Why is Rakhi Purnima Important?
Rakhi falls in the month of Shravana, the month when the rains are receding, sea is calming down and weather is pleasant. The month is important to the farmers, to the fishermen and to the voyagers and businessmen. And in India all such days and months are a matter of celebration. These celebrations are in other words a kind of thanks giving to the Gods.
Full moon day is considered to be an auspicious day and an auspicious day of this holy month is of great importance. The Shravana Purnima is celebrated all over the country in one form or the other. Most commonly it is celebrated as the Rakhi Purnima or Raksha Bandhan, the festival signifying sisterly love and brotherly affection. The day has significance beyond this, not known to all.
The day is called Naryali Purnima in the coastal regions of India. The day is devoted to the Rain God Indra and the Sea God Varuna. The nariyal i.e. coconuts are offered to the Gods to please them and seek their blessings. The offering is made by throwing the coconut in the sea or any other near by water body. It is said that Lord Rama started for Lanka to rescue Sita on this day. He crossed the sea from the bridge made by the Vanar Sena by throwing stones in water. Coconut is considered to be a symbol of three-eyed God Lord Shiva.
For the fishermen the fishing season starts now people begin their voyages on this day, assured that the seas have calmed down and it is an auspicious day. For the farmers it is Kajri Purnima. The farmers start the sowing of Wheat on this day and pray for a good crop.
The day is very important for the Brahmins. This is called Rishi Tarpan or the Shravani Ceremony. On this day they change their holy thread called the Janeyu or the Yajnopavit amidst the chanting of mantras. The Janeyu represents adherence to vedic culture, observance of Hindu traditions and service to humanity. After the ceremony sweets made of coconut are served.
The day is all about raksha or protection, not just for self but for the dear ones, for peaceful existence of the human race. Each ritual that is followed has a significance. The sisters seek love from their brothers, the brothers seek courage and endurance. People worship the Gods of water, the basis of life.
Rakhi has been promoted as a way of harmonious life by many a social workers and philoophers. It is a festival that dictates the values of brotherhood and self-perseverance.