KATHMANDU, Aug 10: Nepali Hindus inside and outside the country are observing Janaipurnima festival on Sunday.
According to the time-honored tradition, the people receive the ´Rakshya Bandhan´ thread, which is tied around the wrist as an amulet. The yellow thread is purified through the chanting of mantras by Brahmin priests as a symbol of protection from fear and disease. They also observe the occasion as ´Kwanti Purnima´.
Hindu males change their ‘janai’, the sacred thread purified by mantras from Vedas on this day. ‘Janai’ is the symbol of protection received by the Hindu males after performing a ritual- ‘Bratbandha’.
Especially today, ritual offering is made to the Saptarishi (Vashiṣṭa, Viśvāmitra, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadvāja and Atri).
Today, people prepare a soup from the mixture of nine different germinated beans called Kwanti. The ´Kulabarna Tantra´, a Tantrik scripture, says that the soup is highly nutritious and keeps diseases away.
People in the Terai observed this festival by tying rakhi around their brothers’ wrists as a bond of love between sisters and brothers.
Devotees throng Pashupatinath and Kumbheswor in Lalitpur to worship Lord Shiva on this day.
Hundreds of pilgrims visit Gosaikunda in Rasuwa and Tribeni in Jumla on this day to take holy bath there in a bid to cast away sins and wishing for the healthy and prosperous life.
Today, thousands of devotees worship lord Shiva at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu and at Kumbheswor in Lalitpur and take holy dips in ponds and lakes.
Religious fairs take place today at Pashupatinath and Manichud of Kathmandu, Gosainkunda of Rasuwa, Kumbheshwor of Lalitpur, Panchpokhari of Sindhupalchowk, Janakpurdham and Dhanushasagar of Dhanusham Dansadhu of Jumla and Tribenidham of Nawalparasi.
Newar community observe this day as ´Gunhu Punhi.´
Similarly, the Buddhists observe this day in commemoration of the day the Lord Gautama Buddha defeated the evil power of lust. This episode is well-described in the Buddhist scripture ´Lalitbistar´. A special fair takes place at Swayambhunath of Kathmandu today for this reason.