Rakhi is an important event of the Hindu religion, and it has its roots in the Epics and Vedas. Rakhi has been celebrated since time immemorial, in ancient India, and till today. Read below for a note on the history and origin of this wonderful festival that strengthens the bond between brothers and sisters. Click here to send this page to your friends.
About Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi
Raksha Bandhan – the Indian festival of tying the knot of amity, brotherhood and long life, is a symbol of seeking divine bliss. Not for the ‘self’. But for man on whose wrist the thread is tied. ‘Raksha’ is the word for protection. ‘Bandhan’ is the bond. So it signifies the bond of protection. The protection is from the dark hands of the evils and against all perils. The protection that connotates – not just physical, but the spiritual one as well.
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The origin and the legends:
The festival nurtures a rich heritage of legendary traditions, some rooted back to the ages of the great epics. In the Hindu tradition the Rakshaa has indeed assumed all aspects of protection of the forces of righteousness from the forces of evil.
According to the Mahabharata, Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pancha Pandyava (the five brothers belonging to the family of king Pandu), asked Sri Krishna, an incarnation of lord Vishnu, how best he could guard himself against impending evils and catastrophes in the coming year. Krishna advised him to observe the Rakshaa Ceremony. He also narrated an old incident to show how potent the Rakshaa is. It went like this.
Once, Indra, the king of heaven was confronted by the demon king – the Daitya-raaja – in a long-drawn battle. At one stage, the Daitya-raaja got better of Indra and drove him into wilderness. Indra, humbled and crest-fallen, sought the advice of Brihaspati, the Guru of Gods. The Guru told him to bide his time, prepare himself and then take on the mighty demon. He also indicated that the auspicious moment for sallying forth was the Shraavana Poornima. On that day, Shachee Devi, the wife of Indra, accompanied by Brihaspati tied Raakhi around Indra’s right-wrist. Indra then advanced against the Daitya-raaja, vanquished him and reestablished his sovereignty.
This is how Raksha Bandhan came into being in the ages of old Hindu mythology and has transcended into the modern ages acquiring more of new and modified customs with itself.
Stories Of Raksha Bandhan
Lord Krishna and Draupathi
In order to protect the good people, Lord Krishna killed the evil King Shishupal. Krishna was hurt during the war and left with bleeding finger. Seeing this, Draupathi had torn a strip of cloth from her sari and tied around his wrist to stop the bleeding. Lord Krishna, realizing her affections and concern about him, declared himself bounded by her sisterly love. He promised her to repay this debt whenever she need in future. Many years later, when the pandavas lost Draupathi in the game of dice and Kauravas were removing her saari, Krishna helped her divinely elongating the saari so that they could not remove it.
King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi
The demon king Mahabali was a great devotee of lord Vishnu. Because of his immense devotion, Vishnu has taken the task of protecting bali’s Kingdom leaving his normal place in Vikundam. Goddess lakshmi – the wife of lord Vishnu – has became sad because of this as she wanted lord Vishnu along with her. So she went to Bali and discussed as a Brahmin woman and taken refuge in his palace. On Shravana purnima, she tied Rakhi on King Bali’s wrist. Goddess Lakshmi revealed who she is and why she is there. The king was touched by Her and Lord Vishnu’s good will and affection towards him and his family, Bali requested Lord Vishnu to accompany her to vaikuntam. Due to this festival is also called Baleva as Bali Raja’s devotion to the Lord vishnu. It is said that since that day it has become a tradition to invite sisters on sravan pournima to tie sacred thread of Rakhi or Raksha bandan.