Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Raksha Bandhan: A Bond Inviolable - Deepak Rajput

Happy Raksha Bandhan 2012

Raksha Bandhan is not just a festival in India. It’s an emotional experience. It is not just tying of a thread round the wrist of a brother by a sister. It symbolizes a never ending link. It is a symbol of a sacrosanct relationship, above any doubts and is absolutely transparent. It has many dimensions. It enriches a person’s life in many ways and also it motivates a brother to assure his sister of protection from his side.

All over India this festival is celebrated with utmost enthusiasm. Raksha Bandhan takes place on Poornima (full Moon day) of Shravan month. Our shashtras categorically mention that this festival doesn’t take place in the Bhadra of Shravani and Falguni nakshatras. This year Raksha Bandhan will take place on 2nd August. The auspicious time for tying Rakhee will be between The Sun Rise and 08.57 hrs only.

There are several mythological sagas concerning the festival of Raksha Bandhan. One of them is when the demon king, Bali, had with his religious rituals threatened the throne of Indra, the latter then sought the help of Lord Vishnu. He then came to Bali in Vaman Avtaar (Dwarf Manifestation) and asked for a donation of three steps of land. Although king Bali had made out the plan of gods, he abided by his word. Then, in one step, Vishnu covered heaven and in his second step, he took in the whole earth. Then, for the third one, Bali offered his head. By the touch of lord’s holy foot, king Bali attained salvation and reached heaven. Immensely pleased with Bali’s commitment, lord asked the demon king to get some boon in return for fulfillment of his promise. Bali asked Vishnu to remain before him day and night. Lord Vishnu became the doorkeeper of the king. Then, on advice of Narad, Lakshmi tied a thread on the wrist of king Bali and got Vishnu back to her. Vishnu’s release took place on poornima of Shravan month. The festival of Rakhee is, therefore, observed from that day.

Once, Draupadi tied a strip of her saree on the finger of Lord Krishna, when it was hurt while he was killing Shishupal. While Draupadi was being stripped before others, Lord kept her honour intact by throwing a never ending cloth around her. The incident is set to have happen at poornima of Shravan month.

Even the Moughal King, Humayun, showed his deference towards the significance of Rakhee. He didn’t take measures against the attack of Shershah Soori and went away to save and help the widow Rajpoot queen of Chittaur, Karnavati, who had sent a rakhee to Humayun.

This festival is celebrated in different ways and in different names in different states of India. In Uttarakhand it is called Shravani. In Orrisa it is called Avani Avittam. Some others call it Hariyali Teez.

All over the country, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with some variation in ritualistic performance. Notwithstanding the regional differences and some local traditions, the similarity lies in the fact in all these varieties, the festivities involved express intense joy, exalted mood and emotional vivacity.

Rakhee- thread- is not tied only by a sister on the wrist of a brother. A family purohit (Brahmin) ties it round his client’s wrist for his raksha (protection) too. At times it is also tied on the wrists of parents and elders. At some another level of interpretations, this tying of Rakhee round someone’s wrist is an avowal of one’s commitment to and identification with someone else.

The elaborate preparation of eatables and other formalities are much in practice in this festival all over India. The eatables like Kheer, Pooris, Ghevar, Halwa, Kachauri and a number of other scrumptious regional delicacies can be a source of any gourmet’s delight.

Deepak Rajput Views:-

In some regions of this country, at the time of this festival, Brahmins, even change there Janeu (the sacred thread) as it is considered to be the best day for this ritual.

While a sister is tying a Rakhee on her brother’s wrist, she puts on his forehead a tilak (mark) with paste made of turmeric, saffron and sticks some grains of rice on the mark.

In the present day context too, this festival holds lots of significance. At a time when the human beings seem to have been losing fast their emotional attachment with their loved ones and getting dehydrated of their tender feelings, this festival brings about a sure transformation of one’s self.

Mainly, this festival represents a bond- link – a commitment…What could be greater and more beautiful than a relationship between a brother and a sister!

Long back some not very educated females of the Uttarakhand tied rakhees round the tree trunks and didn’t allow the officials to fell the trees. Thus the commitment of these sisters to their brother trees came to be known as ‘Chipko Andolan’ in that region.

The glory of this festival lies in its comprehensive nature. Its facets are many and these project several aspects at an interpretative level.

Thus, the very word Raksha Bandhan stands for bond-commitment to protect someone. It means something ineluctable under any circumstances.