This Sunday is the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, which celebrates the special bond between brothers and sisters. On this day, siblings get together. The sister ties a length of specially designed string around the brother’s right wrist and prays for his wellbeing and long life, while the brother gives her gifts and sweets and re-affirms his protection and care for her. It can also be celebrated between male and female cousins and even nowadays with friends.
It is observed by Hindu, Sikhs and Jains in countries such as India, Mauritius, Nepal and in expatriate communities across the globe. In my religion it takes place on the full moon day of the month of Shravan. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, Raksha Bandhan translates as “tie/bond of protection” and has its roots in the pastimes of God as mentioned in our holy scriptures. One such story is that “Deity Lakshmi tied a rakhi onto the wrist of the king Bali thus making him Her brother and therefore helping liberate Lord Narayan i.e. Vishnu. That day as per the Hindu lunar calendar was ‘Shravan Paurnima (Purnima)’.”
“By tying this wristband (raksha) onto your wrist I am binding you just like the powerful and generous King Bali was bound by it. O wristband, do not get displaced.”
The rakhi is the string adornment presented by the sister around her brother’s wrist, usually made up of silk or cotton. It can be simple or have an elaborate design featuring paste or semi-precious stones, religious symbols and beadwork inspired by Indian traditions in embroidery and crafts. They are usually coloured red, but can be of many bright colours, often in the same rakhi. There are even children’s versions that feature cartoon characters and some are equipped with miniature toys, although some feel this trivialises the sanctity of the festival.
Raksha Bandhan is a unique and remarkable festival that celebrates and highlights the unbreakable bond between siblings and between families. That even though the rakhi may eventually weaken and fall off, the importance of caring and treasuring your siblings can never fall away. The sacred bond should always remain strong. The rakhi is beautiful yet strong, just like a sister’s love, and as every sister is different and special in her own way, so is every rakhi. By seeing the rakhi firmly tied to his wrist every day, the brother is reminded that his sister is always there for him and likewise he is poignantly reminded of her love and compassion in his life and his need to support her. As a family member, as a sister, as a confidante, as his best friend.
On this auspicious occasion, the Half-Eaten Mind presents a selection of Raksha Bandhan festival themed wallpapers for you to download and send as virtual greetings for your dearest siblings today.
I dedicate this article to my sweet and wonderful sisters Sherrie, Alia, and Anjali.
Though they don’t all officially celebrate, I want to be thankful for them being in my life and being the blossoms that bring fragrance to my happiness. I am blessed to share my life with each and every one of you xxxxxxxx
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
A Sister Like You
Someone who will understand
Who knows the way I feel
In every situation
Her concern is very real
Someone who has walked my ways
Who knows my every need
Times when she would see me cry
Her heart would nearly bleed
Everyone should have a sister
Just the way I do
Richly blessed is what I am
To have a sister like you
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
“Raksha Bandhan” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raksha_Bandhan
“Rakhi: The Thread of Love – About the Raksha Bandhan Festival” – Subhamoy Das, About.com – Religion-Spirituality-Hinduism hinduism.about.com/od/rakhi/a/rakshabandhan.htm
“Raksha Bandhan: History, Significance and Purpose” – Hindu Janajagruti Samiti www.hindujagruti.org/hinduism/knowledge/article/raksha-bandhan-history-significance-and-purpose.html
“Raksha Bandhan Poems and Sayings – Rakhi 2014 English and Hindi Poems” – Happy Raksha Bandhan 2014 rakshabandhanfestival.com/raksha-bandhan-poems-and-sayings-rakhi-2013-english-and-hindi-poems/
El_Sol, Compfight via Flickr compfight.com/search/rakhi/1-3-1-1
“Happy Raksha Bandhan Greetings Graphic For Share On Myspace” – Imagesbuddy.com www.imagesbuddy.com/img/raksha-bandhan/page/56/
“Raksha Bandhan Wishes for Brother” – Cute Harry via Sarah [Team FIW], Free Images Wallpapers (1 August 2014) www.freeimageswallpapers.com/raksha-bandhan-wishes-for-brother.html
“Raksha Bandhan wallpaper 2012, Happy Rakhi wishes images photos pics” – The Back Benchers Team, TheBack-Benchers.com (31 July 2012) theback-benchers.com/raksha-bandhan-wallpaper-2012-happy-rakhi-wishes-images-photos-pics/
“Happy Raksha Bandhan Graphics” – CommentsKart.com (31 July 2013) www.commentskart.com/2013/07/31/happy-raksha-bandhan-graphics-4/
“happy rakshabandhan” – Via Rajesh Hajare, RDH Sir’s Official Website (20 August 2013) rdhsir.mwb.im/happy-rakshabandhan.xhtml
“Happy Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Wishes to Brother and Sister” – Jeetu Aneja, Fun2Pix.com/FUN2PIX (5 August 2014) www.fun2pix.com/happy-raksha-bandhan-rakhi-wishes-to-brother-sister/
“Happy Raksha Bandhan To All!!” – ‘tiny15’, India-Forums/Cyberax (20 August 2013) www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3708215