The festival is also known as Rakhi Purnima as it falls on the full moon
day of the Hindu month 'Shravana'. The month of Shravana is the month of
gods and pujans (worships) and the full moon day being the most important
day of all. Rakhi Purnima
is important in more than one way. Since,
the festival is celebrated in many states, it is known with many names and
rituals but the only thing that does not change is the prayer and pledge for
the protection of siblings.
Different regions have different beliefs pertaining to Raksha Bandhan and
follow different rituals. In the Western Ghats, rakhi is considered to be an
offering to Lord Varuna - the Lord of the sea. Lord Varuna is offered
Coconuts. On this day, coconuts are thrown into the sea as a ritual. Here,
the festival of Rakhi is known as Nariyal Purnima
, and it is also
marks the beginning of the fishing season.
Avani Avittam in South India
In South India, Raksha Bandhan is called Avani Avittam
festival is important for Brahmins. They first take a holy bath and then
change their holy thread (Janeyu) amid chanting the mantras. They take a
pledge to perform the brahmanik duties as prescribed in the holy books and
adopt a good conduct and dignity. The Janeyu is a representation of the vow
for adherence to vedic culture, observance of Hindu traditions and service
to humanity. The ceremony is called Shravani or Rishi Tarpan
Brahmans celebrate it in the same way.
Kajari Purnima in North India
Kajari Purnima is the name by which the festival of Rakhi is known in North
India. The festival is celebrated when wheat and barley are sown in this
region. Goddess Bhagwati is worshipped and farmers seek her blessings for a
good crop. The name Baleva signifies the might of King Bali and his devotion
to lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi.
In Gujarat people offer water to the Shivalinga every Monday of the month.
On Rakhi Purnima they offer water and pray to God for forgiveness. In one
ceremony known as Pavitropana, a few twisted filaments of cotton are soaked
in panchagaivya (mixture of cow's ghee, milk, curd, urine and excreta) and
then fastened around a shivalinga.
In Scriptures, Raksha Bandhan is described as 'Punya Pradayak' which means
a day that bestows boons to the generous 'Vish Tarak' the destroyer of venom
or the vicious 'Pap Nashak' the destroyer of sins.
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