Raksha Bandhan 2021 - Know the Significance, Date, and Rituals

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Sisters eagerly wait for the festival of Raksha Bandhan to tie Rakhi on their brother's wrist. In India, the auspicious festival of Raksha Bandhan is a testament to the bond between a brother and sister. It reinforces the sacred relationship between a brother and sister. This auspicious festival is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Shravan, which generally falls in July or August. Raksha Bandhan 2021 will fall on 22nd August 2021. 

 

Raksha Bandhan 2021 Date and Time 

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Significance of Raksha Bandhan

The auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan celebrates the love between brother and sister. People have a strong belief that the sacred thread of Rakhi has immense power. It can bring the brother and sister closer and forge a stronger bond between them. Raksha Bandhan consists of two words, i.e., 'raksha' and 'bandhan'. In Sanskrit, this festival means 'the knot or tie of protection and care', wherein 'Raksha' means protection, and 'Bandhan' means 'bond'. Together these two words symbolise the eternal love and bond that a brother and sister share. 

The festival of Raksha Bandhan symbolises the bond of love in a brother-sister relationship. However, it does not only mean blood relationships and siblings. This pious occasion is an incredible day to build new relationships with pure emotions and sentiments. Sisters not only celebrate this occasion with their brothers, but it is also celebrated among cousins, sisters, nephews, sister-in-law, fraternal aunts, and many other such relatives. Individuals do not need to be biologically related to celebrate this festival. Many women send Rakhi to the soldiers and pray for their long life. Some women even tie the Rakhi, the thread of protection, to men who are unrelated to them and regard them as brothers who then vow to keep their sister out of harm's way. 

This pious occasion has become synonymous with the love and bond between brothers and sisters. This auspicious festival reaffirms the love between a brother and sister. On this important day, a sister ties a Rakhi around her brother's wrist and prays for his prosperity and long life. In return, the brother pledges to look after his sister and protect her at all costs all his life. He also offers gifts to his sister out of love and affection. Thus, Raksha Bandhan and the Rakhi strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters. 

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Mythological Importance of Raksha Bandhan

Since time immemorial, this particular festival has been revered as a pious occasion. According to mythology, there are various myths associated with this festival. One of the famous stories associated with Raksha Bandhan is from Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had ripped a corner of her sari and tied the piece of cloth on Lord Krishna's finger to stop the bleeding when he had injured himself. Seeing Draupadi's gesture, Lord Krishna was touched, and he promised her that he will always protect her. Thus, a bond of protection similar to that of a brother and sister developed between them. 

According to Hindu scriptures, another famous tale associated with this festival is when Asuras or demons defeated the King of Gods, Indra. Lord Indra's wife, Indrani, tied a sacred yellow thread around his wrist. This thread contained the blessings for Lord Indra's protection. Fortified by the thread's protection and blessings, Lord Indra gathered his strength to defeat the demons and get his kingdom back. Another tale from Hindu scriptures related to this occasion is that Goddess Lakshmi tied a Rakhi on the wrist of the demon king, Bali, and made him her brother. As her gift, Goddess Lakshmi requested king Bali to let Lord Vishnu return to his native place- Vaikuntha. Bali agreed to the request and let Lord Vishnu return. 

Another admirable tale often related to this festival is that Chittorgarh's queen Rani Karnavati had sent a Rakhi to the great Mughal emperor Humayun asking him to come to her aid when Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked. After receiving the Rakhi, Humayun had become very emotional and had sent his troops to Chittorgarh. This particular story adds more relevance and significance to the festival. Additionally, this incident also releases the pious occasion of Raksha Bandhan from any religious restrictions.  

 

Raksha Bandhan Rituals 

Given below are the things that you need to do on the day of the auspicious festival of Raksha Bandhan.

  • On the day of Raksha Bandhan, wake up early in the morning, take a bath and wear clean clothes. 

  • Set up a small earthen pot after drawing a square with rice flour on the floor. Rice, cotton cloth, mustard, and roli are also needed. Then prepare a plate for worship and light a diya (lamp). Put the Rakhi, sweets, roli, sandalwood, akshat, and flowers on the plate. 

  • After this, the sister should apply tilak on her brother’s forehead and pray for his long life and well-being. Then tie the protective thread, Rakhi, on the right hand. After securing the Rakhi on the brother's wrist, the sister should perform the aarti of her brother and then feed him sweets. 

  • When the sister is tying the Rakhi, the mantra given below should be chanted. This mantra is considered to be auspicious. 

“Yen badho bali king danwendro mahabala

Ten twanabhibandhami raksha ma chal ma chal.”

  • If the sister is older than the brother, she should bless the younger brother. On the other hand, she should bow down to her elder brother and take his blessings if she is younger than her brother. One thing that should be kept in mind is that the Rakhi should not be tied during the time of Bhadra as it is considered inauspicious. One should only tie the Rakhi during the Bhadra-free period.

This auspicious day is incomplete without the tying of the Rakhi. The colourful thread of Rakhi that a sister ties around her brother's wrist is a knot of love and affection for her darling brother. Not only does the brother take the vow of protecting his sister from all dangers and miseries of the world, but he also promises to support his sister through sorrow and happiness. By doing Puja, the tilak ceremony, and aarti, the sister prays for her brother's long life, prosperity, well-being, and good health. The thread that the sister ties is not merely just a thread. It symbolises the sacred and pure love between the two. It's a thread that holds best wishes and binds them together in a bond of love. No wonder this festival is synonymous with pious love, care, and heartfelt emotions! 

 

Raksha Bandhan Celebrations 

The auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan stands for the love between brothers and sisters and the celebration of this love. This festival is widely celebrated all across India with a lot of gaiety and fervour. Apart from tying Rakhis on their brothers' wrists, exchanging gifts and money, and savouring gourmet dishes and other delectable sweets are also a part of the festival. The sisters and brothers treat each other with gifts and share their affection. In a way, this festival unites the whole family together by bringing all the near and dear ones together. Thus, the love and heartfelt sentiments, along with the sweet delicacies, impressive gifts, and finger-licking dishes, make this occasion nothing short of an extraordinary celebration. 

All those sisters who stay far away from their brother and cannot meet them on this day send their Rakhis along with their heartfelt good wishes via courier services. Even distance and physical barriers cannot spoil the essence of this beautiful occasion. This grand festival reunites people and reaffirms their love for each other. All this together makes this festival full of fun and frolic for all. Thus, Raksha Bandhan becomes the most exhilarating and most awaited festival.

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