Ayodhya Nath Kerni
The name ‘Raksha Bandhan’ suggests ‘a bond of protection’. On this auspicious day, brothers make a promise to their sisters to protect them from all harms and troubles and the sisters pray to God to protect their brother from all evil.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full moon day of Shravan lunar calander month. Sisters tie a colourful thread on the wrist of brothers. Similarly Purohits (Priests) in the Duggar villages are seen going to their Yajman houses and tie rakhi. Raksha Bandhan is the combination of two words Raksha means protection and Bandhan means a knot. Thus, it could be defined a knot for protection. One who ties the rakhi expects protection at the time of difficulty and distress from the person to whom it is tied and also prays for his longevity and prosperity. After applying tilak on the forehead of the brothers, sisters tie rakhi on the right wrist of the brother by chanting following ritual.
“Yen baddho Bali raja daanvendro mahabala,
Ten twaam annubadhnami raksha machal machal”
This means “I tie thee the rakhi which was tied to King Bali, the king of demons, by goddess Laxmi. O Rakhi, I pray that you never falter in protecting your devotee”.
The rakhis are not tied only by real sisters and brothers but also between other people as a mark of friendship and social harmony. There are many legendary accounts about Raksha Bandhan. Only some are being mentioned for the reference.
The legend of King Bali and Goddess Laxmi According to legend Demon King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu had taken up the task to guard his kingdom leaving his own abode in Vaikunth. Goddess Laxmi wished to be with her Lord back in her abode. She went to Bali disguised as a Brahmin woman to seek refuge till her husband came back.
During the Shravan Purnima celebrations, Laxmiji tied the sacred thread to the King. Upon being asked she revealed who she was and why she was there. The king was touched by her goodwill for his family and her purpose and requested the Lord to accompany her. He sacrificed all he had for the Lord and his devoted wife.
Yama and the Yamuna
It is said that the Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna. Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved by the serenity of the occasion that he declared thar whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection will become immortal.
The historical account of raksha bandhan goes as follows-
Rana Sangram Singh better called as Rana Sangha was an undaunted warrior who defeated the kings of Delhi, Malwa and Gujrat. He was quite capable of establishing his fame as a mighty king. He had two sons Vikramajit and Ude Singh; After his death Vikramjit was not capable of handling Mewar with its kingdom at Chittor. The Sultan of Gujrat found an opportunity to attack Mewar for the second time as earlier he had faced defeat from Rana Sangha. Sultan of Gujrat Bahadur Shah launched a massive attack on Chittore. The nobles refused to fight under the leadership of Vikramajit. The widow queen of Rana Sangha sent both her sons to Bundi and took over the charge of Mewar temporarily. Her name was Karnavati. She consolidated all the nobles to face Bahadur Shah, who happened to be very ambitious man. His intentions were to capture Mewar and then Delhi. Realising the fact that she alone was not capable of facing Bahadur Shah , Karnavati sent a rakhi to Hamayun calling him brother and seek his help to face Bahadur Shah.
Hamayun was already engaged with military campaign in Bengal. As and when Hamayun received rakhi and call for help; he left the campaign in between and turned his army to reach Chittore. It took much time to reach and by the time army reached Gwalior, Karnavati along with other royal ladies committed immolation on March 8, 1535 AD, The mass suicide was committed to protect from the indignity of falling in the hands of Bahadur Shah. Hamayun pushed back Bahadur Shah and captured Gujarat also. The lost kingdom of Mewar was restored and handed over to Vikramajit. It is the best example of a sacred thread of raksha bandhan which compelled Hamayun to change all his warfare plan. Some people hold the other idea that Hamayun delayed his forces to reach Chittore so the life of Karnavati could not be saved.
These days there are various types of rakhis available in the market in assorted colours. The concept of rakhi is a sacred thread be it a Mauli or any silky thread. So as to celebrate the festival in its true spirit the sisters may like to tie Mauli thread on the wrist of brothers by chanting the ritual mentioned above. If you intend to spend more, the quality and quantity of sweets ,fruits etc be increased according to your will. It is better to remain away from purchasing the non indegenous products which are no way sacred or desirable in view of national interest.
Ayodhya Nath Kerni