Describing a great bond and relationship between a brother and a sister every year Rakshabandhan is being celebrated on Shravan Purnima of the Hindu calendar. It is a day when sisters perform aarti, mark tilak and tie a Rakhi on her brothers wrist, praying for his wellbeing, happiness and goodwill, whereas brothers vow to protect their sister lifelong. It is going to be celebrated on Monday, 7 august 2017.
There are several myths and stories related to this beautiful occasion. It is believed that when lord Krishna cut his finger while flying a kite, Draupadi (wife of the five Pandavas) tore off her sari and tied around his wrist. Krishna promised her to repay each thread when the time arrives. Hence many years later it was the reason behind Draupadi’s sari becoming endless when she was disrobed in king Ditarashtra’s court. In the war between Gods and Demons, lord Indra’s wife Sachi tied a thread around Indra Dev wrist to for his well-being. This bracelet was given to her by lord Vishnu. This also show that the process of tying threads were not only limited to the brother sister relationship. Another interesting saying is that after lord Vishnu won over the demon king Bali, Bali asked him to stay with him in his place. After some time when goddess Lakshmi started missing lord Vishnu she went to Bali and tied a rakhi on his wrist and as a gift she asked the freedom of lord Vishnu. It is also believed that lord Ganesh created a daughter named Santoshi Maa to remove the frustrations of his two sons Shubh and Labh of not having any sister to celebrate raksha bandhan with.
The stories of raksha bandhan are not only related to those of god and goddess it has its roots even in ancient Indian history. When Rani Karnavati, queen of Chittor realised that she could not defend against the invasion by Sultan Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun receiving which the emperor set off with his troops to protect Chittor.
It is said that Rabindranath Tagore arranged a ceremony to celebrate Rakshabandhan to strengthen the bond and unity between Hindus and Muslims and to unite them to protest against the British.
The way celebrating every occasion has been changing over the time same goes with the festival of Rakshabandhan. Earlier when only a piece of red thread was valued and required now these threads have been converted into bigger Rakhi with lot more colours, decorations etc. even the Rakhi are coming with different cartoon characters to attract small children. And with every different design the cost of the Rakhi goes on increasing. The cost of gifting products is on increase because of the demand for sale. The cost of sweets reaches its peak. In today’s era Rakhi is no more a mere celebration of bond it has in one way became a commercial purpose. The only positive and real fact which still exists is the love and affection between the siblings which make them stand for each other no matter far they are.
We have come across so far in our lives that we don’t have even a time for spending a moment with our siblings. We are proud of our traditions and practices, and definitely we should be proud of it but what we tend to forget is have a look over the burdens our sisters go through. The burdens of unable to opening up to the changes while reaching their age of puberty alone . The uncountable sacrifices she had to make for the sake of being a girl in the society. The fear that she had to keep it herself while traveling alone in the metro, or working in a male dominant office. If we really want to make this Rakshabandhan meaningful, let’s keep a promise to our sisters or better I would say girls in our country to provide them a better and safe cities. Where they can move freely, laugh, wear what they like, break all the stereotypes and achieve all the high in their lives. Let’s make this Rakshabandhan a sister more close to us so that she can speak up! So that she can speak against the violence and abuse she faces everyday. Speak up against the humiliation she had face for a girl with darker complexion, short height and a fat body!
Let’s promise our sisters to love them unconditionally for what they are. Let’s gift a life to our sisters, this Rakshabandhan.