“Faith, love and care lie on a brother’s hand
A sister’s rakhi is more of an emotion than just a band
The promise of togetherness from childhood to forever
Cherished on this propitious festival relishing the savor”
Yes, we are writing about the most enjoyed festival of India, the ‘RakshaBandhan’; it’s a special festival to enrich the love between a brother and a sister.
Siblings; who normally on daily routine basis annoy and irritate each other, if given a chance and two canes, can even get into a household war. But the same siblings stand firm with each other when one of between them is in a soup. They are the real partners in crime.
To rejoice such a weird (in a good manner) and a lovely bond, we celebrate ‘RakshaBandhan’. Raksha is to protect and bandhan is to pledge.
On this occasion, a sister ties a sacred thread ‘Rakhi’ symbolizing affection, care and well wishes for her brother on his hand and waves aarati in front of him.
The brother in return promises to protect her sister from every danger in each and every circumstance of her life.
Rabindranath Tagore in 1905; during the partition of Bengal, initiated and lead the mass RakshaBandhan festival to create an atmosphere of love between Hindu and Muslim.
All the women were urged to tie ‘rakhi’ to men from opposite community and make them their brothers, so that a bond of trust and care gets developed. Since then, this festival is celebrated on full moon day in the month of Shravan (Hindu calendar) every year till now.
Even though the festival started in 1905, its historical significance travels way back into the ancient India. There is a pile of stories explaining the roots and importance of RakshaBandhan in the huge library of Indian culture, so let’s take a torch and flash light on some of such stories.
The first one is the most famous story in Indian epic tale ‘Mahabharata’ which is of our beloved lord Krishna and the beautiful wife of pandavas, Draupadi; also known as Panchali. Once while Krishna was using sugarcane, he cut his little finger and it started bleeding. Panchali who was watching this, came quickly towards him, tore a piece of her saree and tied to his finger to stop it from bleeding. This concerned behavior of Draupadi melted Krishna’s heart and he promised her to protect and help her forever. Krishna kept his promise and saved Draupadi from ‘Vastraharan’.
Another tale is from the early 16Th century. Rani Karnawati of Mewar, after her husband’s death took the charge of his kingdom in the name of her son Vikramjeet. At that time the Mewar was attacked by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. For the sake of aid, Rani wrote a letter to Humayun; son of Babar and also sent a rakhi with the letter. Despite of previous rivalry of Babar with Rana Sangha (Karnawati’s husband), Humayun desperately moved his focus towards saving the kingdom of Mewar.
Well, there are many other such stories of Demon king Bali and Goddess Laxmi, Yama the God of death and the Yamuna River, Roxana (Alexander’s wife) and King Porus, The birth of Santoshi ma, etc.
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The stories might be from different eras but their sole purpose lies the same. Hence, even though it is stated as a festival of brother and sisters, it is not necessary that they should have shared a same bloodline.
Any two people who want to bestow a respect and love of brotherhood with each other can celebrate this festival.
In India many women send ‘Rakhis’ on border for our treasured soldiers as they are the major protectors.
Many schools celebrate this festival to instill, share and care values in children from an early stage.
Apart from this religious and traditional importance, this festival boosts the fun for the sisters as they get precious gifts from their beloved brothers, but not without having to plead to their brothers for the same.
May your affection for your brother or sister rise with each pillow fight you have.
Happy RakshaBandhan in advance!
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-Written by Rutuja Daphale (Intern at BOLDBLUSH)
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