Verbindung“) auch Rakhi Purnima (Purnima wörtl: Vollmond) oder einfach Rakhi genannt, ist ein wichtiger Feiertag im Hinduismus. Besonders im Norden von Indien populär… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rakhi Purnima — Raksha Bandhan (Hindi, m., रक्शा बंधन, rakśā bandhan, wörtl.: „schützende Verbindung“) auch Rakhi Purnima (Purnima wörtl: Vollmond) oder einfach Rakhi genannt, ist ein wichtiger Feiertag im Hinduismus. Besonders im Norden von Indien populär… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rakshabandhan — Raksha Bandhan (Hindi, m., रक्शा बंधन, rakśā bandhan, wörtl.: „schützende Verbindung“) auch Rakhi Purnima (Purnima wörtl: Vollmond) oder einfach Rakhi genannt, ist ein wichtiger Feiertag im Hinduismus. Besonders im Norden von Indien populär… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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