Dhanteras also known as the festival of...
Our rich Indian tradition is full of festivals, each having its own special significance. Out of the many festivals celebrated here, Raksha bandhan is one of the most graceful and pious occasion celebrated among the brothers and sisters. The sister with great love ties the holy thread called Rakhi on the wrist of her dear brother wishing for his good health, prosperity and well being. In turn the brother promises to protect and take care of his sister.
Spiritual Significance of Raksha Bandhan
Story of King Bali and Goddess Laxmi
King Bali was the grandson of ‘Prahlad ji’.
Once he was conducting the ‘Ashwamedh yagya’ after winning over the heaven from Diety Indra. There came upon the Vaman Avtar (the dwarf brahmin), the 5th incarnation of Lord Vishnu and asked for charity (Bhiksha) from King Bali.
Bali promised to give the Brahman whatever he asked for. Vaman ji asked for ‘three pada bhoomi’ (the land which he would cover in his three steps). Bali agreed to it. Vaman ji then took a gigantic form & covered the whole universe in his two steps. Now King Bali possessed nothing at all in order to keep his promise for the remaining third step. If he would not keep his promise then he would go to hell. So, King Bali asked Vaman ji to keep his third step on his head.
Looking at the humbleness of King Bali, the Lord felt very happy and instead made him the king of the ‘Patala Loka’ (South America). Vaman ji was obliged by the Love and devotion of King Bali and so he decided to become his guard of ‘Patala Loka’.
Bali felt blessed with the Grace of his Lord. When Lakshmi ji came to know that her husband Lord Vishnu is guarding the ‘Patala Loka’, she wished him to return to his abode ‘Vaikunth‘. She asked King Bali to become her brother.
Thus, on the day of Raksha Bandhan, she tied Rakhi to King Bali. On being asked by Bali for a gift in return, she asked him to leave her husband Lord Vishnu who is working as a guard at his doorstep. Bali accepted the will of her sister Goddess Lakshmi ji.
Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi returned to their abode ‘Vaikunth Dham’ on the day of ‘Shravan Shukla Purnima’.
Spiritual Master says- The one who surrenders his body, mind, money, soul, and ego everything to the Almighty, the Lord himself takes care of him. He becomes the protector of his devotee from all the negativity including kaam, krodh, lobh, moh, ahankar which are the hurdles in the pathway of spirituality. The Lord stays in his pure heart.
Story of Lord Krishna and Draupadi
Once, Lord Krishna hurt his hand while fighting Shishupala, a man who had committed several heinous acts. When this happened, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandava brothers, rushed to cover the wound by tearing a piece of her sari and tying it around Lord Krishna’s hand. Lord Krishna was touched by her Kind action and declared her to be his sister. Then the Lord asked what she would like. Draupadi replied by saying she only desired His Divine presence at every moment of her life. From that moment on, Lord Krishna told Draupadi that He would be with her whenever she called out for Him.
During ‘Cheer Haran’ of Draupadi by the Kauravas, no one stepped forward to protect her. Even her five warrior husbands (Pandavas) kept quite. When Draupadi cried for help and called upon Lord Krishna, the Lord himself protected her by taking form of an extended sari in lieu of the small piece of cloth tied around his finger.
It is a ritual to strengthen the bond of sibling love. On seeing the Indian history, Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the King of Chittor, sent a Rakhi to Emperor Humayun to protect her against the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah. Humayun immediately set off with his troops to defend Chittor. Humayun arrived too late and Bhahadur Shah managed to take over Rani’s fort. But Humayun conquered over Bahadur Shah and restored the kingdom to Karnavati’s son.
Even today in Punjab, many sisters who do not have a brother go to Guru dwara and tie the holy thread to Guru Nanak ji. In Uttar Pradesh, girls who do not have a brother tie Rakhi to Lord Krishna.
Guru Shishya Relationship
In Spirituality, the disciple ties Rakhi on Guru’s hand imploring Him to protect the YOG or Connection to God. Satguru ‘The Divine Master’ takes care and guides the devoted disciple to move forward on the path of spiritual journey. Guru also ties the Rakhi on the disciple’s hand which strengthens the Divine Bonding between them. Guru protects this bonding and makes our soul rise with his Divine guidance and company.
Spiritual Master says, “This festival is to replenish the love, care and bonding among the members of the family. It is not necessary to exchange expensive gift items or money. Our love and care for each other can simply be expressed through the exchange of sweets and a bouquet of flowers. In today’s world, our inner feelings of love, care, sincerity, commitment, faithfulness, devotion, trust and wishing the best for all are much more valuable, important and desirable, rather than the pseudo external pomp and show off.
Today, that which is most needed is a loving heart.”
God is the life giver, protector and care taker of all of us. On this occasion, let us all pray sincerely to the Lord asking Him,
“Oh Lord! I must not forget you” (Hey Nath! Main Aapko Bhulu Nahin).
This blog is to once again revive our rich Indian culture and to feel the love and care in our hearts.
Hare Krishna !!