History of Raksha Bandhan In Old Scriptures & Epics
It has been almost 6,000 years that this pious traditional festival, Rakhi has continued to be celebrated, before the advent of the tradition of sending online rakhi. The first instances of celebrations go back to the times when Aryans built the first civilization. With time and with the evolution of so many cultures and languages the way in which this festival’s celebration evolved is now different in different parts of the country. Historians do have the instances of Raksha Bandhan celebrations in the past. Some of them are:
Humayun and Rani Karnavati :
One of the most important evidence of the celebration of Raksha Bandhan in the ancient age is the episode between Rani Karnavati and Humayun. The episode goes back to the medieval period when the continued wars between the Rajputs and Muslim invaders were at peak. During those times Rakhi and celebration of Raksha Bandhan implied great bonding between brothers and sisters. Moreover, the sisters’ wellbeing and protection was considered top most priority. Rani Karnawati having realized that there was no way to prevent Bahadur Shah’s invasion of Gujarat, she sent a rakhi to Humayun. The emperor touched by the gesture and keeping the promise of protecting his sister marshalled his troops in no time.
Alexander The Great and King Puru :
Historians cite the brother-sister relationship between King Alexander’s wife and King Puru to be the oldest known incident of a brother honouring a sister’s rakhi. The event dates back to 300 BC, when King Alexander was had invaded India and was looking to expand his foothold. Historians say the the great Alexander was overwhelmed by the fury and aggression of King Puru. When Alexander’s wife got to know this, she tried to find ways to prevent her husband from being attacked and killed by King Puru. She had learnt about the festival of rakhi and approached King Puru. King Puru with a big heart accepted her as a sister and promised not to attack King Alexander at the battlefield. When they met head-to-head at the battlefield King Puru refrained from attacking Alexander and didn’t harm him.
Lord Krishna and Draupadi :
The festival of Rakhi is embedded in Hindu mythology as well. Lord Krishna in a battle had killed King Shishupal. In the war, Lord Krishna was hurt and he had badly injured his finger. Seeing this Draupadi tore a strip of cloth from her sari and tied it around Lord Krishna’s finger to stop its bleeding. Lord Krishna then realized Draupadi’s sisterly affection for him and announced to be bound by her sisterly love. Several years later, when Pandavas lost Draupadi to Kauravas in the dice game, Kauravas went out to outrage her modesty by removing her sari. Lord Krishna, with his divine powers protected Draupadi by elongating her saree infinitely and saved her from disgrace.
King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi :
The fearless and demon king Mahabali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Due to his devotion, Lord Vishnu had taken up the responsibility to protect Bali’s kingdom, by willing to stay away from Vaikunth dham, his normal place of stay. Lord Vishnu’s wife Goddess Laxmi was deeply saddened by staying away from her husband. In order to stay close to her husband, she went to Bali and took refuge under him as a Brahmin woman. On the day of Shravan Purnima, Lakshmi revealed her identity to Bali and also mentioned her reason for staying there. Bali was deeply moved by this and the affection Lord Vishnu showed towards his family. He then, persuaded Lord Vishnu to go back to Vaikunth dham along with goddess Laxmi. It is because of these events and Bali’s devotion to Lord Vishnu, the day was celebrated as Baleva. Scriptures mention that from that day it became a tradition to welcome sisters to brother place to tie rakhis and celebrate Raksha Bandhan at the brother’s place.
The festival of Raksha Bandhan has been celebrated since historical times and is considered a central event in many mythological events. However, the relevance in today’s world is still the same and is celebrated with much élan and fervour. So, send rakhi to India to celebrate this historical tradition of affection and values. Make the day a memorable one by sending rakhi gifts India.