Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on Purnima (the day of the full moon) in the month of Shravana (July-August). The word “Raksha” means protection and “Bandhan” means to bind, so it literally means the tie or knot of protection.
This is a beautiful and symbolic ritual that celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. Here, we are not referring to only biological brothers and sisters, but also it includes any loving, protective relationship between those that are not related biologically.
In this ritual, the ladies say this mantra and tie the rakhi (decorated thread) upon the wrist of their male protectors, binding them with the vow of Truth.
After tying the rakhi, the ladies pray for the well being of their brother, or protector, while gracing him with her love. In return, the brother pledges to protect and take care of his sister, or lady, under all circumstances. Sometimes, the sister will do arati, place a tilak on his forehead, and feed him with her own hands.
The meaning of the mantra is to bind the brother in truth. The story goes that King Bali was so bound by truth that there was a situation where he offered to Vishnu’s dwarf avatar, Vamana Avatar, three steps of land. After the promise, Lord Vishnu turned into a huge form. His first step covered the entire earth. His second step covered the heavens. To stay in truth, King Bali offered his head as the third step.
Celebration at the Devi Mandir
Join us on live webcam, on Sunday, August 10th at 11:30 am (after the Chandi Path) for a very special Raksha Bandhan ceremony. We will sing a few bhajans and anticipate that Shree Maa will tie the rakhi on Swamiji!