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Happy Raksha Bandhan

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The month of August brings to us more than just the season of rain: monsoon, It brings the joyful festival of the siblings Raksha Bandhan, It’s a Hindu festival, celebration of the bond between a brother and the sister, where a sister prays to the almighty to protect his brother from all the troubles and hard times and in exchange the brother vows to protect his sister till the last breath. To present the gesture of all the happy and generous thoughts the sister ties the colorful sacred threads on the wrist of the brother. 

The full moon day which is also known as Poornima of the Shravan month is the day when this festival of Raksha Bandhan. This also coincides with the Upa-Karma which is the sacred ceremony of brahmins when they change the Yagnopaveetam (sacred thread worn across the chest). Raksha Bandhan as per Sanskrit terminology stands for Raksha: to protect Bandhan: to tie and the word rakhi is also derived from the Sanskrit word “rakshika” which also denotes Raksha: protection. 

Sanskrit shloka that justifies the feelings of a sister tying rakhi to her brother:

येन बद्धो बलिराजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबल:। तेन त्वामपि बध्नामि रक्षे मा चल मा चल 

Translation for the shloka goes like this:
“I bind you with the same thread that the great powerful Danavendra king Bali was bound. O Raksha (Rakhi)! May you remain steadfast (Never be distracted by your resolve.)”

The bond of sister and brother is being cherished from ages and in different cultures of India, there are some uniques styles of celebrating this day. One thing which is common is that in every culture the feelings are mutual. It is one such festival that is celebrated by people of all the caste and religion. Raksha Bandhan is not restricted or bound by blood. We can take reference from history when the queen Karnavati sent rakhi to Emperor Humayun and asked for her help when the Chittor was invaded by the Bahadur Shah and it is said that despite being from different culture emperor came to queens rescue, respecting her gesture.

There are many mythological stories as well and the most famous one is the story from the account of Mahabharata. Krishna one day, accidentally cut his finger and Draupadi without giving a second thought ripped a piece out of her saree and tied it on Krishna’s finger, delighted by the gesture Krishna vowed to protect her.

It’s a warm gesture where the moral, spiritual value is shared for the lifetime. This festival is dedicated to the feelings that make two people be selfless for one another. Sister’s even being away from home after marriage visits their brothers and keep on performing the ritual for the safety and prosperity of her brother.

We wish a very Happy Raksha Bandhan to all the brothers and sisters out there and hope that they will keep on celebrating the festival of love and affection for many upcoming seasons.

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