Hindu Festivities

The Meaning of Rakshabandhan by Pujya Roocheeben Patel

 

raksha1Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrated during the Hindu month of Shravan to honour the special bond between a brother and sister. On this day sisters tie a rakhdi, a coloured silk thread on to their brothers right wrist, praying for their well-being and prosperity whilst the brothers promise to protect their sisters and look after them.

Once a sister ties a rakhdi on her brother, he presents her with a gift or an envelope of money as a symbol of the love and affection between siblings on this auspicious day.

Raksha Bandhan can also be observed between cousins and friends provided that male cousin or friend promises to protect (provide raksha) to their female cousin or friend just as if they were a real sister.

There are several legends that relate to the origin of Raksha Bandhan. One of the most famous is the story of King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi.

The demon King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and because of this, Lord Vishnu had taken up the task to guard Bali’s Kingdom leaving his own home in Vaikunth. The Goddess Lakshmi wanted to be with her Lord Vishnu and so went to King Bali disguised as a woman to seek refuge at his palace until her husband came home.

It was during the Shravan Purnima celebrations, that Lakshmi tied a sacred thread to King Bali. Bali was so touched by this gesture and asked Lakshmi why she had done this. Lakshmi revealed who she was and why she was there. The King was so humbled that he requested for Lord Vishnu to accompany Lakshmi. Thereafter. King Bali sacrificed everything he had for his Lord and wife.   

 

This devotion has said to have led to the tradition of sisters during Shravan Purnima to tie threads on their brothers - Raksha Bandhan      raksha2

 

In our satsang, the benos of Gunatit Jyot have kept this tradition going and rakhdis are made by hand months in advance of for this day. Our swaroopo then hold a special mahapuja to bless the rakhdis so that when these are worn by the haribhakto, the are blessed with special prayers for their raksha, just as a sister would for her brothers. The rakhdis are sent to each and every member of the samaj across the whole world. So when you receive your rakhdi this month, from Gunatit Jyot, feel the special prayers made for you and let us all reciprocate and protect our benos in return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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