Janai Purnima & Rakshya Bandhan (Gunhi Purnima)
Nepalayatimes/ Dipak Parajuli
Today, it is a full moon day means Janai Purnima (Full Moon Day) or Rashya Bandhan. It is a festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world as the day of the bond of purity and security. Today, Hindus especially Chetris and Brahmin change their Janai (sacred thread) around their wrist and take a Rakshya Bandhan on their hand through priest or sisters.
A per Hindu religion, men should go to rivers and ponds nearby, to take secret bath dipping himself thrice in the water in the morning and then only change their Janai and day before this day, men should clean themselves (shave, take good bath) and observe partial fast one time meal with no meat, onions or garlic.
Rakshya means to protect and Bandhan means bond. So the day literally means to make a bond to protect the person from all evils.
tena twaamavi badhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala”
Here the meaning of this religious quote is “I tie on you (the devotee) the Raksha which was tied on Bali, the King of demons. Therefore Oh Raksha! Do not ever fail to protect this devotee, do not ever fail.”
In Terai region of Nepal, this festival is also called Rakhi and also in the Indian Subcontinent. It is marked by the tying of a Rakhi (holy thread) by the sister on the wrist of her brother is believed that the holy thread protects the brother. And a brother in return offers a gift to his sister and swears to look after her as she presents sweets to her brother. Rakhi provided they commit to a lifelong obligation to provide protection to the woman or girl. On this day, the market is full of colorful Rakhis. This day is special for sister and brother.
It’s a day to make your brother/sister feel special, know them how much you care for him/her.
What is said in Hindu Mythology about Janai Purnima, Rakshya Bandhan, Rakhi?
There are many Hindu Mythologies, All of them major Hindu Mythologies is Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna, (the river in northern India) celebrated Rakshya Bandhan. The Yamuna tied Rakhi to Yama to give immortality to Yama. Due to this, he confined and said that on Janai Purnima whoever gets a Rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection, will become immortal.
Janai Purnima also is known as Kwati Purnima or Gunhi Punhi
Especially the Newars of Kathmandu Valley, They call this day Gunhi Punhi. On this day they have a special menu called Kwati so it’s also called Kwati Punhi. Kwati is a soup of different beans and Punhi means the full moon day in Newari Language. Newars also ware Janai(sacred threads) around the wrists which are to be taken off on the day of Laxmi Puja (another festival in Tihar).
Newar farmers offer different food items to frogs, the agent of the God of rainfall, Indra (According to Hindu Mythology). By making offerings of different food items to frogs will increase the production of crops.
Kwati is prepared by making beans sprout. Generally, there should be nine types of beans in the kwati (Chana, Kerau, Moong, Maas, Razma, Simi, Bodi, Sanu Kerau, Kauli Chana).