Saturday, 20 August 2011

Raksha Bandhan

- On the full moon day of Shravan, an annual ritual of Raksha Bandhan is observed, on which sisters tie the sacred thread on their brothers' right wrists and apply a tilak on their foreheads.

It was revealed by Shiva that the soul resides in the center of the forehead. It is for this reason that the tilak is applied here. The bindi that most Indian women apply carries the same spiritual significance.

The brotherly duties and sisterly love are symbolized during the Rakshabandhan (ruk-shaa-bun-dha-na) festival in India. Women, old and young alike tie specially made threads and thread watches (rakhis) to their brothers to ensure their welfare, and protection from the evil.
The festival has evolved in the recent times and the symbolism has been changed to connote 'brotherly love'.

The festival is also called Saluno, a deviation from the Persian "Sal-I-nu" which means New Year. This ritual strengthens the bond of love between brothers and sisters. Rakhi is also tied on the wrists of close friends and neighbours.

A Mantra is recited when the Rakhi or the silken thread is tied. The silken thread is charged with the power of the Mantra, which is as follows:

Yena baddho balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah;Tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshey maa chala maa chala.

"I am tying on your hand this Raksha, with which the most powerful and generous King Bali himself was bound; O Raksha, don’t go away; don’t go away."

The power of this Mantra protects the wearer from evil influences.

Raksha Bandhan, also known as Vish Torak (destroyer of venom), Punya Pradayak (bestower of boons), and Pap Nashak (destroyer of sin), has a wider and deeper context, and is also linked with Shiva. There are myths of Indrani and Yamuna tying rakhi on their respective brothers, Indra and Yama, which brought them benefit.

Other connotations about the origin of this festival are that about 3000 BC, the Aryans entered India and settled in northwest India, bringing with them their time-honoured custom, Rakshabandhan. It was traditional to hold a yajna before going into battle to invoke their gods' blessings for protection, security and victory. As part of the ritual, before their departure, the women would tie sacred threads around their wrists as a protective charm, and as a reminder to uphold the dignity and honour of the clan.

In Indian historical lore, especially that of the Rajputs and Marathas, there are several instances of Hindu queens sending rakhis to Muslim kings to seek their help. Despite their differing beliefs, the kings invariably provided their help, thus honouring the fraternal bond. Rakhi was also practiced in these princely kingdoms to strengthen or forge imperial and matrimonial alliances.

It is also said that On this day, Sachi, the consort of Indra, tied a holy thread or amulet around the wrist of Indra, when he was defeated by the demons. Then Indra, the king of gods, gained victory over the demons by the power of this protection (Raksha means "protection"). He then recovered the lost city of Amaravati.

In our community on Rakshabandhan pooja drawing of "Soonas" were made. Normally 13 or 18 gold drop sona is written or as per family tradition. This is pasted on the wall where pooja is being done and one rakhi is pasted on it. In sona drawing birds,moonde(stool),chabaria (carring basket) are also drawn
Also rui (cotton) Haar (bracelet) was prepared by the sisters using aapen (paste of Haldi,Chawal) and roli.At After every small distance in the rui haar apen and roli was alternatively rubbed to make it look like beeds haar.each time name of brother,cousion or close family relatives was taken uttering the words

"------(taking the name of the respective brother)Bhaiya KE AAW JORU"

Which was then kept in the pooja.
Meethi Sewaiya (semolin) are made on this day and paan ka beera (Beetal leaf) and money is kept in the pooja.In earlier times on small pieces of paper pair of birds were drawn and was stuck on all the doors of the house.Sewaiya were also pasted in these bird drawing beaks.Sewaiya are also distributed as prasad after the poojan.
Sisters take teeka to their brothers house or send rakhi through post If brother stays too far .

   Teeka consist of

                             Rakhi                             Batashe or sweet drops                             Roli                             Chawal (rice Grains)                             Methai (sweets)                             Coconut                             Paan or Paan ka beera                             Beera (Dhaak pattas folded into Beera                             Fruits                             whatever gift you want to give to your brother
Sisters tie Rakhi on their brothers' right wrists and apply a teeka on their foreheads. In turn Brothers give money or gifts to their sister.
Parents make Teeyal for their daughters and make clothes for their naati-naatin (grandchildren-Daughters children).In earlier times parents along with Teeyal also used to give sewai- chawal (normally two packs of each) to their daughters.However now they give money instead of sewai - chawal.

Son -in -Laws are called for lunch or dinner and are given pyalla.Kothali is given to the daughters.

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