Raksha Bandhan is an annual rite performed across the Indian subcontinent, It’s a festival that illustrates the love and faith that exists in the bond between brothers and sisters. Rakhi is a thread that symbolizes love and protection a sister has for her brother. The occasion is usually celebrated on the full moon day on the Hindu month of Shravana, in India.
There are many references and stories that have led to the magnitude of the celebration of Raksha Bandhan across the country. According to Bhavishya Purana, it was said that there was a battle between Gods (led by Lord Indra) and Demons (led by King Bali). During the war, Indra was facing heavy resistance from King Bali, and the was wasn’t coming to a conclusion. Worried about the situation, Indra’s wife, Sachi went to Lord Vishnu for help and support. Lord Vishnu gave her a holy bracelet made of cotton thread. Sachi tied this around the wrist of her husband. Post this, Lord Indra defeated the demons and recovered the Amarawati. The holy bracelet given by Lord Vishnu is what bears resemblance to the modern day Rakhi.
Another reference that is made as per Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana, is that of the brother-sister bond between King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi. When Lord Vishnu had won the three worlds from demon King Bali, Lord Vishnu was asked by Bali to stay in his palace. Lord Vishnu’s wife, Goddess Lakshmi didn’t like the place and wanted to return to their native place Vaikuntha. In order for Bali to fulfil her request, she tied a rakhi to Bali and made him her brother. When asked for what she wanted in return from Bali, Goddess Lakshmi requested that her husband be freed by Bali so that they could return to Vaikutha. In order to fulfill his sister’s request, Bali let Lord Vishnu free and they returned to Vaikuntha. On another account from Mahabharat, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, tied a rakhi to Lord Krishna.
The occasion is observed as a symbolic duty of love and respect between brothers and sisters. Sisters pray for the well-being, health and prosperity of their brothers while brothers return their gesture with a token of gift, promising to protect their sisters under all circumstances.
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About The Author:
Tejas Ramachandharan is pursuing PGDM from International Management Institute Kolkata, he is an avid reader and passionate about Investment Banking.