Raksha Bandhan Essay
Many festivals are celebrated in India with pomp and show. However, Raksha Bandhan is one festival which is simple in nature, but it has a great significance in the life of Hindu men and women.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan (July-August). It is also known by many other names, such as Rakhi, Rakhri, Lakhri, Saluno etc. It is not exactly known how this festival came to be celebrated. There is a tale in the Puranas that once in the battle between gods and demons, the demons were winning. At that time, Indrani, the wife of God Indra, tied a charmed thread round Indra’s wrist. With this, Indra grew very powerful and defeated the demons.
At present, it is a sort of sisters’ day, when a sister ties a sacred thread, called rakhi, round the wrist of her brother. The festival symbolises the love and affection that binds sisters to their brothers.
Many days before this festival, stalls are set up in the markets on which beautiful and colourful rakhis are displayed. These stalls are thronged by women of all ages who buy these rakhis for their brothers. At the same time, the sweets shops display their mouth-watering sweets.
On the full moon day of Shravan, a girl rises early. She takes a bath and gets ready in her best dress. By then her brother is also ready. She puts a rakhi and sweets in a plate. Covering her head with a dupatta, she sits before her brother. She puts a saffron tilak and daubs rice on his forehead. Then she ties the colourful rakhi on his wrist. Then she picks up a piece of sweetmeat and playfully stuffs it in his mouth.
The brother, in turn, puts some money or other gift in the plate as a mark of his affection. He also pledges to guard her honour and self-respect until the last drop of his blood. At this time, the girl blesses her brother with long life, progress and prosperity.
If any brother is not present in the company of his sister due to any reason, the sister sits in the morning to pray for him, while the brother ties the rakhi, sent by his sister, on his wrist himself, or gets it tied by another girl.
No matter where a brother may be on this day, he must tie the rakhi round his wrist. The sanctity of this festival can be seen from the fact that if a girl ties a rakhi on the wrist of a young man totally stranger to her, both of them regard each other as brother and sister to the end of their lives and consider themselves closer than all other blood relations. The brother wears the rakhi on his wrist until the evening.
This may not be a very happy day for those sisters who have no brothers, or those brothers who have no sisters, but then, they tie or get tied rakhis and thus enter a sacred bond of brother and sister with other people.