Raksha Bandhan - A Time-Honoured Veneration Of Fraternity And Devoir

19 April 2016

One of the most choice carousals of the Hindu community in this world, ‘Raksha Bandhan’ (‘Raksha=Protection ‘Bandhan’=Vinculum) or the fete of Rakhi (The Celestial Tie) encompasses a cultured history of 6000 years. The nascence of the divine observance, wherein by a psychedelic cotton band, brothers are plighted for eternity to safeguard and meliorate their sisters’ entity in any and every environ and whereas by tying the colourful cord, sisters are timelessly avowed to pray for their brothers’ abundance and gaiety, happened during the aeon of Indian Sub-Continent’s most flourishing and opulent civilization---the Indus Valley Civilization. Indian antiquity embraces some heart-brimming anecdotes about the heart-felt practice of this sublime ceremony of Rakhi.

The earliest chronicle in relation to the solemnization of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ has been traced back to 326 BCE, when the legendary Greek monarch Alexander the Great made inroads to India. Narratives vow that the monarch’s wife Roxana alias Roshanak sent the beatific string of Rakhi to king Porus, ruler of the Indian kingdom of ‘Kaikeya’ and urged him to not to injure her husband in the battlefield. During the combat, king Porus paid full homage to the pious nexus which had linked him with queen Roxana and letting go the chance---individually constrained from striking Alexander. A mid-seventeenth century Rajasthani recital encircles the hearty tale about the bond of fraternity between Rani Karnavati of the Rajasthani state of Chittor and emperor Humayun—that time ruler of India. This tale, dating back to 1535 CE, expresses that when the widow queen Karnavati got enlightened about her incapability to shield the fortress of Chittor in the face of the raid of the Sultan of the Indian state of Gujrat---Bahadur Shah, she sent the chaste cord of Rakhi to emperor Humayun and desired for his whole-hearted assistance. Emotionally affected by this blessed gesture of the queen, the emperor moved immediately with his force to preserve the Chittor fort. Though the emperor, due to late arrival, was unable to shield Chittor from the plunder of Bahadur Shah, this warmful yarn keeps on beaming as a pietistic ray in the defined deep heritage of the commemoration of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ surpassing the hindrances of caste and religion. Testimonies of the bygone years further voices that the sovereign of the Sikh Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his queen Maharani Jindan bolstered the concord in between the Sikh Empire and the country of Nepal by the realization of the conviviality of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ among the Sikhs and the Nepalis. This congenial gesture of the Maharaja and the Maharani was lauded with a true fervor by the monarch of Nepal, Jang Bahadur in the year 1849---when he bestowed Maharani Jindan with a haven in Nepal at the fall and conquest of the Sikh Empire by the British---thus showing a wholesome allegiance to the pledge of armoring his not biological but gifted sister as her Rakhi had shaped his relationship with her. A mytho-historical chronicle states that during the Mahabharata period, when while executing the notorious king Shishupal Lord Krishna cut his finger, Draupadi (the sanctified princess) at once ripped off a piece of her sari and dressed his wound. This deep-felt endeavor of the princess was cognized by the Lord as his ‘Fraternal Debt of Love’ and he avowed to Draupadi that in her most necessitous times every fabric of her torn sari will be restored by the Lord. Indeed as it happened, at Draupadi’s most destitute aeon Lord Krishna shielded her dignity by enwrapping her with a never-to-end cloak and hence demonstrated to mankind about the gravity of the vow taken by brothers to secure their sisters from any vice. This tale is honored by the Hindu community as one of the prime pillars behind the evolution of the carousal of ‘Raksha Bandhan’. The election of the bout of ‘Shravan Purnima’ (A Day with a Full Moon Night in the mid of August) as the stint to observe the sublime fete of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ also nurtures its origin from the mythological history of Goddess Laxmi tying the ethereal knot of Rakhi in the wrist of the demon king Bali on the pious period of ‘Shravan Purnima’.

As the aforementioned records of the old times evince, ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is fundamentally the veneration of the bond of sorority between a man and a woman. Although, at pace with customs, the commemoration needs to be happened between blood brother and sister---noteworthy yarns of the bygone days cardinally prove that this nexus of comity inevitably have not to be between a biologically related brother-sister dyad-rather the yarns demonstrate how whole-hearted fealty had been shown to the vows of the ceremony by unrelated men and women linked by the divine cord of Rakhi. In this way, exploring the past and the evolution of the celebration of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ aids the Hindu community in realizing the connotation of kinship and camaraderie among the two genders.

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