Origin Stories of the Festival of Rakshabandhan

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During our cultural storytelling celebrating this year in our parents group, I read out the below stories and thought it would be nice for us all to share the same with our little ones.

Rakshabandhan – An Indian Festival For Siblings

Indrani and Indra

Raksha Bandhan originated from ancient times when Indrani had tied a thread, which was given to her by Lord Vishnu, around her husband Lord Indra’s wrist to protect him from demons during a war between the Gods (devatas) and demons (danavas). So, it was not always around brother and sister.

Laxmi and Bali

Another mythological story is that links the festival with demon king Bali and Goddess Lakshmi. According to the legends, Goddess Lashmi’s husband Lord Vishnu was asked by demon king Bali to live in his palace, which she was against. So she tied a thread on Bali’s wrist and made him her brother. When Bali asked her what she wanted in return for the Rakhi, she asked him to free her husband from staying in his palace, which he granted.

Santoshi Maa

It is said that the two sons of Lord Ganesha namely, Shubh and Labh were frustrated that they had no sister. They asked for a sister from their father who finally obliged to their sister on the intervention of saint Narada. This is how Lord Ganesha created Santoshi Maa through the divine flames and the two sons of Lord Ganesha got their sister for the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

Yama and the Yamuna

Another legend says that the death God, Yama did not visit his sister Yamuna for a period of 12 years who ultimately became very sad. On the advice of Ganga, Yama went to meet his sister Yamuna who has very happy and performed hospitality of her brother, Yama. This made the Yama delighted who asked Yamuna for a gift. She expressed her desire to see her brother again and again. Hearing this, Yama made his sister, Yamuna immortal so that he could see her again and again.

Draupadi & Krishna:

Draupadi and Krishna are siblings in the epic, the Mahabharata. This is one of Krishna’s many lives. As the story goes, Krishna cut his finger while handling sugarcane. Krishna’s wife, Queen Rukmini, sent someone to get bandages. However, Draupadi saw the incident, and she cut off part of her saree and tied it around his finger to stop the bleeding. Krishna then promised to help her out when she needed it. Several years later, some men try to undress Draupadi in public, by unraveling her saree. Krishna is there and sees this. Krishna uses his magic to make Draupadi’s saree never ending, so that she would not have to be disrobed in front of everyone.

Rani Karnavati & Humayun

The most important story of the dedication of a brother’s promise is of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Humayun once visited Mewar with his troops, when Rani Karnavati, who ruled the region at the time, asked for his help. Her kingdom of Mewar had been attacked twice by Bahadur Shah and as her only hope she sent a letter with a Rakhi to Humayun asking him for his help. Humayun, who was between a military campaign at the time he received the letter, left everything to protect her.

Roxana & King Porus:

Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BCE. His wife Roxana was worried about his safety. She sent King Porus, the king of the Pauravas, a rakhi, and asked him not to hurt her husband on the battlefield. During the Battle of the Hydaspes River, King Porus saw the rakhi on his wrist. This reminded him of his promise to Roxana. He then stopped himself from attacking Alexander. Porus lost the battle, but he won Alexander’s respect and honor. Alexander reinstated Porus as a governor of his own kingdom. He also allowed him to rule over last to the south-east of his kingdom.

Origin Stories of the Festival of Rakshabandhan

 

Cherish the bond between siblings this Rakhi with out children’s book How Our Skin Sparkles. Meet Aarav and Sharvi, two siblings who trouble each other as much as they love spending time and learning together.⭐️

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