While the entire month of Shravana is no less than a festival because of the huge number of events falling in this month, Raksha Bandhan, the festival of brothers and sisters, gives the month a beautiful happy ending. There is probably nothing as beautiful as the relationship between a brother and a sister.
An elder brother or sister is just like a friend and a guide to us. It is just like another form of an everlasting friendship. Raksha Bandhan is the most perfect day to celebrate that bond.
The cultural significance of the festival has been mentioned in the scriptures also. Besides the strength that the day brings to the relationship, it provides protection and progress to the brother through the sister's blessings and prayers.
A sister ties a thread, known as a rakhi, around the wrist of her brother. While tying the thread, she prays for a healthy and a happy long life for her brother. The brother promises to safeguard her life and be there with her in all good and bad times. Besides this, he gets a present for her in return for the rakhi.
There are rules that should be followed while assembling the things to keep on the rakhi tray. People generally keep anything and everything sacred that they find in the puja room, or what they use during the daily worship. This is not the right way, say the astrologers.
Only a few but specific items should be taken while tying the rakhi because of the religious significance associated with them.
Vermilion is the first thing that you should include on your puja tray. It is a symbol of long life and good luck. When worn on the forehead, vermilion helps keep the mind active and composed. When a sister puts a vermilion tilak on her brother's forehead, it brings victory to him in all spheres of life.
Akshat refers to the rice taken for puja. What is worth mentioning here is that the broken grains of rice should not be considered. Akshat itself means the unbroken; so, only the unbroken grains of rice should be kept there on the tray. It adds to his prosperity.
Coconut is also known as shrifal; it symbolises Goddess Lakshmi. This is also included amongst the items to be kept on the rakhi tray. The sister should hand over this coconut to the brother after marking the tilak on his forehead. It is believed to open the gateways to his professional progress.
4. Raksha Sutra
In the olden days, it was the sacred red thread, which we know as moli today, that the sister used to tie as a rakhi. Over time, it took the form of decorated rakhi threads available in the market today. However, the most important item on the rakhi tray, this raksha sutra, or the modern rakhi, offers protection to the brother. All kinds of health problems are removed and the brother gets a long life.
It is believed that giving sweets to the brother, brings sweetness to the relationship. It strengthens the bond of love between the brother and sister forever and brings good luck and auspiciousness to the lives of both.