Today Raksha Bandhan: Why do people tie Janai and wear a sacred thread?

Kathmandu: Every year, on the day of Shravan Shukla Purnima, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated. Janai Purnima (Rishi Tarpani) festival, also known as Janai Purnima, is observed today across the country by wearing new sacred threads and observing Raksha Bandhan. From early morning on Purnima day, followers of Vedic Sanatan Dharma go to rivers, ponds, lakes, and springs for ritual bathing and receive the Raksha Sutra (protective thread) from the priest.

By wearing the Yagyopavit (sacred thread) and the Raksha Sutra, the wearers believe they gain protection from negative elements. This is a religious belief followed by those belonging to the Vedic caste and ashram system. In the Hindu religion, Shravani Purnima is a significant cultural festival, and people observe it by performing rituals like Adhyayopakarma, Vedopakarma, or beginning their study of the Vedas. On this day, Maharshi Yajnavalkya received the Vedas from Aditya Brahma Surya.

Therefore, this day is also recognized as Ved Jayanti. It is also known as Janai Purnima. People celebrate this occasion by wearing new Yagyopavit and Raksha Bandhan threads, adding a festive touch. Those who wear the sacred thread from the Vedic caste and ashram system, also known as Janai, start the day with a special purification ritual, consuming a special meal, and taking part in morning and evening prayers. If possible, they perform midday rituals by bathing in rivers, ponds, or using holy water in their homes, along with specific rituals.

Afterward, accompanied by sesame seeds and Dar (a type of grass), they offer prayers and perform rituals to honor their lineage’s Seven Sages, including the present time’s Arundhati, and recite mantras for Yagyopavit and Janai, followed by Upakarman and other ceremonies. After Upakarman, Utsarjana, and the completion of four months, the tradition is to change the Yagyopavit and Janai with the chanting of Vedic mantras. In the Satya Yuga, Guru Brihaspati prepared the Raksha Vidhan to protect the gods from the demons. During the battle, mighty demon king Bali was bound by Guru Brihaspati using Raksha Vidhan. Based on this mythological belief, the tradition of Raksha Bandhan continues to this day.

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