The story of Raksha Bandhan

Published: 11th August 2010
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Every year brothers and sisters all over India celebrate Raksha Bandhan. The occasion is meant to sanctify and reaffirm the relationship that they share. The sisters will tie a colored thread, known as a rakhi, on the right hand of the brother to let him know that she appreciates and values the care and love that he provides her with. The ceremony includes the sister tying a rakhi on her brother's hand and saying a short prayer on his behalf. Once the prayers are done the brother usually gives the sister a gift at the end of the ceremony.

The whole sentiment of the meaning of Raksha Bandhan can be seen as being very prevalent throughout Indian history. The whole tradition of tying the rakhi as a symbol is believed to have been started by the Hindu god Indra who had a similar string tied on his wrist by his wife when he lost his fight with Vritra. It is said that she tied the thread on his wrist to bestow upon him, the power he needed to defeat Vritra.

Apart from this there are other mentions of the role played by the sentiment of rakhi in Indian history. There is the record of lord Krishna and Draupadi during the Mahabharata, when Draupadi used a strip of cloth from her sari to stem the flow of blood from Krishna finger. This gesture had such a profound influence on Lord Krishna that he dedicated the next 25 years to Draupadi.

There are also accounts of Alexander the Great, the king of Greece, having married an Indian woman to improve relations with the kingdoms in Asia. He was later involved in war with the king Porus who was about to deal the final blow and end Alexander when he saw the rakhi Alexander's wife had sent him while requesting him not to harm her husband. In keeping with a sacred Indian tradition, Porus stayed his blow and reframed from, personally, becoming Alexander's executioner.

Earlier the 'standard operating procedure' was that the sister would tie the rakhi and then the brother would give her gift. The tradition has changed a bit now; these days, both the brother and the sister give gifts to each other. If you are wondering what to gift you brother or sister on this occasion then the best thing to do would be to look back at the experiences you have had with your brother or sister and you are bound to find all the clues that you are look for. if you still are not able to find what you want then you can also visit rakhi gift sites that provide lots of advice and samples.

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