‘Rakhi’; it is not just a pretty thread but a bond of unconditional love, care, and joy tied around the wrist of beloved brothers. After endless laughing, teasing, trouble sharing, and fighting, ‘Rakshabandhan’ is that day of the year when brothers spoil their beautiful sisters with gifts, chocolates, monies, and the list goes on…
The term ‘Rakshabandhan’ splits into two; ‘Raksha’ (protection) and ‘Bandhan’ (bond). It is thus, a vow taken by brother to protect his sister from all the perils in life and take their back in the hard times. The festival dates back to centuries, and epics enclose numerous tales on this mystic tradition.
Usher in the true spirit of festival by reading these tales:
Started By Guru Brihaspati:
According to the religious beliefs of India, the observance of Raksha Ceremony has its roots back to the times when Indrani tied a talisman around the wrist of her crestfallen husband, Indra on the advice of Guru Brihaspati. It granted him power to guard himself against the spasm of demons and reinstate his kingdom.
Evolved From Mahabharata:
An instance from the epic ‘Mahabharata’ evolved the tradition of tying the protecting threads from the husband to the brothers. Once Lord Krishna got a cut on his finger, seeing which wife Rukmini and Satyabhama rushed to bring some cloth for a bandage. Without a second thought, Draupadi tore her sari and wrapped it around his finger. Obliged Krishna, promised to return the favor and protect her in all adverse circumstances. That’s how Draupadi’ssaree became an endless garment that saved her from embarrassment when Dushasana (Kaurava brother) tried to disrobe her in public view.
Taken Forward by Rani Karnavati& Emperor Humayun:
In the times of distress, when Bahadur Shah invaded the kingdom of Mewar, the regent ruler Rani Karnawati sought for protection from Humayun, to whom she sent rakhi. On receiving the call for help from his Rakhi sister, the Mughal emperor left his military campaign in the middle to support Chittor (Mewar). Sadly when he reached, Mewar was writhed and his sister leaped into sweltering flames to save her honor. Humayun kept his promise by restoring the kingdom to Karnavati’s son,Vikramjeet. That same day of the lunar month (Shravana Purnima), RakshaBandhan is celebrated in Mewar and all over Rajasthan.
Went Beyond the Boundaries of Religion:
In 326 B.C. when Alexander invaded India, his wife, Roxana tied a Rakhi to the king Porus knowing the value of this talisman to Hindus, and in return, asked him not to hurt her husband during battle. It was the reason why King Porus restrained himself from killing Alexander when he fell off the horse thus, keeping his Kshatriya promise!
Transcended to Society through Rabindranath Tagore:
Rakshabandhan not only springs strong bonds between the siblings but can also surpass the boundaries of family. Rabindranath Tagore initiated the ceremony of ‘RakhiMahotsav’ in Shantiniketan to spread the feelings of brotherhood outside the family ties, and across the entire earth. The tradition underlines the importance of harmonious social life.
These are some of the tales attached to the auspicious festival, ‘Rakshabandhan’. Tying a ‘Rakhi’ is an expression of sublime sentiments of good health and prosperous life towards loved ones from ever and a day. RakshaBandhan, RakhiPoornima, RakhiMahotsav or KajariPoornima; the names and customs might get modified with ages and topographies, however, the vows to look after still remain unchanged.