Mohattari, Aug 31: Mahottari, along with the entire ancient Mithila region, today observed the ‘Raksha Bandhan/ Rakhi’ festival.
The festival which is observed on the full moon day of the fourth month in the lunar calendar is taken as a moment to strengthen the bond among sisters and brothers. As a major part of the festival, sisters put Rakhi (a decorative thread) around the wrists of their brothers and offer them delicacies, wishing them longevity and prosperity.
This unique tradition of the Mithilanchala is celebrated as the ‘Rakhi’ festival. In return, sisters receive clothing, jewelry and cash as gifts.
Generally, the festival falls in the month of Saun (July-August), but this year it was postponed as the extra month (Malmas) was observed throughout the month of Saun.
Intellectuals here says the ‘Rakhi’ has been established as an indispensable part of the Rakshabandhan festival of the Hindu tradition. The Rakshabandhan is observed by receiving a holy thread on the wrist by priest while in Rakhi it is sister who ties the decorative thread on the wrist of her brother.
Brothers who were away from the village have returned home to observe the festival. In the past, the festival was limited to the Hindu-Maithil community, but now its popularity has been extended to other communities as well, according to Bardibas Janata Multiple Campus Chief Dilip Tiwari.
It is believed that during ancient Satya Yugha, Bali, the demonic king of three realms Satya, Martya and Patal loka (heaven, earth and underworld) , received a sacred thread as protection from his teacher Shukracharya before he set out for a war against deities and the Rakshabandhan is observed by receiving thread from priests as the continuity of the same moment.
Similarly, in another context, Bali’s sisters Ganga and Yamuna tied a protective thread on their brother’s wrist, wishing him a success in the battle. In the end, Bali got a victory against deities and the Rakhi is celebrated in commemoration of same triumph, said Matihani-based Yagyawalkya Laxminarayan Sanskrit Campus (Vidhyapeeth) Maithili department’s lecturer Manoj Jha ‘Mukti’.
Rakhi is celebrated largely by all castes, communities and religions in the Mithila region. The festival has been a common celebration due to cultural exchanges and internalization, seniors say. The festival has been evolved into a symbol of communal, social and cultural harmony and unity, according teacher Leelanath Gautam. (RSS)