Tue, 13 Apr, 2021

Rakshya Bandhan – A Thread Uniting Hearts

By Nikita Gautam

Hindu culture is rich with different festivals which symbolize love, peace, happiness and relationships within family members. Human nature nurtures emotional bonds with majestic sentiments. Sibling relationship is a platonic bond of love. A season following a chain of festivals is in the course of its arrival now. The sacred bond between brothers and sister is celebrated on “Rakshya Bandhan". Brothers during this festival vow to protect their sisters from all kinds of evil. This is a ritual held annually by biologically related as well as unrelated men and women. This festival is celebrated by people of Indian origin in all parts of the world. "Rakhi" symbolizes a sacred thread, which a sister ties on her brother's wrist. It is believed that her incantations and secret prayers help for well being of her brother and in return the brother promises to protect his sister from all harms. They also exchange gifts, which creates a joyful environment. These festivals enhance the harmony of social life, where people live together as brothers and sisters.  Rakhi was a festival intended to worship "Varuna"- the sea god, according to the Hindu mythology. This festival is also described as a festival celebrated by Indrani and Yamuna for their respective brothers Indra and Yama. The importance of Rakhi has also been mentioned in the Mahabharata. As this festival falls on the full moon day, it symbolizes good over evil. In the context of Nepal, Rakshya Bandhan is becoming popular in recent years. People are not celebrating this for fashion but have adopted the auspicious essence of it. There is a promise of security that symbolizes the infinite love between the siblings. People belonging to the Brahmin community also celebrate the day of Rakhi as "Janai Purnima". On this day the men belonging to the Brahmin and Chettri community change their sacred thread called "Janai" which they wear for a whole year. Janai is a cotton thread that is worn across the chest by Hindu males after the ritual called Bratabandha is performed. It is regarded as a symbol of body, peace and mind. This ceremony is performed by a Brahmin, who ties a thread on the hands of a family member chanting different mantras. People in Nepal cook "Kwati", a mixture of different cereals and other delicious foods celebrating the festival. Thus, this festival welcomes a season of happiness in people's lives and is celebrated with Great Spirit.