What Is Raksha Bandhan

what is raksha bandhan

Raksha Bandhan, a special day which traditionally celebrates the sacred bond between a brother and sister. A Rakhi, sacred thread, is tied around the right hand wrist of the brother by the sister. This symbolises the protection of the brother from all evil. Blessings for their long life are made and indian sweets such as barfi is shared.

Nowadays, we are seeing sisters tie a thread of protection amongst each other regardless of whether they have brothers or now. I personally love how this tradition is evolving into one that includes all siblings!

There are many historical reasons as to why we celebrate Raksha Bandhan one which is the story of Lord Krishna and Draupadhi. Krishna was hurt during the war and left with a bleeding hand. Seeing this, Draupadhi tore a strip of cloth from her sari and tied it around his hand to stop the bleeding.

Lord Krishna, realising her affections and concern about him, declared himself bounded by her sisterly love. He promised her to repay this debt whenever she need in future. Many years later, when the pandavas lost Draupadhi in the game of dice and Kauravas were removing her sari, Krishna helped her divinely by elongating her sari so that they could not remove it. Since then, every year, Raksha Bandhan was celebrated.

Another story is that lord Ganesh had two sons, Subh and Labh (Subh meaning ‘holy’ and Labh meaning ‘profit’.) On Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh’s sister visited and tied a rakhi on Ganesh’s wrist. Ganesh’s sons felt frustrated as they have no sister to tie a rakhi and celebrate Raksha Bandhan with so they asked their father for a sister. 

One day, saint Narada appears who persuades Ganesh that a daughter will make him and his sons proud. Ganesh agreed, and created a daughter, Santoshi maa, with flames that emerged from Ganesh’s wives, Ruddhi (meaning ‘amazing’) and Siddhi (meaning ‘perfection’). Since then, Shubh and Labh had a sister who loved and protected each other.  

my brothers at wedding - raksha bandhan photo

I have 2 younger brothers, and although we may fall out or disagree on things every now and again, I will always love them and be there for them no matter what. It’s nice now that I’ve moved closer to home, it means I can visit them anytime and annoy them and leave 🙂 And if there’s any brother’s reading this…do something nice for your sister, like buy her favourite chocolates or flowers in return, she will love them.

Dina x


Updated 01/07/2020

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