Who Tied the First Rakhi?
As every traditional festivity is associated with ancient legends and myths, Rakhi is no exception to it. Here you would find tales and stories related to Rakhi festival which tell us about the great devotion and the affectionate bond between brothers and sisters:
Rakhi in Mythology
- Yama and Yamuna:According to a mythological tale, Yama, the lord of death, was blessed with eternity as his sister Yamuna tied up a Rakhi thread on his wrist. Since that time the festival of Raksha Bandhan is associated with tying of Rakhi thread.
- The Tale of Lord Bali and Goddess Laxmi:According to the tale King Bali one day approached to the Lord Vishnu to get his kingdom safeguarded from its enemies. Lord Vishnu decided to help his great devotee and was set to leave his heavenly home. Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Vishnu, did not want her lord to leave the home and reached to the Bali's mansion in disguise of Brahmin woman to seek shelter. On the auspicious day of Shravan Purnima Laxmi ji while tying a revered thread on Bali's wrist told her purpose for being there. Touched by the tender feelings of Lakshmi ji for her family, Kind Bali requested Lord Vishnu to not leave his abode. Therefore the Rakhi festival is also called 'Baleva' that means the devotion of King Bali to Lord Vishnu.
- Indra and Sachi: Indra, the king of devtas, had lost his kingdom to the asura Vritra. Indra's wife Sachi than tied a thread around her husband's wrist to ensure his victory in the upcoming war between him and Vrita. This was done at the behest of guru Brihaspati.
- Draupadi and Krishna: Lord Krishna was left with a bleeding finger, after Shishupal's death. To stop the flow of blood, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna's wrist. Touched by her concern, Krishna declared himself to protect her and promised to repay the debt manifold, and spent the next 25 years of his life doing just that.
- King Porus and Alexandar's wife:Another rakhi tale comes from the battle between Alexander the Greek king, and Porus, the Hindu king. Wife of Alexander sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with Hindu traditions, Porus gave full respect to rakhi. In the battlefield, when Porus was about to deliver a final blow on Alexander, he saw the rakhi on his hand and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.
- Humayun and Queen Karmavati: Queen Karmavati of Chittor had sent a Rakhi to Humayun to protect her from Bahadur Shah. Humayun, then engaged in an expedition against Bengal, turned back to carry out his sacred brotherly duty and tried to protect her but was too late. Chittor had already fallen and the Rani had immolated herself in the Rajput custom of Jauhar.
- Rabindranath Tagore's call to nation: During the partition of Bengal in 1905, Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate poet used the occasion of the Raksha Bandhan as a community festival and gave a call to tie a rakhi amongst all Hindus and Muslims so as to maintain peace and harmony between them and spread the nationalist spirit among people from different ethnic backgrounds.