Raksha Bandhan is one of the most famous festivals of India which holds great social and cultural importance and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. This festival, that celebrates the bond of love and care between a brother and a sister, has a very rich background and various tales attached to it. These tales, associated with the leading historical figures and also with the holy deities, are interesting to know. Beginning from God Krishna to Alexander, all the deities and historical characters have bowed to honour this sanctified thread of love and protection. All the stories depict the deep relation and love between a brother and a sister and that the bond of Rakhi is not just meant for siblings attached by blood relationships but is also for those who are close to each other because of the emotional relationship. Given below are some of the historical legends which act as the evidences of the celebration of Raksha Bandhan in those days.
Historical Legends About Rakhi Festival
Lord Krishna And Draupadi
During the battle between Lord Krishna and an evil king Shishupala, Krishna threw his Sudarshan Chakra at Shishupala in order to punish him. At the time of hurling the chakra his index finger got injured. Seeing this, Draupadi immediately ran to protect her God, tore off a piece of cloth from her sari and wrapped it around his wrist to stop the bleeding. Krishna was touched to see her complete devotion and pure love towards him and thus promised to protect her from all the evils, in time of suffering and to pay back whenever she needed it in the future. Many years later, when the Pandavas lost their wife Draupadi in the game of dice and when she was disrobed by the Kauravas, Lord Krishna helped her by elongating her sari. Thus, she was saved from humiliation and dishonour because of her brother.
Rani Karnawati And Emperor Humayun
This legend is the most important evidence of Raksha Bandhan being celebrated during the Mughal Era. Rani Karmavati was the queen of the Rajput kingdom of Chittor, Rajasthan. When Chittor was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Mewar, the Rani sent a letter with a rakhi thread to Humayun, the Mughal monarch of Delhi and asked him for help. Humayun was well familiarized with the importance of Rakhi to the Hindu community and thus, without wasting time, immediately came there with his troops to protect her and her realm.
Alexander The Great And King Porus
The ancient reference to the festival of Rakhi dates back to 300 BC at the time when Alexander conquered India. King Alexander of Macedonia also tried to take over the kingdom of the Indian King Porus but he was resisted by King Porus. Seeing this, Alexander's wife Roxana got worried and sent a rakhi thread to King Porus, as she knew the custom and importance of Raksha Bandhan, asking him not to harm her husband during the battle. Hence, she became a sister of his and this is the reason King Porus restrained himself to deliver the final blow to Alexander which would have taken his life.
Yama And Yamuna
Yamuna was the sister of Lord Yama, the God of Death, and on every Shravana Purnima she tied a sacred thread on the hand of Lord Yama to bestow immorality. Thus, from that time it became the tradition of tying a rakhi thread to protect brothers from any harm and bless them with long life. In return, the brothers bestow lots of blessings and promise to safeguard their sisters from every problem till the end of their life.
King Bali And Goddess Lakshmi
According to the Hindu mythology, Bali, the demon king, was a devoted follower of Lord Vishnu and because of this, Lord Vishnu had vowed to protect his kingdom. However, Lord Vishnu's wife, Goddess Lakshmi, was saddened by the absence of her husband at their home in Vaikunth. On Shravana Purnima, masquerading as a Brahmin woman, she went to King Bali and tied a rakhi thread on his wrist. Shortly after, she revealed her true self and her purpose of coming. Touched by Goddess Lakshmi affection, King Bali requested Lord Vishnu to return home to his wife, thereby honouring the rakhi.
Raksha Bandhan has been celebrated from the time immemorial. Go through the article to know more about why and how the Raksha Bandhan has been celebrated in the past.