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Trivia : Raksha Bandhan
 
 
Raksha Bandhan (the bond of protection in Hindi) is a Hindu festival, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shraavana. The festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her. The brother and sister traditionally feed each other sweets. It is not necessary that the rakhi can be given only to a brother by birth; any male can be "adopted" as a brother by tying a rakhi on the person, that is "blood brothers and sisters", whether they are cousins or a good friend. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves. Rani Karnavati of Chittor sent a rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun when she was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Mewar. Humayun abandoned an ongoing military campaign to ride to her rescue. The rakhi may also be tied on other special occasions to show solidarity and kinship (not necessarily only among brothers and sisters), as was done during the Indian independence movement.

Trivia
• Indra's fight with Vritra:
Indra, the king of devtas (gods), had lost his kingdom to the asura (demon) Vritra. At the behest of his Guru Brihaspati, Indra's wife Sachi tied a thread around her husband's wrist to ensure his victory in the upcoming duel.

• Draupadi and Krishna
After Shishupal's death, Krishna was left with a bleeding finger. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna's wrist to stop the flow of blood. Touched by her concern, Krishna had declared himself bound to her by her love. He further promised to repay the debt many fold. Many years later when Draupudi was about to be shamed by being disrobed in front of the whole court by her evil brother-in-law Duryodhana, she called on Krishna to help her, and he did by divinely elongating her sari so it could not be removed.

• Rani Karnawati and Emperor Humayun
One of the earliest origins of Raksha Bandhan in documented history can be traced to the medieval era. During this period the Rajputs were fighting Muslim invasions. Rakhi at that time was a spiritual symbol associated with protection of the sister. History has it that when Queen Karnawati the widow of the then King of Chittor realised that she could in no way defend the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor touched by the gesture, accepted the rakhi thereby accepting Queen Karnawati as a "sister" and immediately started off with his vast troops to protect Queen Karnavati.

• King Bali and Goddess Laxmi
According to another 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 Brahmin 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. Thus the festival is also called Baleva that is Bali Raja's devotion 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.

• 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. 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.

Raksha Bandhan celebratons in India

While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated all over the country, different parts of the country mark the day in different ways. These celebrations happen to fall on the same day, and may not have anything to do with Raksha Bandhan itself or Rakhi.

Perhaps the single most important way of celebrating Raksha Bandhan is by tying the rakhi. A sister ties a rakhi to the wrist of her brother. The tying of a rakhi signifies her asking of her brother for his protection and love for the sister. The brother in turn, accepts the rakhi, confirms his love and affection for his sister and shows this with gifts and money. It is a family event where all members of family, dressed in finery, gather and celebrate. The tying of rakhi is followed by a family feast.

Rakhi Purnima
Rakhi is celebrated as Rakhi Purnima in North India as well as in parts of Northwest India. The word "Purnima" means a full moon night.

Nariyal Purnima
In western India and parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa this day is celebrated as Nariyal Purnima. On this day an offering of a coconut (nariyal) is made to the sea, as a mark of respect to Lord Varuna, the God of the Sea. Nariyal Purnima marks the beginning of the fishing season and the fisherman, who depend on the sea for a living, make an offering to Lord Varuna so that they can reap bountiful fish from the sea.

Avani Avittam
In southern parts of India including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Orissa, this day is celebrated by the Brahmin community as Avani Avittam. In Karnataka, this day is celebrated as Upakarma( in Kannada) by the followers of Yajurveda. Upakarma day is the traditional day of the beginning of Vedic studies. As part of the Upakarman/Upakarma ritual, they also change their sacred thread or yajnopavitam, the Sanskrit word for the thread. It is also called "janivaara" in Kannada, "janeyu" in Hindi, "poonool" in Tamil, " poithe" in Bengali, and "jhanjyam" in Telugu.

Kajari Purnima
In central parts of India such as Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkand and Bihar this day is celebrated as Kajari Purnima. It is an important day for the farmers and women blessed with a son. On the ninth day after Shravana Amavasya, the preparations of the Kajari festival start. This ninth day is called Kajari Navami and varied rituals are performed by women who have sons until Kajri Purnima or the full moon day.

Pavitropana
In parts of Gujarat, this day is celebrated as Pavitropana. On this day people perform the grand pooja or the worship of Lord Shiva. It is the culmination of the prayers done through out the year.
 
 
 
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