Raksha Bandhan is the Hindu festival which signifies the immense love between a brother and sister. It is the day where a brother promises his sister to protect her from all evil, whereas the sister ties the knot of her love and prays for the well being of her brother.
But, where did it all begin? What are stories behind this auspicious day? Let’s find out.
1. The ancient story about the origin of Rakhi
It is believed that in ancient times, during the war between the Gods and demons, Lord Indra was disgraced by the demons. At that time, his wife Indrani tied a thread around his wrist which she received from Lord Vishnu. That thread was to protect Lord Indra from the demons, and so it did. But, over the years the tradition of tying Rakhi, shifted from husband and wife to brother and sister.
Since, Indrani tied Rakhi to Lord Indra on the day of the Shravan Purnima, every year Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on this auspicious day of Shravan Purnima.
2. The Raksha Bandhan relation of Krishna and Draupadi
It is believed that once Lord Krishna was flying the kite when his finger got a cut while working with a sugarcane. That time, Draupadi tore a small portion of her saari and tied it around his finger. In return, Lord Krishna promised Draupadi to protect her from evil. And so we know, how Lord Krishna saved Draupadi from the Cheer Haran by multiplying her saari endlessly.
3. The Story of Alexander The Great and Porus
The time when Alexander had invaded India, his wife Roxana sent a sacred Rakhi to Porus, the Katoch king. On receiving the sacred Rakhi, he promised Roxana to protect both her husband and her. And so, when he was about to kill Alexander The Great in the battlefield, he restrained from doing so, seeing the Rakhi on his wrist.
4. The Rituals of Rakhi
Although, the way of celebrating Rakhi has changed with the course of time, rituals and customs remain the same. Every year, before few days of Raksha Bandhan, sisters buy beautiful Rakhis for their brothers. The celebration begins with preparing the Rakhi Thali by putting Rakhi, water, rice, vermilion powder and sweets.
Sisters put tilak on the forehead of their brothers and tie the Rakhi round their wrists. They make each other eat the sweets and exchange gifts. This is the beautiful way how Rakhi is celebrated today.
5. The places where Raksha Bandhan is Celebrated
Raksha Bandhan is widely celebrated in the most part of India and also in Nepal. Many Indians living in Pakistan also celebrate Raksha Bandhan. And, in Mauritius as well, people celebrate Raksha Bandhan. Raksha Bandhan is celebrated widely by Indians staying abroad, as they receive Rakhis from their sisters here in India.
6. The Rituals of Exchanging Gifts!
Raksha Bandhan is a festival where both brothers and sisters exchange gifts apart from tying the rakhi. It is the way of showing love and affection towards each other. Over the years, the exchange of gifts has become an important part of Raksha Bandhan. While in the earlier times, brothers would give money as shagun to their sisters, now they also give and receive gifts.