History and Significance of Raksha Bandhan – Story of Love, Protection, and Renewal

June 23, 2023
History and Significance of Raksha Bandhan

What is Raksha Bandhan?

“Raksha Bandhan is a Sanskrit word which signifies the knot of protection. Here “Raksha” stands for “protection,” and “Bandhan” is the “knot.” The festival together signifies an eternal bond between the brother and the sister.

The brother vows to protect his sister for life, and the sister, in return, prays for his well-being and ties the sacred thread – Rakhi.   

In India, Raksha Bandhan is all about celebrating the bond between siblings and making each other know how important they are. It is a bond between the protector and their loved one. For heartfelt expressions, many individuals search for Raksha Bandhan quotes in Hindi to convey their emotions perfectly. 

When is Raksha Bandhan celebrated?

The occasion of Rakhi is celebrated on the full moon day of the holy month of Shravana (a month dedicated to lord Shiva). For the year 2023, the day of Raksha Bandhan is marked on the 30th of August.

Abiding by the Gregorian calendar, the celebration day usually falls on August towards the end. It is a day of celebration for the entire Indian subcontinent, signifying the importance of the bond shared between the siblings. 

Raksha Bandhan Celebrations Around the World highlight the cultural significance and global observance of this auspicious occasion.

What is The Significance Of Raksha Bandhan?

When talking about the first ever unconditional love you receive from someone after your parents, it is from your sibling. The day of Raksha Bandhan signifies a celebration of such bonds, with the brothers and sisters taking vows to protect each other and stand by one another through thick and thin. 

Apart from immediate family, you can also celebrate Raksha Bandhan with someone whom you respect as a sole protector and share a brotherly love with. The day is marked by sisters observing a fast for their brothers until they tie them the rakhi. Brothers, in return, usher gifts and blessings on their sisters.  

History Of Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan does have its appropriate presence in Hindu mythology, and from there on, the day continues to be celebrated. 

Legend Of Krishna And Draupadi

Once, Krishna had his finger bleeding after beheading Sishupala with his Sudarshan Chakra. Draupadi tore a cloth from her saree and tied it to Krishna’s finger. This act of Draupadi so much moved Lord Krishna that he vowed to protect her against all odds in time of need. 

This incident marked the very occasion of Rakhi, as after each year, Draupadi tied the sacred thread of Rakhi to Krishna’s hand. And Lord Krishna, in return, went on ushering his blessings on the Yagyaseni. The Lord uttered the word ‘Akshyam’,  signifying ‘unending.’

Significance Of The Rakhi

There are various beliefs on why a sister ties the ‘Rakhi’, or the sacred thread, on her brother’s right hand. And various cultures of the Indian subcontinent have their own set of reasons for the same. Highlighting different significances. 

According to ancient Tamil literature, about 2000 years ago, there were tigres that ate prey which fell on their right side. Thus signifying the correlation between the right side and power. 

Also, according to Ayurveda Science, Rakhi is tied on the right hand, as the thread is believed to monitor Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the various doshas of the human body. These are in direct coordination with the normal behaviour of a human being.   

Evolution Of Raksha Bandhan

Apart from the Mythological beliefs, Raksha Bandhan also has its rightful place mentioned in the history of the subcontinent. The earliest of the historical examples dates back to the period of Alexandar when he had invaded portions of India and Pakistan. In his venture, Alexander was able to defeat the Indian king Porus. Alexandar’s wife Roxana offered to tie a Rakhi to Porus. In return, she wanted Porus to spare Alexandar if the former gained the upper hand.

As per the historical scripting of Indian historian Satish Chandra, Rani Karnavati, the widow of the King of Chittor, had sent a bracelet to Humayun as a Rakhi. All she wanted was to get help from Humayun to stand against the invasion Gujarati Sultan Bahadur Shah planned. 

Significance Of Raksha Bandhan

Here are some more essential inputs on the significance of Raksha Bandhan

Bond Of Love And Protection

Rakhi’s sacred thread is about celebrating the bond of love and protection. It can go beyond caste, religion and race. On the occasion of the partition of Bengal, when the British were planning to divide the province, Rabindranath Tagore asked the Muslims and the Hindus to tie Rakhi to each other’s hands. Hundreds of people celebrated Rakhi along the then-towns of Dhaka, Kolkata and Chittagong. 

Celebration Of Family And Togetherness

The day of Rakhi gets the entire family together, with everyone in their best attire, ready to celebrate. Mostly, the ones celebrating are seen wearing traditional. Sisters also make Ladoo, Phirni, Barfi and Ghewar for their brothers. 

Importance Of Raksha Bandhan In Today’s World

Though the celebrations of Raksha Bandhan could not stop the division of Bengal, it established Rakhi as a symbol of peace. Even today, political enthusiasts use Rakhi to keep forward their idea of protest and dissatisfaction with a political cause.  

Students use the occasion of Rakhi to channelize religious peace among the Hindus and the Muslims. Such an instance has been maintained in Gorakhpur since 2009. 

In today’s world, Raksha Bandhan is still celebrated as a festival of love and protection. However, it has also come to be seen as a symbol of peace and unity. In recent years, there have been several instances of people from different faiths celebrating Raksha Bandhan together, as a way of promoting interfaith harmony.

The significance of Raksha Bandhan is soo deep that it will continue to be celebrated as the centuries last. Sisters start by doing ‘aarti’ of their brother with ‘mangal thali.’ They then proceed with a tika on the brother’s forehead and tying the Rakhi on his wrist. Thus marking a day of unconditional love. 

Also Read,

Best Ways to Decorate Rakhi Thali on this Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) Quotes, Messages & Wishes

Best Ways to Decorate Rakhi Thali on this Raksha Bandhan

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