The name Raksha Bandhan comes from a Sanskrit word “Rakshabandhanam”. Raksha means “To protect” and bandhanam means a “Bond”. Thus, Raksha bandhan means a Bond of Protection. Raksha Bandhan is a festival widely celebrated in Northern and Western states of India. This festival falls on the full moon day of the Shravan month (generally in August); which is also considered very auspicious by Hindus.
During this day, all girls doll up in traditional attires. Boys, too, wear ethnic outfits. This festival is celebrated during the day time in accordance to the time (Mahurat) announced by the priests (Pundits). To celebrate this festival, girls tie a thread on the wrist of their brothers, praying for their good health and long life. Brothers, on the other hand, give their sisters a gift, thereby promising them to protect them during adverse situations.
Historical and Mythical beliefs for Raksha Bandhan:-
There are many mythical and historical stories that support the celebration of this festival. Let us dive in and check these out.
Story of Lord Indra and his wife Sachi:-
According to Bhavishya Puraan, when the war between gods and demons started and gods were on the verge of losing their kingdom. King of Heaven, Indra, sought their guru Brihaspati’s help to save his kingdom from demon Brutra. Brihaspati asked Indra to get a sacred thread tied on his hand by his wife Sachi. When Sachi tied this thread on her husband’s hand, the gods won the battle. According to the myth, since then the festival of Raksha Bandhan started to be celebrated.
Story of Goddess Lakshmi and King Bali:-
The legend says, that King Bali was a very generous king and was very devout towards Lord Vishnu. To please Lord Vishnu, he performed a sacrifice. Pleased on his act, Lord Vishnu accepted his request to live with him in his kingdom as a guard. When goddess Lakshmi came to know about this, she approached king Bali in the form of a poor woman and requested him to allow her to stay there till her husband returns. On the full moon day of Shravan month, she tied a sacred thread, on King Bali’s wrist and told him that she needs her husband back. King Bali understood her pain and allowed Lord Vishnu to return to his world-Vaikunth. Since then , the festival of Raksha Bandhan is said to be celebrated.
Story of Draupadi and Shri Krishna:-
According to the legend, when Shri Krishna was killing Sisupala, he accidently cut his little finger. Draupadi on seeing him bleed from his little finger, tore a piece from her saree and tied it on the bleeding finger. From then on, Shri Krishna looked upon Draupadi as his sister and promised to take care of her in all adverse condition and the world already mistakenly knows that he protected her during her Cheerharan when pandavas lost her in the game of Chaucer. In reality, Supreme God protected her through Shri Krishna.
Story of Queen Karnavati and king Humayun:-
Queen Karnavati was a widow of King Rana Sangha and ruled Mewar post her husband’s death. When she realized that she will not be able to save her kingdom from Bahadur Shah, King of Gujarat, she sent a sacred thread (Rakhi) to king Humayun asking to help her during this war. He did come to her rescue though he was late. After the war, he handed over the kingdom to Queen Karnavati’s son Vikramjeet.
These are some of the folklores behind the celebration of Raksha Bandhan.
Now let us have a look at the facts behind Raksha Bandhan:-
In Hinduism, people firmly belief that every individual has a destiny to be fulfilled and this destiny is based upon your good karmas (Punya) and bad karmas (Paap). With punya karmas people experience happiness and prosperity in their lives and with paap karmas they experience sufferings, miseries, diseases and eventually death. If a soul has a lot of paap karmas in its destiny, then no one will be able to relieve it from its sufferings. For that matter, even the three gods-Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are not capable of helping a soul from the karmas. During this, even tying a rakhi does not change the reality and a sister cannot get any help from her brother. Girls who do not have a brother, who will protect them? If the festival of Raksha Bandhan is taken into consideration, then those girls can never expect protection from anyone. Imagine the heartache, those girls must be feeling when they see other girls tying rakhi to their brothers.
Today’s world is highly unpredictable with frequent occurrences of natural and man-made disasters and accidents. When a girl ties a rakhi on her brother’s wrist she expects him to help her during adverse circumstances. The brother may not be able to help his sister if either of them dies first or if they are separated by distance. A brother may also be unable to protect his sister if he is the one responsible for her distress.
An important fact in today’s time is that, brother-sister bond has become bound only between brother-sister of the same bloodline. The same boys turn a blind eye when someone else’s sister is in trouble. Many-a-times, the same boys behave like perverts; eve-teasing others’ sisters, even molesting and raping them if they get an opportunity. India, in the present scenario has lost its values with regards the way women are treated. In our country, women are worshipped as goddesses but, the girls are brutally raped and killed by rapists. Incidents like Nirbhaya has mortified the glory India once had. Why any brother did not do anything to protect these girls from the torture? Why the rapists did not give it a thought that they too were someone’s brother and they should not be undertaking such a demonic activity? The fact is that they forgot the bond of brother-sister love. These girls would definitely have tied a Rakhi to their brothers, yet they did not get help from them? Many girls commit suicide or are killed for dowry by her in-laws. Didn’t those girls tie rakhi to their brothers? Why those girls did not get any help from their brothers?
The point to be thought over logically is; can a human really protect another human from blows that destiny gives you?
Let us have a look at who is really capable of protecting us?
When thought about this in depth, only one thing comes to my mind; only God can protect us from distress of any sort. Sant Rampal ji Maharaj, correctly states that if you really want to tie a rakhi to someone, tie it to the Supreme Lord who alone can save you not only from worldly problems but also from spiritual problems. Supreme Lord is the savior of all souls and He is the only one who can be looked upon for help during our sufferings.
Sant Rampal ji Maharaj strongly opposes these stereotypes and celebration of these festivals which do not have a strong reason for their support. It not only causes pain to those who cannot celebrate it and also leads to unnecessary expenditures undertaken by people to fulfill the rituals. Many-a-times, people borrow funds to undertake the rituals. This is insane, as one is not only obligating himself to repay the loaned amount, but also there is no guarantee of protection. No one in this world, is capable of protecting themselves, then how can they be expected to protect others? If we carefully look into the history, we will find out that in difficult times even the gods were incapable of protecting themselves. With this into consideration, expecting protection from humans is just futile. If you really want protection, take refuge of supreme almighty as only he is capable to doing anything and everything. There is no word like “IMPOSSIBLE” in his dictionary. To know who that Supreme Almighty is, kindly listen to the Spiritual discourses by Sant Rampal ji Maharaj or simply
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