There are many legends associated with
the Indian festival of Rakhi
Different heroes in Indian mythology and history with whom rakhi is related
According to legend Indra found himself being
defeated by the demon king or Daitya Raja. On the advice of his Guru
Brihaspati, his consort tied a Raksha on Indra's wrist and this helped him
achieve victory against the demon king.
The eldest of the Pandavas is believed to
have asked Krishna, how to protect himself, before the epic battle of the
Mahabharata. Lord Krishna instructed him that he would be protected by the
beneficial power of the rakhi.
When Alexander invaded the Indian
subcontinent in 326 B.C. he had to fight many battles against the rulers of
kingdoms in the north West. Alexander's wife is believed to have tied a
rakhi to the king Puru or Porus. In return he is believed to have promised
to protect her and her husband. In battle when he had the opportunity to
strike Alexander, his promise is believed to have restrained him from
delivering a fatal blow.
During Mughal times the custom of tying Rakhis
helped bind the Hindu Rajputs and the Mughal rulers of Delhi together.
According to legend, when Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked Rani Karnavati of
Chittor, she sent a rakhi to Humayun and requested him to help. He tried to
come to her aid but was too late, Chittor had already fallen and the Rani
had immolated herself in the Rajput custom of Jauhar.
In present day times women have used the tradition of Rakhi as a way of
deflecting unwanted attention and some women politicians have maintained
political relationships with other leaders, by tying rakhis on them. The
different ways, in which the custom of Rakhi is followed today, shows the
continued relevance of
in today's world.