Raksha Bandhan is the modern-day name for Raksha Sutra where a sacred thread is tied on a person’s wrist for protection and spiritual upliftment. Raksha Sutra is a piece of thread that is energized first and then worn. In modern culture, Raksha Sutra is tied around the wrist of brothers by their sisters. These days, the Raksha Sutra festival has become more of a brother-sister relationship festival and is popularly known by the name “Raksha Bandhan”. The renaming of Raksha Sutra to Raksha Bandhan has not served any justice because bandhan implies “to be bonded, attached, etc.” which is itself a self-defeating approach. Siblings should help each other grow spiritually rather than making it a day festival.
There are other pragmatic uses to Raksha Sutra too. Raksha Sutra is used in tantra for the ritual process too. It also has its origin in agama-nigama. There are also various stories in the public domain which explains the use of Raksha Sutra.
Difference between Raksha Sutra and Raksha Bandhan
- 1 Difference between Raksha Sutra and Raksha Bandhan
- 2 Origin stories of Raksha Sutra
- 3 Raksha Sutra and why daityas hate it
- 4 The tradition of Raksha Sutra
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the Raksha Sutra has been used from time immemorial for protection. The modern-day Raksha Bandhan is nothing but the degraded version of Raksha Sutra because the whole Raksha Sutra has been downgraded from spiritual usages and lifestyle to a limited domain i.e. relationship between a brother and sister. Raksha Bandhan encompasses the brother-sister relationship and rituals too.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, the Raksha Sutra can be put around any person’s wrist by anybody with the authority to give you protection. For instance, a small person in age who has amassed spiritual heights can tie the sacred thread to people older than him. A brother can also tie the sacred thread to his sister or his brother. A Guru can tie the sacred thread to their disciples but the disciples cannot tie it around Guru’s wrist because Guru is always greater than the disciple.
On the other hand, Raksha Bandhan has been condensed to tying the sacred thread to their brother’s hand by sisters. It is not a bad thing in itself as Raksha Bandhan strengthens the relationship between brothers and sisters but it should not be limited to only them.
Origin stories of Raksha Sutra
There are multiple stories in the public domain about Raksha Sutra. Each of the stories portrays the importance of Raksha Sutra and how it originated. Some of the stories,
Raja Bali and Raksha Sutra
As per one of Bhavishya Purana, when daitya king Maharaj Bali won the three worlds and he couldn’t be defeated by anyone. The gods then took the help of Bhagawan Vishnu to defeat him. Since Bali was protected by his Guru, there was no way that anyone would defeat him. So, the great king Bali had to be won by another means. Bhagawan Vishnu then manifested in the form of Vamana. He had perfected Vajra Yogini and had gained the power to travel the three worlds in no seconds.
As per “Siddha Dharma”, when King Bali asked Vamana to ask anything in donation, the Vamana avatar asked a Raksha Sutra to be tied around the wrist of King Bali by him so that King Bali doesn’t sway away from his promises. While the Raksha Sutra was being tied, Mahaguru Sukracharya asked Bali to stop the process and warned him that the Vamana was Bhagawan Vishnu in disguise. Since the Raksha Sutra had already been tied, King Bali had to keep his promise and he couldn’t back down.
The Vamana avatar of Bhagawan Vishnu then asked for the donation of the land covered by his three steps. His two steps covered everything while his final steps had to be taken, King Bali then offers his head for Vamana avatar’s foot to be grounded. The foot of Bhagawan Vishnu then pushes him downwards towards the Patala Loka. Therefore, the Raksha Sutra has always been used as a symbol of defeat over daityas by devtas.
Patala Lakshmi and King Bali (brother and sister relationship)
As per “Siddha Dharma”, when King Bali was restricted to Patala Loka by Bhagawan Vishnu, he then started to worship Bhagawan Vishnu rigorously. He worshipped him to such extent that Bhagawan Vishnu had to manifest in front of him and to offer him a boon. He asked Bhagawan Vishnu to be present in the Patala loka with Maharaj Bali so that he could worship him and Bhagawan Vishnu granted him the boon. He then stayed in Patala loka to be worshipped by King Bali.
When Bhagwan Vishnu didn’t return to Vaikunth for days, Ma Lakshmi got curious and she started searching for her husband. Through her divine sight, she found that he was in Patala loka fulfilling the boon given to King Bali. Ma Lakshmi went to Patala loka with a sacred thread and then praised King Bali about his strength, vigour and his adherence to dharma. She praised King Bali that being a daitya he could have backed down from his vows but he didn’t and the world shall remember him as a very highly adept being. She also praised that no gods could ever have defeated him so Bhagawan Vishnu had come to the rescue. She then takes the Raksha Sutra and she lets her desire to make King Bali her brother known. King Bali offers his wrist and after she ties the sacred thread, he blesses her to remain happy and then he releases Bhagawan Vishnu.
This whole Raksha Bandhan is just limited to this story alone and the other forms of Raksha Sutra have been completely neglected.
Lord Krishna and Draupadi
As per “Kaula Siddha Dharma”, the origin story of Raksha Bandhan can also be attributed to Bhagawan Krishna and Draupadi. When Bhagawan Krishna had a fight with Sishupal, he kept calm because Bhagawan Krishna had promised the mother of Sishupal’s mother that he would not kill Sishupal until Sishupal scolds Bhagawan Krishna hundred times.
When Sishupala scolds and rebukes Bhagawan Krishna continuously, he just keeps quiet. He waits for Sishupala to scold him for hundred times and still Sishupala doesn’t stop. Bhagawan Krishna then lifts his Sudharshan Chakra in the air and threatens to kill Sishupala but Sishupala still keeps scolding. Bhagawan Krishna restrains himself as much as possible until blood drips from his finger. He then slays the head of Sishupala.
When the head of Sishupala is slain and simultaneously Draupadi also notices the blood dripping from Bhagawan Krishna’s index finger. She then tears her sari and ties it around the finger of Bhagawan Krishna. He then promises Draupadi that he will also help her in the time of need. Therefore, when Kauravas forcefully tried to undress Draupadi by pulling her sari, she surrendered to Bhagawan Krishna and prayed him to remember his promise. The great Krishna then blesses her with sari such that the Kauravas aren’t successful in undressing Draupadi.
Because Draupadi tore her sari and tied it around the finger of Bhagawan Krishna, the Raksha Bandhan or tying sacred thread has gained more momentum in Kali Yuga as they identify the scared thread with that story.
As per “Kaula Siddha Dharma”, once when Ma Parvati in Kailash had cut some thread in pieces for a particular purpose, a Shiva Gana took the thread and energized it with a mantra. Ma Parvati then took the thread from him and she decided to break it but was unsuccessful. She ordered other ganas too but with vain. All were unsuccessful in breaking the thread. Ma Parvati then takes the thread to Bhagawan Shiva and asks for the reason as to why the thread is very unbreakable.
Bhagawan Shiva replies to Yogmaya Parvati herself that the colourful thread had been energized and since it was energized it would be impossible to be broken. Bhagawan Shiva then explained Ma Parvati that when a colourful thread transforms into a Raksha Sutra with the help of tantra, the thread primarily acts as a shield. The Raksha Sutra then becomes the protective shield. He also explains to her that the Raksha Sutra has a three-fold purpose.
– For acting as a shield
– For Yash
– For spiritual upliftment
After explaining Ma Parvati about the importance and usages of Raksha Sutra, he then proceeds to explain the type of Raksha Sutra and how to tie the Raksha Sutra. He explained the reason behind tieing the Raksha Sutra in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions. He also explains her as to how many rounds should be made for the Raksha Sutra. He also explains the importance of making a minimum three, five, seven, nine, and eleven rounds at maximum while tying a Raksha Sutra.
Brihaspati and Indra
As per “Kaula Siddha Dharma”, once when daityas and devatas were in a fierce battle, the devatas were losing and Indra was about to lose the battle. Aindri then went to the Guru of the devatas, Brihaspati, and pleaded him to protect Indra so that he becomes victorious against the daityas. Brihaspati, the ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and knower of many tantras, he then utilized the Raksha Sutra tantra of Bhagawan Shiva to energize a sacred thread. He then tied the sacred thread around the wrist of Indra for his protection. Indra went to the war and then he managed to defeat the daityas.
Because of this victory, a culture started developing in our oriental society. People then went to Brahmin’s house so that they could have Raksha Sutra tied in their wrist. Brahmins are the symbolic representation of Jupiter while Indra as Patron. Therefore, people in Raksha Bandhan go to Brahmins to have Raksha Sutra tied around their wrist. They do so to be protected and not for being bound to anything
Raksha Sutra and why daityas hate it
As per “Kaula Siddha Dharma”, daityas are always against the Raksha Sutras. A very well-known way to spot a daitya whether be it in olden days or modern-day is their reaction against Raksha Sutra. Since King Bali had been defeated by Vamana avatara, the daityas lineage had a negative feeling and attitude towards Raksha Sutra. It was because of Raksha Sutra that their most powerful king had been defeated. Daityas directly are against Raksha Sutras and they are very vocal about it. They do not prefer Raksha Sutras at all while on the other hand, devatas love Raksha Sutra. The Raksha Sutra on the hand of any person suggests the person follows devatas and has sound, moral character.
The modern-day criticism of Rakshya Sutra by a certain subset of people is nothing more than a modern-day daitya in action. A Raksha Sutra is a small thread worn for practising one’s own belief. To have a problem with Raksha Sutra or an energized thread triggers in them that subconscious danger to their existence. Therefore, they are very vocal against Raksha Sutra.
As per “Kaula Siddha Dharma”, from time immemorial, there has been a certain pattern of action of daityas when it comes to Raksha Sutra. In the old age or in the time of satya, dwapar and treta yuga, the daityas would try to create negative publicity against Raksha Sutra that it doesn’t work and is nothing more than a thread. When the Rishi/Munis would not pay attention to their negative marketing, the daityas would then try to create negative energy in the places where homa of the Rishi/Munis would happen. They will create negative energies, produce foul smells, defecate in the places near homa places.
When the Rishi/Muni was still adamant in their sadhana and their pursuits they would then be physically involved, they will try to disturb the homa or hawana by smearing blood, throwing bones in the sacred fire. Most of the time, the Rishi/Munis would be protected by the Raksha Sutras and the power of Raksha Sutra would neutralize all the ill actions of daityas.
Therefore, the daityas always have a fear in their sub-conscious when they spot a Raksha Sutra, they feel that they are being conspired and their defeat is near. It is a pure psychological fear in them that can never be taken away from them.
The tradition of Raksha Sutra
As per the “Kaula Siddha Dharma”, the tradition of Raksha Sutra started from the Raksha Sutra tantra of Bhagawan Shiva. The wisdom was taken forward by Saptrishi and by Mahasiddha Matsyendra Nath Ji Maharaj in the modern era.
The Raksha Sutra was used by Devguru Brihaspati as explained before. The Sapta Rishi’s then incorporated the Raksha Sutra in their rituals in the form of mauli. They used it for the protection purpose and also for adornments of surwa or hawan stick, tying various objects like kalasha, yantra, idols, trees, herbs, even cows etc. They use the Raksha Sutra in almost everything.
The Siddhas incorporated the Raksha Sutra Tantra of Bhagawan Shiva. Unlike the Rishi/Munis, the Siddhas were masters in tantra therefore, the Raksha Sutra was purely used for tantric purposes. The Raksha Sutras were mainly used for following purpose,
Mauli Raksha Sutra
The Mauli was used especially used for worship purpose and rituals. It was used for both tantric and non-tantric purposes.
Kavach Rakshya Subekshya Raksha Sutra
The Rakshya Sutra by virtue of its name means protection. The modern-day Rakhi system is for protection and the Raksha Sutra that is tied by Brahmin to local people is also a form of Kavach Rakshya Subekshya Raksha Sutra.
Bandh Raksha Sutra
The Raksha Bandhan of the modern times is used for tantric purpose like subjugating diseases, for protection from ill tantric effects. It is also used for creating jantar, and also to energize black threads to wear in the legs, hands, neck etc.