Friday January 19, 2018

Celebrating Raksha Bandhan: Significance of the ancient Hindu festival is all about Brotherhood

Dividing the name: ‘Raksha’ means protection and ‘Bandhan’ means bound; in Sanskrit, it literally means ‘the knot of protection’

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Raksha Bandhan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • Raksha Bandhan is a festival that’s celebrated each year around mid-August
  • Even the sages tied the sacred thread to themselves as a method of safeguarding themselves against all evils
  • There are logical reasons behind each action performed during this festival

August 18, 2016: This year, India celebrates August 18 as the festival of brotherhood. Raksha Bandhan, popularly known as Rakhi is one of the ancient and most significant festivals among Hindus.

“To the most wonderful sister in the world: they say your rakhi is my promise to protect you but I hope that doesn’t mean that I can no longer mess up your freshly tied ponytail, wrestle for the remote or steal the last piece of cake from your plate. However, I and only I can pick on you, so expect me to soon punch that guy in your class who calls you fat. Not because you aren’t fat but simply because you are MY fatty to annoy. Happy Raksha Bandhan loser, I promise to be your superman in case you ever need one.” – a message from a brother to her sister on Raksha Bandhan.

Messages like the one above, can bring a tear to someone’s eye; for the ancient Hindu festival celebrates brotherhood by bond. Having said that, do any of us know the real reason behind this festival’s existence? If this question has bothered you for a while then do read further to satiate that curiosity.

History

Taking it back to the old school, even the rishi munis tied rakhi to the people who came to seek their blessings whereas the sages tied the sacred thread to themselves as a method of safeguarding themselves against all evils. Rabindranath Tagore first promoted the festival, to spread the feeling of unity and encourage, a harmonious social existence with a promise to protect each other from any harm or evil. In that era, people didn’t stop at siblings; a rakhi was tied to the neighbours and close friends too. It was each individual’s way of signifying a peaceful co-existence.

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Raksha Bandhan elebration with street children
Raksha Bandhan elebration with street children

Significance

Dividing the name: ‘Raksha’ means protection and ‘Bandhan’ means bound. In Sanskrit, it literally means ‘the knot of protection’. It’s a festival that’s celebrated each year around in mid-August. Even though it is a Hindu festival, but Jains and Sikhs celebrate it too.

There are logical reasons behind each action performed during the festival. For example, there’s a purpose behind tying the sacred thread on the right wrist instead of the left. It is due to the Brahmin’s action of placing an amulet on your right wrist in order to protect you from misery and depression. This sacred thread promises love, care and respect for one another, in addition to the vow of protection. Additionally, the early morning baths are to purify your mind and soul.

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There are various legends that follow this festival, one such interesting legend is of the Lord of Death (Yama) and his sister, Yamuna. When Yamuna tied a rakhi to him, Yama was so moved by the serenity of it all that he declared immortality to whoever promised protection to their sisters when tied a rakhi. Well, immortality sounds like a good reason to support the celebrations with some gusto.

Raksha bandhan, a festival that involves preparing elaborate food items, distributing sweets, and gifts. The main purpose behind the festival is togetherness, that adds happiness in one’s life. It’s a celebration of love, care and respect that one has for the another.

– prepared by Karishma Vanjani of NewsGram. Twitter: @BladesnBoots

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India successfully test fires n-capable Agni-V ballistic missile

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

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Nirbhay
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the Nirbhay missile test was "successful".(Representative image) VOA
  • India successfully tests the Agni-V ballistic missile on Thursday
  • This was the fifth test that missile underwent
  • With this success, India is now in ranks with US, UK, China and Russia

India on Thursday successfully tests fired its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V — the most potent and with the longest range in the Agni series – that can reach targets as far as Beijing.

The test took place at the Abdul Kalam Island facility off the Odisha coast. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted about its success, congratulating its makers DRDO, the armed forces and the defence industry.

You may also like: Ballistic missile Agni-IV test fired as part of user trial

India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons
India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons

She said the successful test of the 5,000-km-range missile that can carry a one-tonne warhead, was “a major boost to the defence capabilities of our country”.

“The Made in India canistered missile, having three stages of propulsion, was successfully test fired,” she tweeted.

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni-V is the most advanced version of the Agni series, part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that started in the 1960s.

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

This was the fifth test of the missile and likely to be its first user trial, though there was no official word on it.

India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.
India is developing new technologies every day to strengthen its defence.

Thursday’s test brings the missile closer to its induction in the tri-service Strategic Forces Command.

The missile has a much longer shelf life, with its container being made of special steel that absorbs the blast of the takeoff.

In the canisterised launch, a gas generator inside ejects the missile up to a height of about 30 metres. A motor is then ignited to fire the missile.

Also Read: Nikki Haley says North Korea Could Face Stronger Sanctions due to its 7th Missile test in 2017

With this missile, India joins the super-exclusive club of ICBM (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500 km) capable countries of the US, Russia, the UK, France and China. IANS