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Janai Purnima today

  

NARESH SHRESTHA

An elderly man cleans a statue of lord Mahadev for Kumbeshwor Mela on the eve of Janai Purnima festival at Kumbheshwor, Lallitpur on Monday, August 23, 2010.

Himalayan News Service

KATHMANDU: Janai Purnima, the sacred thread festival of the Hindus, is being observed on Tuesday. It is also known as Rakshya Bandhan.

Hindus, especially Brahmins and Chhetris who have undergone the sacred thread ritual (Bratabandha), change the sacred thread on the occasion.

Brahmin and Chhetri males receive the sacred thread from priests and brothers receive it from sisters in other Hindu communities in the Tarai region.

People believe that the use of the sacred thread will bring them good luck. It is also believed that this thread should be removed only on the day of Laxmi Puja that falls during Dipawali.

Big fairs will be held at Kumbheshwor in Lalitpur and Gosaikunda in Rasuwa district where devotees worship Lord Mahadev and tie the sacred thread around their wrists to save them from demons and evil spirits.

Myth has it that the demon king Bali’s deep devotion and boundless benevolence won him a place higher than even Lord Indra, the king of heaven. Seeing their realm under threat, the gods appealed to Lord Vishnu, who disguised himself as a dwarf, to help them.

The dwarf begged for as much land as he could cover in three strides, knowing that Bali had taken the vow of charity. The moment Bali agreed, Vishnu swelled to the size of a tremendous giant and in two mighty strides stepped across heaven and earth.

Before the third step, Bali, who recognised Vishnu, placed the giant’s foot atop his own head, which was pushed into the bowels of the earth. Thus Vishnu restored the gods their right and repaid Bali for his last act of charity by making him king of the underworld.

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