Raksha Bandhan (2023 Dates)

Raksha Bandhan is the festival that celebrates the beautiful bond between a brother and a sister. It is celebrated on Shravan Poornima, which in 2023 falls on Wednesday, 30th August. The sister ties the rakhi on her brother’s hand with a prayer to make him prosperous, and the brother pledges to protect his sister in every birth. While Raksha Bandhan celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters, it is also a spiritual bond which helps in reducing the give and take between them and helping them further on the path to God realisation.

Raksha Bandhan 2023 celebrating the sibling bond in a spiritual manner
Raksha Bandhan 2023 celebrating the sibling bond in a spiritual manner

Best time to celebrate Raksha Bandhan on 30.8.2023

The Dharmashastras say that Rakshabandhan should be celebrated on that Shravan Pounirma, which spans more than 6 Ghatikas (144 minutes) starting from sunrise and does not have Bhadra karana in it.

Note – Vishti Karana is called Bhadra. Karana means half of a Tithi. Bhadra karana is considered inauspicious.

A. On 31.8.2023, Purnima Tithi will end at 7.06 am. It does not last more than 6 Ghatikas (144 minutes) from sunrise. So Raksha Bandhan cannot be celebrated on 31.8.2023.

B. On 30.8.2023 the full moon starts at 10.59 am. On this day, Bhadrakal is from 10.59 am to 9.02 pm, so Raksha Bandhan cannot be performed even during this time.

C. In such a case, this problem can be solved by the ‘Bhadrapuchcha’ muhurta of Bhadrakala. It has been written in texts related to Muhurta that ‘Bhadrapuchcha in Bhadrakala should be considered auspicious for special occasions’.

D. On 30.8.2023 the time of Bhadrapuchcha is 5.18 pm to 6.30 pm. Therefore Raksha Bandhan should be celebrated, i.e the sisters should tie the rakhi, during this time.

– Mr Raj Karve, Jyotish Visharad (28.8.2023)

Celebrate a spiritual Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan Do’s

  • Brothers must visit their sisters in their homes
  • The sister must tie a rakhi to the brother’s right wrist after waving the aukshan platter
  • The brother must bless or wish the sister
  • The brother must offer a sattvik gift to the sister
  • The siblings must pray to God together

Raksha Bandhan Dont’s

  • Don’t tie rakhis which have Dharmik symbols or images of Gods on them
  • Sisters should avoid having expectations while tying the rakhi
  • Don’t tie the rakhi during Bhadrakaal

A. Place a short wooden seat for the brother to sit on.

B. Draw a sattvik rangoli around this wooden seat (Sattvik waves are emitted by the rangoli designs made in this way and they help in making the environment of the place sattvik.)

C. Have the brother sit on the seat. He should be wearing new clothes. The sister should stand in front of him holding a platter for aukshan. The siblings must first close their eyes and pray to God for each other’s protection.

D. The sister must now apply a tilak of vermillion to her brother’s forehead.

E. She should then tie a rakhi on her brother’s right wrist. (The sister should recite the ‘yena baddho…’ prayer that is given below)

F. After tying the rakhi, the sister must wave the ghee lamp i.e. arti (in a semi-circular manner) in front of the brother.

G. After waving the arti, the brother must gift his sister something. The sister must show her respect for her brother by accepting the gift.

Avoid such rakhis

Nowadays markets are flush with fancy rakhis. Some of them have images of Gods or Dharmik symbols. (Some examples are given below) After Raksha Bandhan, the rakhis are often forgotten and start collecting dust, some fall off and get trampled upon. When this happens with a God’s image, it is gross denigration of that Deity. This will also amount to sin. So, to avoid this, do not tie such rakhis. 

Raksha Bandhan is to strengthen the bond between brothers and sisters, and also to lessen the give and take account between them. This is the spiritual reason underlying Raksha Bandhan. Similarly, all our festivals have some spiritual basis. Sanatan Satsangs explore the spiritual basis of our festivals…

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History of Raksha Bandhan

A. Goddess Lakshmi made King Bali (from hell) her brother, by tying a rakhi on his wrist and thus freed Narayan (Her husband). This was the day of Shravan Pournima.

B. The Gods and demons were in a war for 12 long years. The demons were on the verge of winning the war. Indra, the king of the Gods was dejected and decided to withdraw from the battlefield. Indrani sensed his dejected and approached Guru Brahaspati for advice. Guru Brahaspati meditated for a while and told Indrani – Use the power of your fidelity, pray for Indra to be protected and tie a thread on his right wrist. He is sure to be victorious. Indrani followed the instructions and tied a thread while reciting the following shlok – येन बद्धो बली राजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबलः । तेन त्वाम् अभिबध्नामि रक्षे मा चल मा चल ।। (yena baddho balī rājā dānavendro mahābalaḥ । tena tvām abhibadhnāmi rakṣe mā cala mā cala ।।) Meaning : I tie the same fragile thread which bound the all powerful King Bali to your hand. May this thread stay intact and protect you.

C. As stated in the Bhavishya-Puran, Rakshabandhan was originally meant for Kings. A new custom of tying rakhis began from the historical ages.

A historical rakhi
This is a small bundle of rice grains, gold, and white mustard seeds tied together with a silk thread.

Spiritual science underlying the tying of a rakhi

Increase in love and decrease in give and take account

The give-and-take account between siblings is approximately 30%. This account is lessened through the medium of festivals like Rakshabandhan; hence, though the siblings get entangled at the gross level, at the subtle level the existing give-and-take account between them is settled.

Spiritual perspective : To bind the waves of the Yama Principle

On the day of Shravan Pournima high speed waves of Yama Principle are activated in the universe. Particles of the Tejtattva are generated due to the friction between these high speed waves. These particles of Tejtattva are emitted into the atmosphere. They become inert because of their union with the earth particles and they create a covering on the ground. This is called raksha.

Emotional perspective : To nurture a healthy relation between siblings

The sister is supposed to tie a rakhi on her brother’s wrist. The emotion in this is that the brother should become prosperous and he should protect his sister. More important than a sister tying a rakhi to her brother, is a young man getting a rakhi tied from a young woman. By doing so, the attitude of men towards women changes. It is a sort of a religious observance that the youth can follow. All sinful thoughts cease to exist before the pure bond of love between a brother and sister. This is also a festival that closes the chasms that are opening up in homes.

Subtle knowledge about Raksha Bandhan

Akshata is all encompassing and the silk thread has the ability to rapidly transmit sattvik waves. Thus, rakhi is made from akshata and silk thread. When the sister ties the rakhi on her brother’s wrist, the waves of spiritual energy in the sister are transferred to the brother. This activates the Suryanadi (Sun channel) in the brother, and the Deity Shiva Principle in him is awakened. This results in disintegration of the Raja-Tama particles in the environment. Thus, the main reason of celebrating Raksha Bandhan should be to benefit from the day by achieving this union of Shiva and Shakti.

– A scholar (Through the medium of Mrs Anjali Gadgil, 18.8.2005, 12.36 p.m.)

The level and intensity of the sister’s devotion determines the spiritual benefit to the brother.

A. The Principles of Shri Ganesh and Shri Saraswati descend on Earth in higher proportion on this day. Both benefit from these Principles by praying for each other’s protection.

B. The Shaktitattva is awakened in the woman tying rakhi. The brother benefits from this Shaktitattva through the medium of the rakhi. Thus, he derives 2% benefit from it for up to 5 hours.

C. The more the bhav in the sister, the more her motivation for God-realization and more is the grace of the Guru upon her, the greater is the effect of her prayer unto God for her brother, which results in greater spiritual progress for him.

Read the spiritual significance of Raksha Bandhan in this article

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