Raksha Bandhan 2018, significance and history of the festival
The festival of Raksha Bandhan or the ‘bond of protection’ is all about the love between brothers and sisters. On this occasion, a girl or a woman puts a tilak on her brother’s forehead and ties a rakhi around his wrist in a ritual that reaffirms the bond and support of her brother(s).
She receives a gift from her brother(s) and traditionally endows them with a responsibility to care for her.
When a girl/woman ties a rakhi around her brother’s wrist, he promises to protect her from all the problems in life and gives her his blessings.
History and significance of rakhi
Rakhi has a lot of stories around them. During the Mahabharata, it is believed that Draupadi tied a rakhi on Krishna’s wrist when he had injured his finger while using his sudarshan chakra against the king Shishupalal. While Krishna’s hand was bleeding, Draupadi tore a piece from her sari and tied it around his hand. In return, Krishna vowed that he would always be there to protect Draupadi.
Raksha Bandhan is observed on the last day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Shravan.
Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore started a mass Raksha Bandhan festival during the Partition of Bengal (1905), in which he encouraged Hindu and Muslim women to tie a rakhi on men from the other community and make them their brothers. The exercise was designed to counter British efforts to create a divide between Hindus and Muslims.
The best time to tie rakhi is said to be during Aparahna , which is normally during the afternoon period. However, if that is not possible then it can be tied during the Pradosh time period (starts at sunset and lasts upto 96 minutes after that).
However, the scriptures say that tying the rakhi should not take place during the Bhadra phase (late evening and early morning- it differs from time to time) of the day since it is believed that during the Bhadra time, certain negative energies are at play.
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