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Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan)

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Happy Raksha Bandhan
As we all know that Raksha Bandhan is the celebration of bond of love among brothers and sisters. But there are numerous legends associated with the origin of Rakhi. If we try to find out the origin behind Rakhi we will have to refer Hindu mythology as most of the roots of Hindu festival can be traced from Hindu mythology. The festival nurtures a varied and rich heritage of legendry epics. According to Bhavishya Purana there was a battle between gods and demons, and Indra (the king of the gods) was defeated by the demons and he was totally shattered. At that time on advice of Guru Brihaspati, (the guru of Devtas) Indra's wife Sachi took a silken thread, popularly known as 'Raksha' and charged it with sacred verses for protection and tied it on Indra's wrist. As a result the strength of the sacred thread helped Indra conquered his enemies. Since then till today this festival is celebrated. It is considered as gesture of goodwill and protection.

Happy Raksha Bandhan

There are various other legends also associated with Rakhi. In the pages of history also we have seen Rakhi had played an important and significant roles in building strong relations and bonds among two rulers and kingdoms. For instance Alexander's wife believed to have tied rakhi to King Porus during that time due to which in battlefields he had to restrain himself from attacking Alexander inspite of having numerous opportunities. Even history evidences show that during Mughal period the custom of tying rakhis helped bind the Hindu Rajputs and Mughal rulers together. According to legend, when Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked Rani Karnavati of Chittor, she sent a rakhi to Humayun as bond of love and requested him to help. So all of these legends associated with the festival teaches us one thing that there is nothing above true love and affection. It is this bond of togetherness that binds us. So these are the few legends associated with the festival of Rakhi, which signifies the importance of Raksha Bandhan celebration in India.

Raksha Bandhan (रक्षाबंधन the bond of protection in Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati,and many other Indian languages) is a Hindu festival, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shraavana (Shravan Poornima).
The festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her as she presents sweets to her brother. The brother and sister traditionally feed one another sweets.
It is not necessary that the rakhi be given only to a blood brother; any male can be "adopted" as a brother by tying a rakhi on the person, irrespective of whether he is cousin or a good friend. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves.

The story of Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun is the most significant evidence of this in history. During the medieval era, around the 15th century, there were many wars between the Rajputs, Mughals and Sultans. Rakhi at that time meant a spiritual binding and the protection of sisters was foremost. When Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor realised that she could in no way defend the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor was so touched by the gesture, that he abandoned an ongoing military campaign to ride to her rescue.

The rakhi may also be tied on other special occasions to show solidarity and kinship (not necessarily only among brothers and sisters), as was done during the Indian independence movement.

Happy Raksha Bandhan

History
Krishna and Draupadi
Another incident is the one from the epic Mahabharat that concerns Krishna and Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. She had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna's index finger to 271.1.1/2988stop the flow of blood. Krishna was so touched by her action that He found himself bound to her by love. He promised to repay the debt and then spent the next 25 years doing just that. Draupadi in spite of being married to 5 great warriors and being a daughter of a powerful monarch trusted and depended wholly on Krishna.

Krishna repaid the debt of love during "Vastra-Haran"(literally "clothing-theft") of Draupadi. Draupadi's "Vastra-Haran" was done in the assembly of King Dhritarashtra, when Yudhishthir, her husband lost her in gamble. At that time Krishna indefinitely extended her saree, so it could not be removed, to save her pride. This is how He paid his debt towards rakhi tied to Him by Draupadi.

Yama and the Yamuna
According to another legend, Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna. Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved by the serenity of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection will become immortal.

Raksha Bandhan celebrations in India
While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated all over the country, different parts of the country mark the day in different ways. These celebrations happen to fall on the same day, and may not have anything to do with Raksha Bandhan itself or Rakhi.People often sing the popular hindi song "Bhaiya mere, Rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhaana" (My dear brother, please hold on to this sacred relationship of ours, forever and ever.)


Most Memorable Raksha Bandhan of Children

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