Raksha Bandhan – Meaning, Origin, And Reason For Celebration

Raksha Bandhan


In India, there are many festivals that are celebrated throughout the year. One of them is Raksha Bandhan. This festival is celebrated to depict the novel and remarkable bond, that a brother and sister share, that cannot be expressed in words. Relationships between siblings around the world are unique. But, in India, this unique bond is commemorated in an extraordinary manner and is devoted to sibling love.


Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival celebrated across India and Nepal and signified the love among brothers and sisters. Raksha Bandhan is commemorated on the full moon day in the month of ‘Shravana’ according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar. 


Meaning Of The Festival


The celebration is made from two words ‘Raksha’ and ‘Bandhan’. According to the Sanskrit language, the festival signifies ‘the knot of protection’. The literal meaning of ‘Raksha’ is ‘Protection’ and ‘Bandhan’ means ‘The Bond’ so, in other words, you can call it ‘The bond of protection’. The festival signifies the true and unending love in the relationship of a brother and sister. The brother vows to safeguard his sister under all situations, and the sister ties a string called ‘Rakhi’ around his wrist, praying for his health & prosperity. Sisters also get return gifts from their brothers on this special day. In case, brother and sister live away from each other, sisters do send rakhi online delivery to their brothers. However, the brother and sister relationship does not always need to blood related to celebrate the festival.


Origin Of The Festival


The festival is said to have dawned ages ago, and according to Hindu mythology, there are various stories linked to the commemoration of this unique festival. Let us look into a couple of them:


  1. Goddess Lakshmi & King Bali

    According to the Vishnu and Bhagavata Purana, when the three realms were acquired by Lord Vishnu from the demon King Bali, he was urged by King Bali to stay along with him in the castle. His appeal was accepted by Lord Vishnu, and he began living with King Bali. However, the wife of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, ached for him to retreat to Vaikuntha, which was his natal place. So, Goddess Lakshmi tied a rakhi around King Bali’s wrist, making him her brother. When King Bali asked her what gift she would like in return, she asked the king to set Lord Vishnu free from the promise and allow him to return to his natal place. The King accepted the appeal and allowed Lord Vishnu to retreat to Vaikuntha with Goddess Lakshmi.


  2. Yamuna & Yama

    According to another legend it is said once Yama, the God of Death, didn’t visit Yamuna, his sister, for a span of around twelve years. Due to this, Yamuna had grown extremely sad. So, following the advice given by Ganga, Yama decides to meet his sister. Yama’s visit makes his sister extremely happy, and he receives a fantastic treatment from his sister. Yama feels immensely delighted to receive such treatment and hospitality and asks his sister what gift she would like in return. The Yamuna reveals her wish of seeing her brother time and again. Listening to her wish, Yama makes Yamuna immortal so that they both can see each other time and again. This tale also correlates and establishes the foundation of another festival which is based on the brother-sister relationship known as “Bhai Dooj”.


Why Do We Celebrate Raksha Bandhan


Raksha Bandhan, as a festival, is celebrated to commemorate the love between brothers and sisters. This is a unique day where sisters beseech for the health, success, and prosperity of their brothers. On the other hand, brothers promise to protect their sisters, come what may. Even distance cannot cease the celebration of this festival as brothers send their sister’s online gifts and sisters send rakhi to their brothers. Indeed, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated to honor the essence of true love in a brother-sister relationship.