Raksha Bandhan Festival – Bond of protection, love and togetherness.

In which other country do you have a festival where brothers vow to protect sisters?

Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun is the most significant evidence in history. Around the 15th century, there were frequent wars. Rakhi was a spiritual bond and protection of sisters was foremost. When Rani Karnavati the widowed queen of Chittor was defenceless against the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a Rakhi to Emperor Humayun. Touched by this gesture he abandoned an ongoing military campaign to ride to her rescue.

Other legends include how Draupadi once tore a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna’s index finger to stop the flow of blood. The Lord was so touched by her action that he promised to repay the debt. He aided Draupadi during “Vastra-Haran”. The creator of all ‘maya’  indefinitely extended her saree, in another instance he gifted Draupadi an utensil that would satisfy the hunger of any number of guests and so on.

Another legend states the bond between the great devotee of Lord Vishnu and the great demon emperor Bali or Mahabali (grandson of Prahlada) and Goddess Laxmi – and how the Lord while subduing Bali in the Vamana avatar granted him the boon to visit his land (Kerala) once a year and also promised him the role of the eigth Indra. Goddess Laxmi tied a thread on the wrist of the great devotee.

Again the God of death Yama used to have a thread tied on his wrist by Yamuna – his sister. The Yama promised immortality to anyone getting a rakhi tied and promising his sister protection.

There is another legend associated with King Porus and Alexander’s ‘Indian’ wife Roxana or Roshanak – but I guess that has got more patriotism than truth to it 🙂

Rakhi is celebrated as Rakhi Purnima in North and South India. It is also celebrated as Grahma Purnima in Orissa. On this date all the domesticated Cows and Bullocks are decorated and worshipped. In parts of western India the day is celebrated as Nariyal Purnima. An offering of a coconut (nariyal) is made to Lord Varuna, the God of the Sea and it marks the beginning of the fishing season. The people of the Kumaon, Uttarakhand, celebrate it as a day on which people change their sacred thread. In Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkand and Bihar this day is celebrated as Kajari Purnima. In parts of Gujarat, this day is celebrated as Pavitropana. On this day people perform the grand pooja or ritual or the worship of Lord Shiva.

In Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of celebrating Raksha Bandhan was a celebration of mankind and of humanity. In 1905 when the British decided to divide Bengal Tagore arranged Raksha Bandhan to be celebrated to strengthen the bond of love and togetherness between the Hindus and the Muslims and unite them in the fight against the British.

We all should learn from The great Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s vision…  the bond of love and togetherness should prevail in the society. Raskha Bandhan festival are worth inculcating by the whole human race, the sentiments of harmony and peaceful coexistence. We all need a “PEACE”… !!

Celebrate Raksha Bandhan on 24th August 2010, gift a holiday voucher this Rakhi festival, your sister is looking forward to it, read her mind ! Contact your travel consultant for travel voucher metu@toshali.in Post your comment, how are you going to spend your Raksha Bandhan..

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