Rakhi is celebrated with great joy and excitement all around India. Known as Raksha Bandhan in other parts of the country, it symbolises love, affection and feeling of brotherhood. Rakhi, a colourful piece of art, with silken threads entwined together in an attractive manner and adorned with beads and golden threads are placed on the wrists of brothers for their good health, wealth, happiness and success. The brothers in return pledge to protect their sisters from danger. This festival establishes the bond of love and affection between the siblings.
It is said that Rakhi Purnima originated when Indrani, wife of Lord Indra, prepared a talisman which she tied on her husband's wrist on Sravan Purnima to win the battle against the demons. The power of the talisman made the Gods victorious. Ever since, on Sravan Poornima day, the tradition of tying the thread began and it was believed that the persons would be blessed with health, wealth, happiness and victories.
This practice was prevalent among the Rajputs and our history is full of instances related to the significance of this tradition. At the time of war when the brave Rajput soldiers prepared to go to the battle field, the women folk followed the ritual of tying a thread around their wrist after applying a dash of vermilion powder on their forehead. This was considered a sign of good omen and the ladies believed that it would protect their men from the enemy's blow and bring them victory. The queen of Mewar, Maharani Karmavati, had to face the threat of Governor Bahadur Shah who laid seige on her kingdom. Helpless she sent a rakhi to the Mughal king, Humayun. The emperor who under normal circumstances would not have preferred to help a Rajput ruler, decided to protect her from the threat. Humayun reached Mewar chased Bahadur Shah and his men and restored the kingdom to the queen of Mewar. There were instances during our freedom struggle when freedom fighters wore the tread around their wrists with pride. Rabindranath Tagore introduced this tradition in Santiniketan to reestablish the bond of love between all sects and religions. Today Rakhi is tied on the wrists of soldiers by children and women all around the country filling the soilders with the zest to protect them against the dangers of the enemy.
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