Indian Festival, Notes for Students

Raksha Bandhan

The festivals being celebrated in India are not always meant for fun and frolic. They rather intend to

Rakhi (Knot of Protection) tied in the wrist of a Brother 


share a personal bond, harmony and relationship and above all they are dedicated to service & benevolent jobs. For example, during the celebration of Ed, the Muslim prayed for the safety and peace across the globe. They prayed for the flood-victims that hit in Kerala at the same time they raised funds to meet the expenses of the flood affected people.

Well, I am not going to discuss what actually happened in Kerala but for festivals.

To be frank, each festival has an importance of its own. When it comes to Rakhi or Rakshabandhan, it is dedicated to share the intense bond between the brother and the sister.

I am writing the blog to pen down the cause and motives behind the celebration. Before that, one question arises why it is dedicated to the bond of brothers and sisters unlike the other festivals. You must have noticed the every festival is dedicated to certain rite and ritual. As far as the Raksha Bandhan is concerned we don’t have to observe any rituals to celebrate it. The sister simply ties a string around the wrist of her brother as a part of ritual and seeks assurance of protection and safeguard from her brothers. The brothers also assure his sisters to safeguard her at every moment of life. Now, it’s time to discuss the reasons behind the celebration

Why is Rakhi Celebrated?

There are many actually well, if we flip through the pages of Indian mythology we discover the traces the festival and its importance let’s take a look at the stories one by one.

In the Puran( the ancient Indian literature) the story of King Bali and goddess Laxmi goes like this.

Draupadi seeking divine help from Lord Krishna 

Penance of king Bali made Lord Vishnu happy and the later promised the king to be with him round the year leaving his own palace (Vaikunth) behind.  This made the Goddess Laxmi sad. She did not like the idea of Vishnu to leave her to become the watchman of the King. So, she went to the king Bali in the guise of a poor Brahmin and tied a string around the king’s wrist as a sister in the month of Shravan (Hindu Calendar)

At this the king asked Laxmi to make her wishes she asked for Vishnu in return. As per the mythological traces it is the first Rakhi to be tied to brother.

Krishna and Draupadi

The second story is mentioned in the Mahabharata when Krishna killed Shushupal, the demon, for doing wrong constantly. Draupadi, the Pandava’s wife tied a piece of clothes round one of the fingers of the Lord Krishna in order to check bleeding that oozed out during the entire action. The Lord Krishna was obliged at her gesture. That was the first Raksha Bandhan (the knot of protection)

When it comes to the Indian history

There are traces of Raksha Bandhan being observed

Alexander had a tough time when he invaded India during 326 B.C. He had to fight with Porus who ruled in the Punjab region. It was said to be difficult for Alexander to win the battle against Porus.

Alexander’s wife who heard about the festival being celebrated in India came to meet Porus and Porus also welcomed her as sister. She asked for Alexander’s safety in return and Porus promised her to do so. Since Porus accepted her as sister he refrained himself from giving a fetal hit to Alexander during the war.

Maharani Karnawati’s immolation 

Maharani Karnavati

Second trace is given in the history of Rajasthan during the medieval period. Queen of Chitor Karnawati had to face Bahadur Shah the king of Gujraj and the queen sought help from the Mughel emperor Humanyu by sending him Rakhi. Knowing the importance of Raksha Bandhan, Humayun went to help her to counter the Battle. Historical record says Humayun was bit late in reaching Chittor and the queen along with her maids burnt herself by the time. Later Humayun defeated Bahadur Shah made the son of the queen Vikramaditya Singh as the ruler of Mewar.

Whatever the reasons may be, but the festival is entirely dedicated to bond between brothers and sisters