Raksha Bandhan: Is It Only A Bondage Of Brother- Sister?

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Raksha Bandhan: Is It Only A Bondage Of Brother- Sister?
21 Aug 2021
6 min read

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Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of India, that means a lot to all of us. It is not only a celebration; it is an emotion to us. What do you think, is Raksha Bandhan only the bondage between brother and sister or it is more than that? To know the answer, scroll down and read the article with love. #ThinkwithNiche.

The Hindi word ‘Raksha’ means Protection, and Bandhan is to Tie the Knot. It's not anything new to Indians, especially the Hindus, it is an ancient Hindu festival that celebrates the love and bondage between brothers and their sisters. The sisters tie the Rakhi, ‘the sacred knot’ to their loving brothers’ hand, prays, and wish for the well-being of her brother. In return, the brothers give their sisters a token gift and a promise to protect her.

It is one of the several occasions during which family ties are affirmed in India. Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit means “Bond of Protection”. In Bengali, it’s known as Rakhi Bandhan. But is it only the bondage of love between Brother and Sister?

Let’s find it through some stories behind it –

There are different stories for Raksha Bandhan, like that of Indra Dev, Raja Bali, and Goddess Laxmi, Krishna -Draupadi, and Yama- Yamuna. All of the stories mention trust, unity, understanding, responsibility, love, and affection.

Story Of Indra-Indrani

There is a “Pauranic” myth of Indra and Indrani about the celebration of Raksha Bandhan. Regarding the implication of Raksha Bandhan, in ‘Bhavishya Puran’ there is a story of the Hindu God Indra, who is the God of Thunder, and Indrani.

Once Indra went for a long war between the Gods and the Demons. King Vritra led the demons whereas Indra leads the Gods. The group of the Gods was almost on the dead-end to lose the war.  Lord Indra was quite worried about the end of the war. He got confused about what to do and how to save the ‘Devlok’ from demons. Then he looked for his guru ‘Brihaspati’ and asked for his advice. At this climax moment, Guru Brihaspati told Lord Indra to get a Rakhi, tied on his wrist by his wife Indrani on a full moon day of Shravan Purnima. He also said that the Rakhi should possess the power of sacred mantras. As his Guru advised, Indrani tied a sacred Rakhi on her husband’s hand on the day of ‘Purnima’. The power of the sacred thread called Raksha helped the Gods to win the battle safely.

This is a mythological story which is one of the reasons behind the Raksha Bandhan Celebration.

Story Of King Bali- Laxmi

There are many mythologies behind Raksha Bandhan. Another is the story of King Bali and Devi Laxmi. Bali was a follower of Lord Vishnu. Once Bali offered a sacrifice to request Lord Vishnu to come to his kingdom. Vishnu was pleased by his sacrifice and came to Bali’s kingdom as a guard. But Devi Laxmi was not satisfied by this. She could not tolerate that her husband’s presence in Bali’s kingdom. So, she went there in disguise as a poor Brahmin lady and requested shelter in Bali’s kingdom. She is Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth, so as she entered Bali’s Palace, Bali started to become wealthy. Then on the Day of Purnima on Shravan, Laxmi tied Rakhi in Bali’s hand. Bali felt kind to his new sister and wanted to fulfill one of her wishes. Laxmi disclose her identity and requested him to let Vishnu return to Vaikuntha. Thus, Bali fulfilled her wish and the story ends there.

It shows the bondage between a brother and sister.

Story Of Krishna-Draupadi

There is no one who does not know Lord Krishna and Draupadi. It is the story about their brother-sister bondage. Draupadi is Pancha-Pandab’s wife who is also sister like to Krishna.

Once Krishna was cutting the Sugarcane and accidentally cut off his small finger also. Seeing this, his wife Rukmini became afraid and quickly ordered to bring bondage. Draupadi was also there and was noticing everything. She remained calm and just tore a corner of her saree and tied Krishna’s finger with it.  Krishna immediately stopped bleeding and promised her to protect all through their life. He also kept his word and protected Draupadi from Duryadhan, while he tried to unrobed her clothes in Kaurab’s palace.

Raksha absolutely means this to us still now.

Story Of Yama-Yamuna

Yama is the Lord of the Death and Yamuna is our sacred river. The story is one of the Hindu beliefs that the Yamuna tied Rakhi to her brother Yama’s hand in a wish to bring him immortality. We all know Yama is the God of Death but he is immortal with his sister’s protection.

These are all about Hindu myths behind Raksha Bandhan but there are also many true histories. let’s see some of them.

History Of Humayun-Karnavati

It is the history of India in 1535. At that time Second Mughal Emperor Humayun was ruling India from Delhi. At the same time, Rani Karnavati was ruling from Chittor.  She was the widow of King Maharana Sanga of Chittor. At that time her two sons were not mature enough to take the throne.  And this situation became the greatest chance for other rulers to take advantage of Chittor and Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujarat, came forward to take that opportunity. He started to march forward as there was nobody to protect Chittor. The army of Rani Karnavati was not strong enough to face the strong army of Gujarat. Then she sent a Rakhi to Humayun, asking him to help her to protect her land. Humayun also accepted the Rakhi and went forward to protect her from Bahadur Shah. Seeing Humayun as her guard, Bahadur Shah went back to Gujarat empty-handed. This saved Chittor from Bahadur Shah.

Although Humayun and Karnavati both belonged to different communities, Rakhi tied them in the bond of trust and protection.

History Of Bengal Partition

The last but not the least story I will explain is the history of Bengal’s partition. It was 1905 when Lord Curzon decided to divide Bengal into two parts, one would be the region for the Muslims and another would be for Hindus. he also planned to divide the Hindu majority regions of West Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha from Muslim-dominated areas of Assam and Sylhet. The British government passed the petition and gave the order to divide Bengal in 1905. Coincidentally, the month was August which is the Shravan of the Bengali calendar. So, Rabindranath Tagore very cleverly used the chance and use brotherhood, unity, and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ to protest against the Bengal partition policy and tried to unite the Hindu and Muslim communities of Bengal. With the strong leadership of Tagore, on the day of Raksha Bandhan, every Hindu and Muslim Peoples tied Rakhi in each other’s hands to show the brotherhood and unity. In Bengal, that incident is pointed to as the story behind Raksha Bandhan.

So, from this above story, we find Raksha Bandhan is not only strong bondage between brothers and sisters but love bondage, a unity, a brotherhood, among all our beloved ones. He/she may be brother-sister, husband-wife, two different persons from different communities. Raksha Bandhan in one word is the Knot of Unity in Diversity.

So, we wish you a Happy Raksha Bandhan, celebrate and protect your beloved ones forever. #ThinkwithNiche. 


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