Legend of RakshaBandhan - Divine Bond between Brother & Sister

To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We live outside the touch of time.

Rakshabandhan, the festival that unites everyone & celebrates the selfless love of a brother & sister. The festival is celebrated enthusiastically by Jains, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs & Christians alike all over India! It is probably the simplest festival of India, but is the most joyous because of the bond between brothers & sisters, you can see selfless love all around! I personally am so excited about this festival that I can't wait to tie the rakhis my sisters from all over India have sent me! :D

RakshaBandhan literally means, Bond of Protection. Here, the bond is 2 ways, the wish of a sister that her brother be safe & the promise by a brother to protect her sister from any harm, throughout his life. There are many legends about how the tradition of tying a Rakhi (the band a girl ties on her brother's wrist) began & popularized, I am sharing some of the most popular legends with you.

The Legend of Rani Karnavati & Emperor Humayun:
Year 1535. Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, realised that she could not defend against the invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah. She sent a Rakhi to Emperor Humayun. Touched, the Emperor immediately set off with his troops to defend Chittor. Humayun arrived too late, and Bahadur Shah managed to sack the Rani's fortress. Karnavati, along with a reported 13,000 other women in the fortress, carried out self-sacrifice on March 8, 1535, killing themselves to avoid dishonour. At the same time, Humayun's men threw the gates open and rode out on a suicidal charge against Bahadur Shah's troops. When Humayun reached Chittor, Humayun evicted Bahadur Shah from fort and restored the kingdom to Karnavati's son, Vikramjit Singh.

Alexander the Great and King Puru

According to another legend, when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BC, Roxana, his wife, sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. Porus, being a Katoch king gave full respect to the Rakhi. On the battlefield, when Porus was about to deliver a final blow to Alexander, he saw the rakhi on his own wrist and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.

The Legend of Immortality : Lord Yama & Yamuna
Lord Yama was (the Hindu Lord of Death) and his sister was Yamuna, (the river in northern India). Yamuna tied Rakhi to Yama and bestowed him 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.

Repaying a sister's debt : Krishna and Draupadi

Draupadi was the wife of the Pandavas, in the epic, Mahabharat. She had once torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Lord  Krishna's wrist to staunch the bleeding from a battlefield wound. Lord  Krishna was touched by her action and declared her to be his sister, even though their bloodlines were unrelated. He promised to repay the debt and then spent the next 25 years doing just that. Draupadi, in spite of being married to 5 of the greatest warriors on Earth and being a daughter of a powerful monarch, depended wholly on Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna repaid the debt of love during the "Cheer Haran" (literally "cloth robbing") of Draupadi, when Yudhisthira lost her to the Kauravas in gambling. When not her husbands, not the elders of the court, not even the King himself would aid her protect her honour, she prayed to Lord Krishna & through his divine intervention, he indefinitely extended her saree to save her honor. This is how he honored his rakhi-vow towards Draupadi. & so began the tradition of Rakhi according to the epic.

Wish you a beautiful Rakhi & a blessed relationship with your brothers & sisters!

Brother & Sister photo : Courtesy internet
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