The Indian tradition of festivals is enriched with reasons, be it mythological or societal, that call for celebration every other day. Among such a vast palate of festivals, the festival of Rakshabandhan has created its own identity over the history of India. It is a representative of two integral aspects of the Indian culture. On one hand it is representative of the welcoming attitude of Indians towards the rest of the world irrespective of cultural, national and occupational barriers and on the other hand it as well represents the respect with which Indian Hindu sisters look forward to their brothers. In ancient India the Rakhi evolved as a thread or rather an amulet of ‘protection’. The ‘rakhi’ does not require to be tied by only a blood sister in concern but may as well be tied by a woman who does not belong to a man’s own kin or blood relationship. The Rakhi culture is encouraged among all Indians irrespective of their cultural and religious backgrounds.
Let us tell you some tales of Rakhi that made this festival so significant to the Indian culture.
In the Northern part of India the folklores related to Rakhi are several but the most popular is the one that involves the tales of Rani Karnavati and the Mughal emperor Humayun. Rani Karnavati had been reigning on Chittorgarh, which was located in the western half during the 16th century. A tyrannizing Sultan had been reigning in the neighborhood of Chittorgarh who had been a threat to the state and to the queen as well. When the Sultan launched a war on Chittorgarh it was eminent to the queen that with her micro troupe she would never be able to prevail in the battle front in contrast to the huge army of the Sultan.
It was then that Rani Karnavati sent a letter to the Mughal emperor Humayun accompanied with a thread of Rakhi. This gesture led the Mughal emperor to be bound with Karnavati with the powerful authority of a brother and Humayun did assist Karnavati in her battle against the Sultan giving her protection in all modes possible. However the troupe of the emperor reached later than when needed and by then the Queen with all the other women of Chittorgarh had sacrificed themselves in the funeral pyre to kill themselves before Chittorgarh would be annexed by the Sultan. The historical authenticity of the event though argued upon by certain historians, it is one of the most popular folklores of Rajasthan, India even in the present date.
The Rakhi has been establishing a thread of connectivity despite of the rivalry that is considered to be present between the cults of Muslims and Hindus in India since time immemorial. A similar attempt to dilute the distance between the two religious groups of Hindus and Muslims had been taken up by the Noble Winning poet Rabindranath Tagore who begun tying the thread of Rakhi on the wrists of Muslims and encouraged Hindus to do the same with their Muslim brothers to boost the spirit of unity among Indians and rise against the British’s colonizing intentions of parting the religious cults.
The Indian mythology records another significant relationship that can be attributed to the purity of the bond of ‘Rakhi’. On the day of Makar Sankranti, while cutting and sorting strands of sugarcane Lord Krishna had mistakenly injured his little finger. His wife Rukmini was anxious to calm the pain of Krishna and hence sent a servant to fetch the best physician. In the meanwhile, Draupadi who was as well present at the same situation tore a section of her own sari and tied it across the wound to stop the blood flow just as a Rakhi would protect a brother from all harm. This led Krishna to consider her as his sister and thus he promised to be with her whenever needed. This was the causal antecedent to the never ending sari that was provided by Krishna as assistance to Draupadi when the Pandavas lost her in the game of dice.
These incidents and several other scenarios in the Hindu mythology have occurred circumscribing the incident of Rakhi. The festival of Rakshabandhan is thus a memorable and historical aspect of every Indian brother and Sister’s pedigree, and Shree Rakhi takes pride in assisting every Indian in celebrating this sacred cause.
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