Raksha Bandhan importance and Date 2019 : The bonding between a sister and brother is unique and beyond description in words. The love and relationship between siblings are astonishing and in every part of the world, it is given importance. Moreover, when it comes to India, the relationship becomes all the more vital since there is a festival known as ‘Raksha Bandhan’ dedicated to the love of brother and sister.
What is Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi)
Raksha Bandhan is a special festival celebrated by Hindus all over India as well as in Nepal for symbolizing the priceless love between a sister and a brother. The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in the month of Shravana on the full moon day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar which usually falls in the month of August of Gregorian calendar.
# Raksha Bandhan, 2019:
In 2019, this festival will be celebrated on the 15th of August.
Raksha Bandhan Meaning
Raksha Bandhan is made using two words, ‘Raksah’ and ‘Bandhan’. According to the terminology of Sanskrit, the occasion means ‘the knot or tie of protection’ where ‘Raksha’ means protection and ‘Bandhan’ signifies the verb to tie. Jointly, the festival represents the everlasting love of brother and sister which does not mean only the blood relationships. This festival also celebrated among cousins, sister-in-law (Bhabhi), sister, nephew (Bhatija), fraternal aunt (Bua) and other such relations.
Raksha Bandhan Importance in Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism
In India, there is a great importance of Raksha Bandhan among various religions.
- Hinduism: The festival is chiefly celebrated by the Hindus in the northern as well as western parts of India along with nations such as Nepal and Mauritius.
- Sikhism: This festival is based on the love between brother and sister and is observed by the Sikhs as ‘Rakhari’ or ‘Rakhardi’.
- Jainism: The occasion of Raksha Bandhan is also valued by the Jain community where Jain priests give ritual threads to the devotees.
Raksha Bandhan Festival Origin
Raksha Bandhan is known to originate many years ago and there are various stories that are related to the celebration of this festival. Some of the different accounts related to Hindu mythology are given below:
- King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi
According to the Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana when from the demon King Bali Lord Vishnu won the three worlds he asked by the devil king to stay beside him in the palace. The Lord accepted his request and started living with him. Whereas, the wife of Lord Vishnu Goddess Lakshmi wanted to return to Vaikuntha, their native place. That’s why she ties a Rakhi around the wrist of Bali, demon king and made him brother. As a return gift, Goddess Lakshmi asked him to free her husband from swears. Bali agreed to the request and let Lord Vishnu return to his native place with Goddess Lakshmi.
- Krishna and Draupadi:
Bases on Mahabharat, wife of Pandavas Draupadi, tied a rakhi to Lord Krishna whereas before the epic war Kunti tied the rakhi to grandson Abhimanyu for his protection.
- Yama and the Yamuna:
One more story is that Yama who is the death God did not visit his sister Yamuna for 12 years who eventually became very sad. So, on the advice of Ganga, Yama want to meet Yammuna who was very happy and performed the hospitality of Yama. This made the Yama very happy who asked the Yamuna for a gift. She expressed her wish to see Yama again and again. Hearing this, Yama made Yamuna immortal so that he can see her again and again. This legendary account forms the basis of the festival known as ‘Bhai Dooj’ which is also based on the relationship between brother and sister.
- Santoshi Maa:
It is said the Shubh and Labh, the two sons of Lord Ganesha were frustrated that they had no sister. So, from their father, they asked for a sister who lastly obliged to their sister on the interference of saint Narada. That’s how Lora Ganesha through the divine flames created Santoshi Maa and on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan Shubh and Labh got their sister.
Therefore, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is seen as a symbol of duty between sisters and brothers. This occasion is meaning for celebrating of the brother-sister relationship as well as between men and women who might not be related biologically.
On this auspicious day, a sister ties a rakhi around the wrist of her brother and prays for his health, well-being and prosperity. In return, brother offers promises and gifts for protecting his sisters from harm under every situation.
Aira Goldsmith is a graduate of Parsons School of Design. She’s based in NYC but travels much of the year. Aira has written for Buzz Feed, Motherboard, The Financial Post, and the Huffington Post. Aira is a business reporter, focusing on technology and markets.