On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan festival, jollyhoo.com extends its warm wishes to all sisters and brothers.
Raksha Bandhan is one of India’s oldest traditional festival. Rakhi or Raksha is a sacred thread embellished with sister’s love and affection for her brother. On the day of Raksha Bandhan sisters tie Rakhi on their brother’s wrist and express their love for him. By accepting a Rakhi from a sister a brother gladly takes on the responsibility of protecting her sister. In Indian tradition the frail thread of Rakhi is considered stronger than iron chains as it binds brothers and sisters in an inseparable bond of love and trust.
The festival is also called Baleva because of Bali Raja’s devotion to the Lord.
There are many references to the significance of the Rakhi festival in Vaishnava Theology.
The origin of this festival is usually traced back to the historical incidents of Indra’s fight with Vritra-Indra that resulted in Indra’s loss. Then, his wife had tied a thread around his wrist and empowered it with divine powers to make sure Indra emerged victorious in the duel that followed.
Krishna and Draupadi
Another incident is the one that concerns Krishna and Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. She had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna’s wrist to stop the flow of blood Krishna was so touched by her action that he found himself bound to her by love. He promised to repay the debt.
Krishna paid the debt of love during Vastra haran of Draupadi in the assembly of King Dritrashtra,when Yudishter her husband lost her in gamble. At that time Krishna divinely extended her saree to save her from being disrobed.
King Bali and Goddess Laxmi
According to 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 Brahmin 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 the festival is also called Baleva that is Bali Raja’s 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.
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. Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality on him. 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.