The traditional festival of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ i.e. Rakhi dates back its origin about 6000 years ago during Aryans established first civilization. Due to diversity in many languages and cultures, the traditional customs & rituals to celebrate Rakhi festival differs from region to region across India.
Many historical pieces of evidence exist in Indian Regarding the celebration of the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan:
1. STORY OF LORD KRISHNA & DRAUPADI:
For the protection of the Dharma on earth, Lord Krishna killed the devil King Shishupal. Lord Krishna was hurt in the war and left with a bleeding finger. Seeing his bleeding finger, Draupadi had torn a strip of her saree and tied it around his injured finger to stop the bleeding. Lord Krishna has valued her concern and affection. He felt bound by her sisterly love & compassion. He pledged to repay the debt of gratitude in her future. After many years, Pandavas lost their wife Draupadi in the game of dice to crooked Kauravas. They had attempted to remove the saree of Draupadi that was the time when Lord Krishna protected the dignity of Draupadi through his divine powers.
2. THE STORY OF KING BALI & GODDESS LAKSHMI:
Mahabali, the demon king was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. Due to his immense devotion, Lord Vishnu took the responsibility to protect Bali’s Kingdom leaving his normal dwelling place in Vikundam. The wife of Lord Vishnu i.e. Goddess Lakshmi became very sad. She wanted to stay with her husband Lord Vishnu. So she went to King Bali in disguise as a Brahmin woman and taken refuge in his castle. She tied Rakhi on King Bali’s wrist on the full moon day called Shravana Purnima. Later Goddess Lakshmi revealed who she was actually and why she had come. The king was moved by her and Lord Vishnu’s goodwill and affection for him & his family. Bali requested Lord Vishnu to accompany his wife to Vaikuntam. It is believed that from that day onwards it has become a custom to invite one’s sister on Shravana Purnima to tie the auspicious thread of Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan.
3. THE STORY OF RANI KARNAWATI & EMPEROR HUMAYUN:
The story of Rajputana Rani Karnavati and Mughal Emperor Humayun is the most popular evidence in history. In the medieval era, Rajputs were fighting & protecting their Kingdom from Muslim invasions. Since those times, Raksha Bandhan means the commitment and protection of one’s sister were the foremost. Rani Karnawati was the widowed queen of the king of Chittor. She realised that she could not be able to protect her Kingdom from the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah. She sent a Rakhi thread to Mughal Emperor Humayun. The Emperor was overwhelmed by the gesture and started towards Chittor with his troops without wasting time.
4. THE STORY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT & KING PURU:
One of the oldest references to the History of Rakhi festival goes back to 300 B.C. when India was invaded by Alexander. It is believed that the great conqueror, King Alexander of Macedonia was wavered by experiencing the fury of the Indian King Puru in his first attempt of defence. On seeing her’s husband plight, Alexander’s wife, who had been aware of the Rakhi festival, approached King Puru. King Puru accepted her as his Rakhi sister and he refrained from the war against Alexander.
Rakshabandhan is a sacred festival. How many stories are you aware of? Comment below!