Raksha Bandhan, commonly known as Rakhi, that is celebrated in many parts of India with great fervour and splendour is one of the most important ones that the country has. It connotes a strong bond between a sister and her brother(s) and has its strings attached to the Puranic Shastra of Hindu mythology. There are many interesting stories that have been said to take place in the ancient times. Stories, which now help us, understand the traditions, customs, and rituals of this festival and to comprehend its significance. These stories, that have now become legends, though different, have something in common: the rakhi when tied on the wrists protected the one tied from difficulties, whether it was a fight with the demons or a war with another King. And once the meaning of these stories starts to tightly hold our understanding, the fog begins to lift and the reason for why we celebrate this festival becomes clearer. Continue reading to learn about what all legends exist, and celebrate the festival in the best way possible.
Legends Of Raksha Bandhan
Indra and Indrani
According to this legend, a battle was being fought between the deities and the demons during the Hindu month of Shravana on a full moon day. It is said that the demons were in a dominating position and this troubled Lord Indra. His wife Indrani, unable to see his husband saddened over losing the battle, prayed to God and prepared a sacred thread which she tied on the right wrist of her husband. As a result, not only did Lord Indra end up winning the battle but also escaped from it unhurt.
Yama and Yamuna
Another legend has it that Yamuna, the sister of Yama, the Lord of Death, used to tie rakhi on his brother's hand to impart immortality. It was a ritual that took place on every Full Moon day of the Shravana month (according to Hindu calendar). Yama, moved by her dedication declared to all the brothers, that in order to live long, to let their sisters tie a Rakhi on their hands and protect her unfailingly. So is the case today!
King Porus and Alexander's Wife
It is said that when Alexander the Great visited India around 326 BC in his mission to conquer the land, he was bravely resisted by King Porus. Fearing Alexander's safety, her wife Roxanne sent a sacred thread to the Porus, requesting him not to hurt her husband during the battle. Keeping to the oath, Porus restrained from delivering the final blow to Alexander and personally kept him out of harm's way.
Krishna and Draupadi
The legend of Rakhi can be also be traced back to the epical tale of Mahabharata. It is believed that Lord Krishna, when hurt during a war was aided by Draupadi, who tore a piece from her saree and tied on his wrist to stop it from bleeding. This act made Lord Krishna declare himself to be indebted to her and asked her to become his sister. The debt was repaid by Lord Krishna by extending Draupadi's saree when it was being removed by Dushasan; thereby honouring his rakhi oath vow towards her.
Maharani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun
Apart from the ancients, there also exists a legend of Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun, from the medieval period. Rani Karnavati, widowed wife queen of the King of Chittor, afraid that she won't be able to defend the kingdom from the attack of Bahadur Shah, sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun, requesting him to help her defend. Humayun, touched by the sentiment, send forth his troops and set off himself to aid. Even though he was late and the invasion having already being happened, Humayun kept his oath and restored back the kingdom and handed it over to Karnavati's son.
Go through the article to know more about the great legends of Raksha Bandhan.