Raksha Bandhan or ‘Rakhi’ is a special occasion to celebrate the chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister, by tying a sacred thread around the wrist. This year Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on 7th August 2017.
Raksha Bandhan is recognized and celebrated among Hindus for its symbolic significance. Raksha Bandhan draws it significance from a sacred thread which is known as Rakhi. It is believed that the thread protects the one who wears it. The Rakhi is representative of the instinctive ties of sister-brother relationship. The occasion of Rakhi reinforces the sublimity of this relationship in a very endearing manner, much like the eternal nature of this bond itself. In fact, the strong conviction about the power of Rakhi to bestow longer life for the brother and protection for the sister is boosted with every advancing year.
When is the best time to tie a Rakhi?
It is recommended to observe this tradition during late afternoon according to Hindu division of the day. Raksha Bandhan rituals should not be done during Bhadra. Bhadra is malicious time which should be avoided for all auspicious work. Most Hindu religious texts, including Vratraj, advise to avoid Bhadra time to tie Rakhi during Raksha Bandhan festival.
The latest time you are allowed to tie the rakhi is 21:20PM.
It should be noted that Bhadra prevails during first half of Purnima Tithi. Hence one should wait for Bhadra to get over before starting any auspicious work. In North India it is customary to tie Rakhi in the morning which might not be suitable time to do it.
A typical ceremony to observe the day of Rakhi involves certain rituals like Aarti for the brother, with prayers of his long life, applying red Tika on the forehead before tying the Rakhi on the wrist of the brother. After the thread ceremony, the brother is treated with sweets and traditional home delicacies, usually prepared by the sister. The brother shows his affection and appreciation by presenting his sister with a gift, especially bought for the occasion.
1. The origin of Raksha Bandhan comes from the ancient times when Indrani tied a thread given to her by Lord Vishnu around her husband Lord Indra’s wrist to protect him from demons during the war between the Gods and demons.
2. Another story believes that demons won the war and captured heaven. Lord Indra, who was unhappy about this, complained to Brihaspati (guru of the gods), who then prepared a raksha sutra and told him to wear it for protection.
3. The promise of protection was seen in the Mahabharat too. It is believed that once Lord Krishna cut his finger and was bleeding profusely. Seeing this, Draupadi tore a part of her sari and tied it around his finger. This is believed to be the reason why he saved her during her cheerharan by Kaurava.
4. Rakhi saved Alexander The Great’s life. When he had invaded India, his wife Roxana had sent a rakhi to the Katoch King Porus and he had vowed to protect her and her husband. So, on the battlefield when he was about to kill Alexander he saw the rakhi and refrained from killing him.
5. The most significant story of the dedication of a brother’s promise if that of Emperor Humayun who went with his troops to Mewar when Rani Karnavati who ruled the region then asked for his help. Mewar had been attacked twice by Bahadur Shah and as a ray of hope she sent a letter to Humayun with a rakhi asking for his help. The emperor who was between a military campaign then left everything to go and protect her.