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Celebration of Rakshabandhan
Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters.
1. Historical occurrences and mentions 1
Santoshi MaThe tale of the deity Santoshi Mata, and the narrative of her creation on Raksha Bandhan day, was popularized in the 1975 Bollywood blockbuster Jai Santoshi Maa. Ganesh had two sons, Shubh and Labh. On Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh sister visited and tied a rakhi on Ganesh wrist. Feelinand his two wives, Riddhi and Siddhi, for a sister. Finally, Ganesh conceded the demand and Santoshi Ma (literally the Mother Goddess of Satisfaction) was created by divine flames that emerged from Riddhi and Siddhi.
2. Historical occurrences and mentions 2
Krishna and Draupadi Another incident is from the epic Mahabharat and concerns Krishna and Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. She had once torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna wrist to staunch the bleeding from a battlefield wound.
Krishna was touched by her action and declared her to be his sister, even though they were unrelated. He promised to repay the debt and then spent the next 25 years doing just that. Draupadi, in spite of being married to 5 great warriors and being a daughter of a powerful monarch, trusted and depended wholly on Krishna. Krishna repaid the debt of love during the Cheer Haran literally clothing robbing of Draupadi, which occurred in the assembly of King Dhritarashtra when Yudhisthira lost her to the Kauravas in gambling. At that time, Krishna indefinitely extended her saree through divine intervention, so it could not be removed, to save her honor. This is how he honored his rakhi vow towards Draupadi.
3. Historical occurrences and mentions 3
King Bali and Goddess Laxmi According to a legend the Demon King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu had taken up the task to guard his kingdom leaving his own abode in Vaikunth. Goddess Lakshmi wished to be with her lord back in her abode. She went to Bali disguised as a woman to seek refuge till her husband came back.
During the Shravan Purnima celebrations, Lakshmi tied the sacred thread to the King. Upon being asked, she revealed who she was and why she was there. The king was touched by her goodwill for his family and her purpose and requested the Lord to accompany her. He sacrificed all he had for the Lord and his devoted wife.
Thusdevotion to the Lord. It is said that since then it has been a tradition to invite sisters in Shravan Purnima for the thread tying ceremony or the Raksha Bandhan.
4. Historical occurrences and mentions 4
Yama and the Yamuna According to another legend, Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna, (the river in northern India). Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved by the serenity of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection, will become immortal.
5. Historical occurrences and mentions 5
Alexander the Great and King PuruAccording to one legendary narrative, when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BC, Roxana (or Roshanak, his wife) sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with tradition, Porus a Katoch king gave full respect to the rakhi. On the battlefield, when Porus was about to deliver a final blow to Alexander, he saw the rakhi on his own wrist and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.
6. Historical occurrences and mentions 6
Rani Karnavati and Emperor HumayunA popular narrative that is centered around Rakhi is that of Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun, which dates to 1535 CE. When Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, realised that she could not defend against the invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a Rakhi to Emperor Humayun. Touched, the Emperor immediately set off with his troops to defend Chittor. Humayun arrived too late, and Bahadur Shah managed to sack the Rani fortress. Karnavati, along with a reported 13,000 other women in the fortress, carried out Jauhar on March 8, 1535, killing themselves to avoid dishonor while the men threw the gates open and rode out on a suicidal charge against Bahadur Shah troops.
When he reached Chittor, Humayun evicted Bahadur Shah from fort and restored the kingdom to Karnavati son, Vikramjit Singh. Although contemporary commentators and memoirs do not mention the Rakhi episode and some historians have expressed skepticism about it, it is mentioned in one mid seventeenth century Rajasthani account.
7. Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters the festival is also popularly used to celebrate any brother sister like loving protective relationship between men and women who are relatives or biologically unrelated.It is called Rakhi Purnima, or simply Rakhi, in many parts of India. The festival is observed by Hindus, Jains, and many Sikhs.Raksha Bandhan is primarily observed in India, Mauritius and parts of Nepal. It is also celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs in parts of Pakistan,and by some people of Indian origin around the world.Raksha Bandhan is an ancient festival, and has many myths and historic legends linked to it. For example, the Rajput queens practised the custom of sending rakhi threads to neighbouring rulers as token of brotherhood.On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother wrist. This symbolizes the sister love and prayers for her brother well being, and the brother lifelong vow to protect her.The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar.
8. Traditions & Customs
A custom (also called a tradition) is any thing which lots of people do, and have done for a long time. Usually, the people come from the same country, culture, time or religion. If something is usually done the same way, you might say that is the customary way of doing things.The meaning of culture is similar to the meaning of custom. A custom is more about practices, while culture is more about ideas or a group of customs. A custom overall is just similar to culture and culture means the way of life of a people.Custom can also have a second meaning, as in Custom paint job on a car. This means paintwork that has been specially changed.
Custom can also mean changed to suit betteraltered in order to fit somebody requirements.
On the day of Rakhi festival, the sister ties Rakhi on the wrist of her brother and both make prayer to God for the well being of each other. Sisters perform aarti and put tilak on the forehead of her brother. In return, brothers make promise to take care of his sister under all circumstances. Usually, brothers gift something to the sister to mark the occasion. The mirth that surrounds the festival is unsurpassed. Amidst the merriment the rituals are also followed with great devotion.
9. Preparation of Rakhi Festival
Generally, the fancy Rakhis and delicious sweets are prepared long before the Shravana Purnima. According to the Indian tradition, the family members get ready for the rituals early in the morning. They take a bath to purify mind and body before starting any preparations. Sisters prepare the puja thali which consists of roli, tilak, Rakhi threads, rice grains, aggarbattis (incense sticks), diyas and sweets. After offering the rituals to the deities of the family, the sister perform aarti of their brothers and ties Rakhi on their wrist. Then, they put kumkum powder on the forehead of their brother and offer sweets. All these rituals take place amid the chanting of the following mantras
Suraj shakhan chhodian, Mooli chhodia beej
Behen ne rakhi bandhi / Bhai tu chir jug jee
Which means The sun radiates its sunlight, the radish spreads its seeds
I tie the rakhi to you O brother and wish that may you live long.
After her prayer for a long life for her brother, she says that she is tie the ever protective Raksha to her brother wrist and chants
Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala.
This means, I tie you the rakhi that was tied to king Bali, the king of Demons,
O Rakhi I pray that you never falter in protecting your devotee.
In return, brothers pampers and blesses the sisters and promises to protect her from all the evils of this world. He also present a token of his love and affection as a Rakhi gift. The rituals performed on Raksha Bandhan may differ from place to place but they carry the same aura throughout the globe.
The festival is celebrated in different forms in different areas and is also known by different names. As per traditions, on this day the sister prepares the Puja Thali with a Diya, Rice, Roli and Rakhis. She worships the Gods, ties Rakhi to her brother and prays for his well being. In return the brother accepts the love with a promise to protect her sister and gives her a gift. Traditionally, they then share and eat sweets like Kaju Katli, Jalebi, and Burfi. This festival strengthens the bond of love between the sisters and brothers.
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