Learning the Raksha Bandhan History
The tradition and festival of Raksha Bandhan have been around for a long time. Most families indulge in the celebrations and partake in the traditions. Brothers and sisters come together to celebrate this day from everywhere around the world. It is safe to say that the traditions are not confined to India only. Sisters, in fact, buy rakhi online for their brothers, particularly for this occasion, no matter how far their brothers are. And vice versa, even brother’s get delightful gifts for their sisters no matter how far apart they are from each other.
With so much importance being placed on the event of Raksha Bandhan, you must know the history of Raksha Bandhan. It is, after all, an important part of our culture and thus needs to be remembered and passed on to the next generation.
Thus, with that, here is a brief story behind Raksha Bandhan and the importance of the festivities that form an important part of our culture.
The story of King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi
Lord Vishnu had a great and rigid devotee, The demon king Mahabali. It was later on that the divine Lord Vishnu had left his home, Vaikuntham, and shifted to king Mahabali’s kingdom to protect the kingdom. However, Lord Vishnu’s spouse, the Goddess Laxmi, had become lonely and wished to be closer to him. She concocted a plan to visit the Kingdom of Bali under disguise and, so she did; she took the appearance of a Brahmin woman and took refuge in the demon King Mahabali’s palace.
Goddess Laxmi then tied a Rakhi on the wrist of demon king Mahabali on Shravana Purnima and revealed her identity. She had also told the demon king of her true intent and purpose for visiting his land. This confession and devotion of the goddess for her dear husband touched the demon king’s heart. He requested Lord Vishnu to return to his divine home along with his wife. Raksha Bandhan hence is also referred to as Baleva, which is a connotation of Mahabali's devotion to the Lord Vishnu.
This leads us to the following stories down the lane of the Raksha Bandhan history:
Lord Krishna and Draupadi
The legend goes somewhat like this, during a war between the divine Lord Krishna against the evil King Shishupal, he was hurt. In fact, the wound was quite severe, and his hand was bleeding. When princess Draupadi saw Lord Krishna victorious against Shishupal but bleeding heavily, she rushed to Krishna’s side and tore off a strip of her own cloth and tied it around his injured wrist. Lord Krishna was touched by this act of affection and was moved by her concerns for his well-being. Thus, he declared himself bound by her sisterly love. He promised to stand by her side and protect her honor as a brother, which he did years later during the conflict between Kauravas and Pandavas in the fateful game of dice.
Rani Karnawati and Emperor Humayun
Another famous tale that is added to the history of rakhi is the story of Rani Karnawati and Emperor Humayun. This story dates back to the 1500s when Rajputs were on a clash with the Mughal invasions of India. Rani Karnawati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, had quickly realized she could not defend the oncoming invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah. Thus, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor was touched by her gesture of sisterly love and immediately set off with his troops to defend Chittor's honor.
Each of these stories forms a significant part of the history and culture of our traditions that led to the celebration of Raksha Bandhan.