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Things to place in Rakhi Puja thali 

Puja plays a significant role in Hindu culture, for every occasion and festival, there is different pooja performed. Every puja has its significance and reason to perform such as Diwali puja is performed after the victory of Lord Rama, when he came home after 14 years of Vanvas or exile and to worship Goddess Lakshmi. Similarly, Rakhi Puja has its significance and rituals. 

Raksha Bandhan is the symbolic unconditional love of siblings, that they will protect each other from all the negatives. Sister ties a sacred thread on the wrist of her brother for protection while brother promises to keep his sister safe from evil. Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of the relationship of brother and sister, and rakhi has been associated with various stories in Hindu culture. The bond of brother and sister with the stories of Rani Karnavati and Humayun, Lord Krishna and Drupadi, Goddess Lakshmi and Raja Bali can be seen. Even today when a girl faces trouble, her brother becomes her protector. Rakhi is symbolic of unconditional love and the unique relationship of brother and sister. 

Every year on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, sisters enthusiastically shop for sweets, beautiful rakhi, and other materials to celebrate the festival with brothers. Brothers on the other hand look for gifts to give their sisters. Like every other Hindu tradition and Pooja ceremonies, Rakhi pooja needs some rituals to follow such as decorating thali, Arti, and taking blessings. Puja thali for Rakhi is an important part of the ritual, so it should be made with essential pooja elements that have important significance. 

Here are some of the essentials to place in Rakhi puja thali and its significance: 

Rakhi - Raksha Bandhan is incomplete without Rakhi, many people use Roli as rakhi while some prefer to buy beautifully designer Rakhis. Doesn't matter if you are purchasing designer rakhi or using Roli, the sacred thread tied on the wrist of the brother has the significance of protection. Both brother and sister promise to protect each other from the evil around them. Sisters pray for the long life of their brother and ask God to protect their brother from all the dangers while brothers promise to protect their sisters.  

Kumkum - Kumkum is an important part of Puja ceremonies and is often used on various occasions. Kumkum placed in Rakhi puja thali signifies courage, euphoria, auspiciousness. During every puja, Kumkum must be added in the puja thali because of Vedic and scientific significance. Kumkum applied on the forehead is good for skin purification. 

Diya - Diya is placed in the center or forefront of rakhi puja thali. It is lit up with ghee to perform Arti. Sisters perform Arti of their brothers by rotating puja thali in a clockwise direction. The warm light emitted from Diya is symbolic of enlightenment, wisdom, and knowledge. It is considered one of the most auspicious traditions. Often Diya is lit up in front of a deity or god statue, but it is also used to perform Arti for specific occasions such as Raksha Bandhan. 

Incense sticks - Incense sticks are burnt in front of the idol as a token of respect. The essence and fragrance of incense sticks cleanse the atmosphere and eliminate the negative energy. Using incense sticks in rakhi puja indicates you reduce the negative energy from your brother's life and send him positive energy. During puja, the incense sticks are usually related in a clockwise direction thrice in front of a deity or God statue. It is one of the traditional and auspicious practices of the pooja ceremony. 

Rice grains or Akshata - Rice grains should be placed in the center of thali and other elements of thali should revolve around them. Rice grains or Akshata is symbolic of fertility, bounty, and prosperity. They are sprinkled over the deity or person during special occasions to attract positive energy. Rice grains used after Kumkum have both religious and scientific significance. 

Water - You can keep holy water in Kalash to sprinkle around your brother while performing puja. It is believed that holy water brings positivity and removes all the negative vibes in the atmosphere. If you keep fast on Raksha Bandhan for your brother, you can break it during the night with water. 

Sandalwood paste or Tilak (optional) - Sandalwood paste or Chandan is symbolic of Karma when the brother works hard and the sister applies Chandan tilak on the forehead during Rakhi puja. It means, the brother will get the fruit of his labor. Chandan is also considered as offering cooling sensations to the brain. When tilak is applied in between eyes, on the third eye, it sends sensations to the brain. Chandan offers cooling sensations, it's believed that a person aggressive in nature should apply Chandan tilak every day. You can add Chandan tilak in your rakhi puja thali if your brother has an aggressive personality. 

Flowers - Flowers are symbolic of positive energy and happiness. Place flowers such as marigolds and roses to sprinkle over your brother after kumkum. The way rice is sprinkled, flowers are also used for a similar purpose. 

Sweets - you cannot miss sweets in rakhi puja thali, the celebration of love between brother and sister is indicated with sweetness. You place 3 to 4 different types of sweets in the thali. Some people prefer chocolates, however, it doesn't matter as long as it's sweet. You can use jaggery, or sugar for sweetness. 

Narial or coconut - Although it is optional Coconut is broken on various auspicious occasions. Coconut is considered as another avatar of the third eye of lord shiva. It is believed that breaking the coconut helps you eliminate your obstacles in life. If you believe in this ritual, you can add coconut to puja thali. 

To wrap up - These are some of the essentials to keep in Rakhi puja thali to perform puja successfully and according to traditional Hindu rituals. Apart from that, you can decorate your thali with decorative stationery items to make it look more appealing. 

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