When you want to send rakhi to India, it would be interesting to explore rich cultural, historical, mythological as well as religious significance of the festival of Raksha Bandhan.
We already know that the festival of Raksha Bandhan has transcended the barriers of culture, region, religion, and gender. It is no longer about the celebration of love between brothers and sisters or about the Brahmins changing their sacred thread annually.
But, it is truly about celebration of inherent human trait to protect our fellow beings. And, in a way, this transcendence is actually like returning to the roots as all the mythological or historical stories that we have explored so far do not have any prescribed rule that only a real sister is eligible to tie rakhi to her real brother.
In our detailed exploration of historical significance of Raksha Bandhan as well as mythological significance of Raksha Bandhan we have talked about how the Sikhs and Punjab region celebrate Raksha Bandhan in spite of the popular myth that they do not celebrate Raksha Bandhan.
There is yet another such popular and obviously wrong assumption that the Jains do not celebrate Raksha Bandhan as they are not the Hindus, and the festival of Raksha Bandhan predominantly finds its origin in the Hindu way of life.
But, what if Raksha Bandhan also finds its roots in the Jain religion? Interesting? We bet. And, what if this story of a Jain monk who had saved his fellow Jain monks from the tyranny of a pious king’s minister has an uncanny resemblance to the story of the demon King Bali, who had to give away the entire hard-won Universe to the Lord Vishnu in his dwarf avatar?
Mesmerizing? Isn’t it, it is. We too were astonished at this mysterious resemblance. So, if you are planning to send rakhi to India to a brother who is a Jain, this post would be extra interesting for you, as it would give you that sense of belonging.
And, if you are a sister who wants to send rakhi to India to a brother who is not a Jain, it would still make an interesting read for you as it would reveal the true beauty of unity in diversity in India.
Let us then meet this Jain monk and why the Jains celebrate Raksha Bandhan and tie rakhi to each other in his honour on the full moon day of the month of Shravana in the Hindu calendar.
Once upon a time King Padamottar ruled the famous ancient city of Hastinapur. He had two sons Vishnu Kumar and Mahapadam. Vishnu Kumar took the path of renunciation and became a Jain monk whereas Mahapadam carried forward Padamottar’s legacy of royalty by becoming the 9th Chakravarty King of his time.
Chakravarty King Mahapadam had a minister called Namuchi. Namuchi had total disregard for the Jain monks. However, Namuchi managed to please the King on many occasions. On one such occasion, Chakravarty Mahapadam granted Namuchi any wish as he had been very pleased by him. Namuchi reserved the right to exercise this wish sometime later.
Meanwhile, the city of Hastinapur witnessed the arrival of Suvrataacharya who was Muni Vishnu Kumar’s guru. Jain Muni Suvrataacharya was accompanied by other Jain monks. They had intended to stay in Hastinapur for four months also called chaturmas.
It was at this point of time that Namuchi decided to implement his disregard for the Jain monks. He asked the King Mahapadam to make him the king of the state for seven days. Bound by his promise to Namuchi to ask anything, Mahapadam crowned him the king for seven days.
The first thing that Namuchi did after becoming the king for seven days was to order all the Jain monks to get out of the kingdom within those seven days. If his order was not followed, they all would be executed.
Namuchi knew quite well that Jain monks never travel during the chaturmas. Also, King Mahapadam was a Chakravarty King which meant he owned almost six khands of space.
Therefore, it was difficult for the monks to find some other place within the period of seven days that was not owned by the Chakravarty King’s kingdom.
Namuchi had intentionally devised his strategy in this manner so that the Jain monks did not have any option but to die.
Chakravarty King Mahapadam’s brother Muni Vishnu Kumar who had renounced the worldly pleasures was the only hope for these Jain monks as Muni Vishnu Kumar had achieved labdhi powers.
When this entire drama was taking place in Hastinapur, Muni Vishnu Kumar was into meditation retreat at Mandrachal. One of the disciples of Suvrataacharya went there and acquainted Muni Vishnu Kumar with the entire situation.
Muni Vishnu Kumar immediately rushed to Hastinapur and talked to Namuchi. Namuchi agreed to give Muni Vishnu Kumar land equivalent to his three steps. Namuchi agreed to do this because Muni Vishnu Kumar after all was his King’s real brother.
Muni Vishnu Kumar then exercised his labdhi powers and enlarged his body to an extent that it became the size of the Meru Mountain. So, with the first step, entire Meru Mountain was captured. In the second step, the whole Jambudweep was taken.
There was now no land left to be covered. Hence, Muni Vishnu Kumar took his third step and put his foot straightaway on Namuchi’s head. Namuchi got literally pushed down into the earth and Muni Vishnu Kumar returned to his original body size.
In this way, Muni Vishnu Kumar saved the ‘shraman sangh’. People who witnessed this incident bowed before the Muni and vowed to tie the knot of protection to each other every year in honour of Muni Vishnu Kumar.
When Muni Vishnu Kumar pushed Namuchi down into the Earth, it was full moon day of the month of Shravana as per the Hindu calendar. Therefore, the Jains celebrate Raksha Bandhan on this day.
There are some Jains who tie rakhi to the legs of wooden bench on which Jain monks usually sit.
There is a rule that the Jain monks are not supposed to use their labdhi powers. Hence, after saving these monks, Muni Vishnu Kumar underwent rigorous penance and finally attained salvation.
It is typical for most of such stories to have various versions. When you would be exploring your options to send rakhi to India, you would find many versions of this story.
One of such versions says that there were four ministers who ignited fierce fire where the sangha of 700 Jain monks had stayed for the meditation retreat in Hastinapur. The fire was ignited on the pretext of Yagna, but the real intention was to burn those monks alive.
Whatever version you may want to believe, the inherent spirit of protecting the fellow beings remains the same in all the versions of this story. It is this spirit that makes this festival of Raksha Bandhan truly universal.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Raksha Bandhan Celebration in Jain Community:
Do the Jains celebrate Raksha Bandhan?
Yes. They do. There is an interesting story of a Jain monk who saved his fellow Jain monks. It is in his honour that the Jains celebrate Raksha Bandhan. For more information on this, read this post’s section: A story.
Why the Jains do not celebrate Raksha Bandhan?
It is a wrong assumption. The Jains do celebrate Raksha Bandhan in the honour of Jain Muni Vishnu Kumar who had gone extra miles to save his fellow Jain monks. For more information on this, read this post’s section: A story.
Why should you send rakhi to India from Babla Rakhi?
Because Babla Rakhi is the best rakhi portal in India and across the world. You will be able to send unique rakhis to your brother from an inventory which is controlled single handedly. For more information on this, read this post’s section: Send rakhi to India from Babla Rakhi.
Why does Jain community celebrate Raksha Bandhan?
The Jains celebrate Raksha Bandhan in honour of their famous Jain monk Vishnu Kumar who was also the son of Hastinapur King before becoming the monk. For more information on this, read this post’s section: A story.