India is the land of great warriors and martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the protection of the motherland. The women folk of India also walked hand in hand with their brothers and husband to support them during the time of war. There are many festivals in India that are celebrated to honour the lords and the freedom fighters. Raksha bandhan is one such festival which has a soul of its own and is alive from ancient times. Literally speaking “Raksha” means to protect, and “bandhan” means building a bond.
From time immemorial this festival is celebrated in India where woman used to tie an amulet on the wrist of her husband or her brother to save him from all negativity. Later this was limited to the brother and was recognized as a festival to strengthen the bond between siblings.
Rakhi, as it is commonly called in India falls in the monsoon month called Shravana on a full moon day. This day is considered as lucky. Most of the epics and other writings of the Pouranik age find mention of this festival. There are various stories of the past which depict the significance of this thread tied on the wrist. In a war between the Gods and the Demons Indra tied the same knot to the Lords who ultimately defeated the demons. In Mahabharat also Kunti tied rakhis to her grandsons in order to defeat Lord Krishna.
On Rakhi day various sweets are prepared and eye catching rakhis are purchased by the sisters. A puja takes place early morning and the sister performs the arti of the brother after which she ties the rakhi. In return the brother presents the sister a gift as a form of his assurance and love.
The religious teachers and priests also tie rakhis to their gods and pray for the well being of the planet and the human race. Girls also tie rakhis to their fathers and pray that their fathers would always support them in any which way.
Rakhi celebrates the bond of love between the brother and the sister. The festival displays the Indian values that are still engrained in our children. It signifies the sentiments that are involved in a relation of siblings. Through this string that is tied on the wrist there is a thread which binds the relation and also pulls the siblings towards each other during the time of need and the happy times. This thread is symbolic of the many years that the siblings have spent with each other and the joys and sorrows that they have shared.
The mirth and the merriment that is created on Rakhi denote the unity and family values that are there in Indians wherever they are. This is the reason for the preserved and cherished culture of India that still prevails in spite of the modernization and the western influence.