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The festival of Raksha Bandhan holds a special place among all the festivals of Hindus. This festival celebrates the special bond that is shared between a brother and a sister. On this day, women tie a rakhi or a sacred thread or a Raksha sutra on the wrists of their brothers. And, brothers promise them to protect them from evils all through their lives.
This year, Raksha Bandhan falls on the day of August 03, 2020. Every year, the festival falls on Shravan Purnima, the full moon of the lunar month.
As per the Hindu rituals, there are auspicious days as well as auspicious timings to perform a particular ritual. Just like Raksha Bandhan celebrates on the auspicious day of the full moon of an auspicious lunar month, we must take care of the timings when the sacred thread needs to be tied down to the wrist.
On August 03, 2020, the best time to tie Rakhi to brothers is anytime between 9 am to 9 pm. It should ideally be done in the late afternoon.
There are a lot of stories that are believed to mark the beginning of the festival. One such story goes back to the times of Mahabharta when once Shri Krishna was inflicted with an injury made by some sharp object and Draupadi instantly tore the loose end of her pallu and tied down on the wrist of Shri Krishna. It was done to stop the blood flowing out of Krishna’s body. Krishna pledged to protect the life and dignity of Draupadi. Hence, when Draupadi faced humiliation by the hands of Kauravas in the royal court during the board game where all her husbands lost her and failed to stand for her honour, Krishna came to protect Draupadi.
Later during the Mughal rule, this festival once again regained the glory when a Muslim ruler, Humayun recognized the Rakhi sent by a queen of Mewar, Rani Karnavati. In order to honor this sacred thread, he waged war against the opponents of Mewar who were hell-bent to usurp the kingdom.
Raksha Bandhan Mantra and Its Importance
'येन बद्धो बलिराजा, दानवेन्द्रो महाबलः तेनत्वाम प्रति बद्धनामि रक्षे, माचल-माचलः'
This is the mantra that priests and saints chant while tying a Raksha sutra on the wrists of their clients. This same mantra must be chanted by the brothers and sisters during the rituals of Raksha Bandhan. Through this mantra, brothers vow to take responsibility for the protection and safety of their sisters.
On this day, some families first tie rakhi on the wrists of the deity they believe in, before actually performing the ritual to their brothers and loved ones. The majority of them tie rakhi to Lord Krishna, the savior of the entire world. By doing so, they are putting their faith in the God who has all the powers in the world to take them out unscathed from the problems and challenging situations of their lives.
Other festivals on Shravan Purnima:
Shravan Purnima coincides with other several festivals that happen simultaneously in other parts of India. These are Nariyal Purnima, celebrated by the fishing community, yajna pavit in South India, Kajari Purnima by farming community.