Raksha Bandhan is a Sanskrit word where ‘Raksha’ means protection and ‘Bandhan’ means relationship. It is an age-old tradition that is observed in India to celebrate the strong bond between brothers and sisters. On this day, a sister ties an amulet called ‘rakhi’ on the wrist of her brother’s wrist as a symbol of seeking protection and care. These days, sisters also take up the role of a protective brother, truly making this day a celebration of sibling-bond.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the last day of the Hindu lunar calendar month – Shraavana. This year, it will be celebrated in India on 3rd August. There are many stories behind the reason for celebrating this day. All the stories strongly iterate only one promise – the promise to protect.
Story of Draupadi and Krishna
This story dates back to the epic Mahabharata. On one Makar Sankranti, Krishna was cutting sugarcane when he accidentally cut his finger. His wife, Rukmini, sent an official to get first aid. In the meantime, Draupadi reacting with her quick instincts, tore a bit of her saree and tied his cut finger to reduce the bleeding. Krishna promised in return, to help her when she was in need.
The story of Yama and Yamuna
According to one legend, Yamuna (a river in India) tied a rakhi to the Lord of death – Yama, who in turn granted her immortality. Yama was so moved by this gesture that he declared that any brother who has a rakhi tied by his sister and has offered protection in return, will also become immortal.
Story of Karnavati and Humayun
Another famous version of the history of this festival is that of Karnavati and Emperor Humayun. After defeating Vikramjeet once, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked Mewar for the second time while the Queen Karnavati started seeking for support from other kingdoms. In the meantime, she sent a rakhi and wrote a letter to Emperor Humayan in the hope of support to protect her kingdom. Respecting the thread that Karnavati had sent, Humayun immediately sent his army to protect her.
Raksha Bandhan is a promise of protecting each other from all troubles and bringing security. Children need our support the most. They need protection in the form of food, shelter, clothes and education. There are many Indian NGOs that work towards securing the future of children.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian NGO that supports children hailing from economically-challenged sections of the society, by feeding them with unlimited food for education. The Foundation is recognised as the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme and feeds 1.8 million children every single day. It serves mid-day meals to children studying in 19,039 Government and Government-aided schools spread across 12 States and 2 Union Territories of India.
This Raksha Bandhan, secure the present and future of children by providing them regular school meals and education. Your support will make this special day even more meaningful.