The concept of Rakhi has been known since the ancient times although it was practised in different ways. The ancient events and legends behind the festival which took place have given Raksha Bandhan a deeper perspective. These legends show us the sacredness of the bond between brothers and sisters which has been valued for long. Most of these legends which date back to the mythological era have changed the simple customs by giving a powerful meaning to it; these legends which took place in the history have shown us the significance of the sacred thread. And according to these legends this thread has been the reason for the protection of many a lives. Read rest of the section and find out the interesting events which happened during the course of time and get to know how a simple thread can impact a large number of people.
Raksha Bandhan Legends
Krishna and Draupati
According to the Mahabharata, when Lord Krishna was hurt during a waging battle against the evil king Shishupala, Draupadi tore a piece of her sari and tied it across the wrist of Krishna to stop the bleeding. Being touched by the act, Krishna made Draupadi his sister and made a vow to protect her. Krishna repaid his debt by extending her sari when the Kauravas were removing her sari, thereby honouring his rakhi vow towards Draupadi.
Yama And Yamuna
In another legend it states that, the ritual of Raksha Bandhan was that Yamuna the sister of Yama, lord of death, used to tie rakhi on his brothers wrist and prayed for his immortality. Since then, it became a tradition involving a sister tying the rakhi on her brother's wrist on Shravana Purnima.
King Porus And Alexander's wife
It is said that when Alexander the great came to India, he was resisted by the brave King Porus. It was then, when Alexander's wife doubted her husband's safety, sent forth a rakhi to King Porus and therefore he withdrew from fighting with Alexander. This act of Alexander's wife also makes famous the sacred festival of Rakhi.
Indra And Indrani
In ancient times, on a full moon day, after the battle between the deities and demons, the demons won the battle and captured Amravati, the capital of Indra. As a result, Indra's wife was saddened because of the loss in the battle; she therefore prayed to the almighty and prepared a sacred thread which she tied on the wrist of her husband. And it is believed that the thread protected Indra and he won the battle to regain his kingdom from the demons and protected Amravati.
Maharani Karnawati And Emperor Humayun
And in recent history, a famous incident took place which deepens the importance of this festival. The incident happened between Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun. Rani Karnavati sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun when she was afraid of the invasion by Emperor Bahadur Shah. Humayun realizing her need went to help her. But the act of Humayun was very late as Bahadur Shah had already invaded and to keep her honour she along with other women committed Jauhar (suicide), although Humayun, staying true to his promise, was able to help Rani Karnavati's son and restored the Kingdom with her son Vikramjit Singh being made the new king.
The interesting incidents which happened in ancient times help in understanding the rituals of the festival of Rakhi. Read to find about it.