Janai Purnima & Rakshya Bandhan
We know why ADMA is for? We want to celebrate every moments. We love every religion, every festival. Today, it is a full moon and the day is Shawan 8, 2071 BS (August 10, 2014). Toda is Janai Purnima (Full Moon Day) or Rashya Bandhan. It is a festival observed by Hindus all over the world as the day of bond of purity and security. Today, Hindus especially Chetris and Brahmin change their Janai (a cotton string worn across the chest by Hindu men) and rest tie the sacred thread around their wrist.
Janai is given to men only after Bratabhanda symbolizing that they have entered the manhood and are ready to take proceedings of the religion. From then a man has to wear Janai everyday, it is changed when it is unclean or impure but for everyone in this day, the Janai has to be changed. The Janai symbolizes body, mind and soul.
A per Hindu religion, men should go to rivers and ponds nearby, to take secret bath dipping himself thrice in the water in the morning and then only change their Janai and day before this day, men should clean themselves (shave, take good bath) and observe partial fast one time meal with no meat, onions or garlic.
Rakshya means to protect and Bhandhan means bond. So the day literally means to make a bond to protect the person from all evils.
“Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
tena twaamavi badhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala”
“एन बद्धु बलि राजा दानबिन्द्रो महावल
तेन त्वं बध नामी रक्षे मा चल मा चल”
“I tie on you (the devotee) the raksha which was tied on Bali, the King of demons.
Therefore Oh Raksha! Do not ever fail to protect this devotee, do not ever fail.”
(Bhavishyottara Puran : 137/20)
This festival is also called Rakhi in the Indian Subcontinent and Terai region of Nepal. It is marked by the tying of a rakhi,or holy thread, by the sister on the wrist of her brother It is belived that the holy thread protects the brother. Brother in return offers a gift to his sister and swears to look after her as she presents sweets to her brother. Rakhi provided they commit to a lifelong obligation to provide protection to the woman or girl. On this day, the market is full of colorful Rakhis.This day is special for sister and brother.
There are many Hindu Mythology that are tied to this day and explains why this day is celebrated. One of the Hindu Mythologies, Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna, (the river in northern India) celebrated Rakshya Bandhan. Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama to give immortality to Yama. Due to this he declared that on this day whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection, will become immortal. There are many more mythologies associated with this day.
Janai purnima as Kwati purnima or Gunhi Punhi
Today is a special day for Newars of Kathmandu Valley as well. They call this day Gunhi Punhi. On this day they have a special menu called Kwati. So this day is also called Kwati Punhi.Kwati is a soup of different beans and Punhi means the full moon day in Newari Language. Newars also put the sacred threads around the wrists which are to be taken off on the day of Laxmi Puja (another festival in TIhar)..
In Janai Purnima Newar farmers offer different food items to frogs.They believe that frog is the agent of the God of Rainfall, Indra. By making offerings of different food items to frogs will increase the production of crops.
Today is the day of sacred bonding. Whatever may be the case, most importantly, this day brings a reason to celebrate the moment, especially for brothers and sisters. There is emotional tie up in this festival, that says that Brothers should protect their Sisters, and sister bless their brothers by tieing up a sacred thread. No Matter how we celebrate it, tieing up a Janai across the chest, or around the wrist or tieing up rakhi, this occasion is special to Hindus.
Its a day to make your brother/sister feel special, know them how much you care for him/her.