Raksha Bandhan: History & Importance of Rakhi
Raksha Bandhan is an occasion that is celebrated by many Indians irrespective of their religion as the essence of the festival trumps all.
The festival marks the connection between brothers and sisters and their love for the other. Though siblings are never pleased with having each other at a younger age as it means sharing things, most grow up to have a close relation. Right from defending the other to covering up for your siblings, the bond shared between brothers and sisters is a unique one. As this lovely day of Raksha Bandhan is around the corner, let’s look at the history of Raksha Bandhan and how it came to be.
What Is Raksha Bandhan?
The auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan commemorates the bond between brothers and sisters and the years spent caring for each other. It is also an occasion when siblings exchange gifts after the ritual of tying a rakhi to the wrist of the brother is over. A lot of men do not take off the rakhi for a couple of days so as to honour their sister’s love. Many women, who are away from home or have been married away, travel to their brother’s place to celebrate this occasion and spend quality time with them.
History of Raksha Bandhan
There are many stories behind Raksha Bandhan that recounts the celebration or mentions it in Indian history. There is a legend in Hinduism which says that Draupadi had torn off a piece of her saree and tied it to Lord Krishna’s wrist that was injured in a fight with King Shishupal. This gesture of affection and concern for Lord Krishna’s well-being was returned when Draupadi needed help against the Kauravas. Another such story depicts the importance of rakhi when Rani Karnawati called upon Emperor Humayun for protection against the invasion of her kingdom. The queen had sent forth a rakhi to the emperor who rushed to her aid with his troops to fight the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah. Such history behind Raksha Bandhan tells a lot about the importance of the bond shared by siblings.
On Which Hand Rakhi is Tied?
Many people wonder on which hand is rakhi tied and the importance of this. The rakhi is always tied on the right hand and never on the left. The significance of tying the rakhi or the thread on the right wrist has many reasons. Some state that in Hinduism the left hand is not considered as good because it is used for the purpose of cleaning. This is why various auspicious rituals are done with the right hand.
The ritual of Raksha Bandhan involves a thali containing chawal, roli, sweets, rakhi and a diya (oil lamp). First, the sister puts a tilak on the brother’s forehead, followed by the aarti. Then, she ties the rakhi on the brother’s right wrist and feeds him some sweets. The brother, in return, promises to care and protect her and presents her a gift.
Happy Raksha Bandhan to you and your family! Make sure to give personalised rakhi gifts to your siblings and bring joy on this special day.