Joined: 15 July 2006
The origin of the festival is mostly attributed that of Draupadi and Krishna during the Rajsuya Yaga. According to the legend, after Shishupal's death, Krishna was left with a bleeding finger. Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas comes forward, tears a strip of silk sari and ties it around Krishna's wrist to staunch the flow of blood. Touched by her concern, Krishna declares himself bound to her by her brotherly love. He promises to repay the debt manifold at an appropriate time (Needless to say, Lord Krishna has helped Pandavas during various phases all through the Mahabarath, particularly in the Kurukshetra episode). After a lapse of several years when Draupudi was about to be shamed by being disrobed in front of the whole court by her evil brother in law Duryodhana, she prayed Lord Krishna to help her and did by divinely elongating her sari so that it could not be remove.
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. Perhaps the single most important way of celebrating Raksha Bandhan is by tying the rakhi. A sister ties a rakhi to the wrist of her brother. The tying of a rakhi signifies her asking of her brother for his protection and love for the sister. The brother in turn, accepts the rakhi, confirms his love and affection for his sister and shows this with gifts and money. It is a family event where all members of family, dressed in finery, gather and celebrate. The tying of rakhi is followed by a family feast.
It is not necessary that the rakhi can be given only to a brother by birth; any male can be "adopted" or considered as a brother by tying a rakhi to the person. Hence Rakhi can be tied to brothers by blood, to cousins or to a good friend. Indian history is replete with women asking for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, nor Hindus themselves. Rani Karnavati of Chittor has sent a rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun when she was threatened by Bahadur Shah of Mewar. Humayun abandoned an ongoing military campaign to ride to her rescue.
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