In India, the festival that reinforces the bond between a brother and sister is Raksha Bandhan. Every sister waits to tie the sacred thread, called ‘Rakhi ‘on her brothers’ wrist every year. This festival is celebrated on the Full moon day in the month of Shravan. It is one of the most popular festivals of India. There are many stories related to the origin of this festival.
If we go back to where this festival started from, it was not to mark the love between a brother and sister but for victory in a war.
According to the Hindu mythology, the story goes like this. Long ago,a battle ensued between the Gods and the Demons ,which carried on continuously for 12 long years at the end of which the Demons won. The Demons not only captured the throne of the King of the Gods-Indra, but also the entire three Worlds. When Indra lost the battle, He went to the spiritual teacher of the Gods-Brihaspati-and sought his advice. Brihaspati advised Indra to chant some mantras that would provide Him protection. Brihaspati initiated the process of chanting the mantras in the month of Shravan on a Full Moon day. During this ceremony of reciting of mantras, a thread was tightly tied around a small packet ‘containing ‘the blessings. After the ceremony, this small packet containing the protection blessings was tied by Lord Indra’s wife, Shachi, who is also called Indrani, on Indra’s right wrist. Because of these blessings, Lord Indra got back His strength to defeat the Demons and reclaim back His lost kingdom.
Currently, this festival has become synonymous with the love and bond between brothers and sisters and it can be said that it’s a festival that reinforces and reaffirms the love between a sister and brother. While on one hand, the brother promises to look after his sister and protect her all his life, on the other hand, the sister prays for the long life of her brother.
On this day, the silk thread that the sister ties on her brothers’ wrist is not just a thread, but a mark of pure, sacred and unceasing love between the two, coupled with the mantra for everlasting protection. When the sister gets married, the brother makes it a point to visit the sisters’ house and get the Rakhi tied by her.