Monthly Archives: August 2012
Krishna Janmashtami is a festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, an incarnation of god Vishnu.
Janmashtami is celebrated all over the country today with great fervor and enthusiasm.
Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the Ashtami tithi, the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadra in the Hindu calendar, when the Rohini Nakshatra is ascendant.
This day is also marked by Ras Lila and Dahi Handi celebrations.
‘Rakshabandhan‘ is a prominent festival of India, especially for brothers and sisters. This festival has a tremendous social and cultural significance. Though there are various legends associated with ‘Rakhi’ and ‘Rakshabandha’
Indra and Indrani
The most popular tale associated with ‘Rakshabandhan’ is of Indra and Indrani. In the Vedic period, on a ‘Shravan Poornima’ day (full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan), the deities and the demons fought a battle against each other. Unfortunately, in the war, the demons were in a stronger position at that time. The king of the deities, Lord Indra, hence became very much worried about the result of the battle.
“Indra’s wife Indrani could not see him worried and prayed to the almighty. She prepared a lucky charm with her religious power and tied it around Indra’s right wrist which was meant to safeguard Indra from the attack. The talisman kept her belief and on that particular day, deities won the battle and Lord Indra escaped unhurt. This thread was the first ‘Rakhi’ tied by a wife to her husband and regarded as the first tale associated with Rakshanabdhan,”
Yama and Yamuna
Yamuna was the sister of Lord Yama, the God of death. On every ‘Shravan Purnima’, Yamuna used to tie a sacred thread (Rakhi) to Lord Yama. Since then, it has become a tradition for sisters to tie Rakhi to their brothers on this day. In return, the brothers bestow blessings on their sisters and promise to protect them from all problems and difficulties that they may ever face.
“The mythological legends say that Raja Bali was such a great devotee of Lord Vishnu that Lord Indra felt insecure.
Indra worshipped Vishnu and asked him to help save his throne. Vishnu accepted Indra’s prayer and overthrew Bali. Later, Vishnu gave Bali the boon of immortality and also promised to take care of his kingdom. To keep his promise, Vishnu left his residence, ‘Vaikunthdham’, and went to safeguard Bali’s kingdom.”
When Goddess Laxmi, wife of Lord Vishnu came to know about this she went to Raja Bali, as a poor Brahmin lady, and requested him for shelter. She regarded Bali as her brother and tied a Rakhi on to his wrist, on the ‘Shravan Poornima’ day.
“When Bali wished to give her some present, she told him her true identity and the reason for her arrival. She also asked Bali to send Lord Vishnu back to Vaikunthdham. Raja Bali immediately requested Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi to return,”
King Porus and Alexander’s wife
One global tale associated with Rakshabandhan is of King Porus and Alexander’s wife. History says it that when Alexander came to India, he was resisted by the brave King Porus. The bravery of Porus led Alexander’s wife to doubt safety of her husband. Soon, she sent Porus a rakhi and became his sister. This is the reason why Porus never harmed Alexander.
This year on 2nd August, is the day of Raksha Bandhan,
and the sweet, delicious Burfi is an important part of this Celebration.
Here is the recipe of Coconut Burfi for you.
225 gms Khoya
225 gms coconut (dry and ground)
1 tsp cardamom seeds (ground)
1 tbsp ghee
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp almonds (grated)
1/2 tsp pistachios (grated)
How to make Coconut Burfi:
- Mix khoya and coconut and fry them lightly with ghee on a low heat.
- Add cardamom and mix well.
- Prepare one-string syrup by dissolving sugar in the water.
- Now stir the coconut mixture into the syrup.
- Grease the plate and spread the grated nuts on it.
- Spread the prepared evenly over the plate and allow it to cool.
- Now with the knife, cut it into desired shapes.
- Turn them over so that nuts covered part appears on the top.
- The Coconut burfi is ready to be served.