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The relationship between siblings is one of the most cherished and important bonds a person can have in his lifetime. They fight, irritate and drive each other crazy, but they are also the ones who stand beside each other during times of peril as well as joy. Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of the love between siblings and this year, in 2019, it is on 15th August.
The word 'Raksha Bandhan' translates to the bond of protection and on this day when a sister prays for her brother's well-being and the brother, in return, vows to protect his sister throughout his life. The festival also reminds us that it is not important for people to be bound by blood to call each other brother and sister. The festival of raksha bandhan is also celebrated among people who are brothers and sisters by bond. Raksha bandhan is also called the 'Papa Todak, Punya Pradayak Parva' in the scriptures, which translates as the festival that destroys all sins and bestows boons.
Even though, the festival has a deep message, the festival is filled with fun and excitement. While the siblings wait for their friends to arrive, the sister ties colourful Rakhis on her brother's wrist and the brother pampers her with gifts. Brothers and sisters who stay apart, make it a point to visit each other on this day and spend time with each other.
Read on to know how to celebrate Raksha Bandhan properly as per the scriptures-
What you need to perform the ritual-
- A colourful Rakhi ( A coloured thread can also be used)
- Rice (Akshat)
- Money (A few coins or notes will do)
- Incense sticks
- A decorated thali (plate)
Time Of Tying The Rakhi
The time of tying the Rakhi is important. Raksha Bandhan falls on the Poornima ( full moon day) of the Shravan month (July-August). According to the ancient texts, Rakhi must not be tied during Bhadra, which is known as the inauspicious time. This year the inauspicious time stays till afternoon. So, the Rakhi can be tied after this time has passed.
How To Go About The Ritual-
- The siblings need to wake up early in the morning. A variety of dishes are prepared to celebrate the occasion.
- A thali, usually made out of copper, is decorated with flowers.
- The Rakhi, turmeric, lamps, saffron sweets and money are arranged on the thali.
- The brother is seated in a suitable place.
- A tilak is placed on the brother's forehead with saffron, turmeric and rice.
- Akshat is scattered on the brother's head.
- The money is waved around the brother's head (nazar utarna) to keep the evil intentions at bay and is then distributed among the poor.
- The Rakhi is tied on the brother's right wrist.
- Sweets are offered to the brother.
- The brother often presents the sister with gifts.
Mantra To Be Chanted
When the Rakhi is tied, the sister must chant the mantra given below. It is believed that doing so is beneficial for her brother's long life.
येन बद्धो बलि राजा, दानवेन्द्रो महाबल:|
तेन त्वांमनुबध्नामि, रक्षे मा चल मा चल ||
It can be translated as- The thread of protection that was used to bind the great demon Bali, is the thread I am tying to you. This tread will keep you safe.
Things To Consider
- One must consider Raksha Bandhan as a worship too.
- It is important to offer prayers to the family god and invoke his blessings before tying the Rakhi.
Food That Can Be Consumed
Raksha Bandhan is incomplete without sweets. The important sweets prepared are Ghewar, Namakpare and Shakkarpare. Ghugni is an important dish that is prepared this day and is eaten with curd and Poori. Halwa and Kheer are also important dishes that are consumed on Raksha Bandhan.