No bond tighter…no love purer, that’s what you think when you think of Raksha Bandhan! Rakhi celebrations are fun and full of joy. But we have decided to take it to the next level by sharing with you some anecdotes about where it all started. Check out this article on 5 folklores around Raksha Bandhan and then bring it to life with downloadable colouring sheets for kids. Excited? Read on.
Raksha Bandhan is an occasion that we look forward to each year with fondness as siblings get to celebrate the wonderful bond between them. It’s all about highlighting the affection and love between siblings that is expressed so tenderly through simple ceremonies in each family. But do you ever wonder how the tradition of Raksha Bandhan started? Well, Hindu Mythology is full of folklores and stories about where it all began and they all sound so colourful and fun to read about!
So, to make Rakhi celebrations one to remember this year, here are 5 folklores from mythology and history around Raksha Bandhan. Each story has a downloadable colouring sheet that your kids can fill in making it an unique activity for them to understand where it all started!
5 Folklores around Raksha Bandhan – In Mythology and History
1. Lord Indra and his wife Indrani
During a war between the Gods and the Demons, Lord Indra was saddened as he felt they were going to be defeated and he reached out to his Guru, Brihaspati to guide him. On hearing this, his Guru asked him to get a string tied to his wrist by his wife Indrani. The sacred thread symbolised protection against all harm from any evil, thus starting the tradition of tying Rakhi for Raksha Bandhan. This sacred thread being tied to somebody’s wrist for protection is believed to have been originated for Indra Dev’s betterment.
Now, in the war between the Gods and Demons, Indra was disgraced by the Demon King, Bali. Upon seeing this, Indra’s wife, Sachi, consulted Lord Vishnu, who then gave her a holy bracelet made of cotton. Sachi tied the holy thread around Indra’s wrist with blessings; and consequently, Indra defeated Bali and recovered Amaravati. This story depicts not only the power of a holy thread, but also that it is not restricted to a brother-sister bond.
2. Lord Yama and his sister Yamuna
Another folklore goes on to say that Yamuna was extremely disheartened as she missed her brother Lord Yama (The God of Death), who had not visited her for over 12 years. She approached Ganga and shared her sadness with her.
On hearing this Ganga decided to speak to Lord Yama and convinced him to go meet his sister. Yamuna was so thrilled she prepared a delightful meal for him and wished for him to come meet her again soon. Yama was so touched by all the preparations and hard work he decided to make the River immortal.
3. This one is from the Mahabharata
One day Lord Krishna’s finger started to bleed due to a cut. Seeing this, Draupadi immediately tore a piece of cloth from her saree and tied it around his finger.
Seeing her humble gesture Lord Krishna in return promised her to always protect her. And as the tale goes, it was Lord Krishna who came to her rescue when Draupadi was being victimised by the Kauravas.
4. Ganesha and his sons
Ganesha is said to have had two sons- Shubh and Laabh. Seeing most boys had sisters to celebrate Raksha Bandhan, they asked their father for a sister as well. Ganesha was not agreeable and he didn’t comply with their wishes. Saint Narada, who happened to hear of it appeared and convinced Ganesha that having a daughter would only enrich his life as well the lives of his sons.
Ganesha finally agreed and created his own daughter by holy flames that emerged from his wife Siddhi. The daughter was later to be known as Santoshi Ma – “the Mother of Satisfaction”.
5. Rani Karnavati & the Mughal Emperor Humayun
This historical tale concerns the Mughal emperor Humayun and his encounter with the Rajput queen Rani Karnavati. When the armed conflicts between Rajputs and Mughals were at its height, the widowed Queen Karnavati of Chittor felt helpless against the might of the Mughals.
She felt further conflict was futile and sent a Rakhi to the powerful emperor through a trusted messenger. The Mughal emperor was so moved by this sisterly gesture of the vanquished queen that he stopped his troops from fighting. He went to her fort in person to ensure that she was totally safe.
All over India, the full moon day of Raksha Bandhan is indeed a holy day, known by different names and celebrated differently. In the Northern and Western India, the day is celebrated as the familiar “Rakhi Purnima”.
In the South, the same day is ‘Avani Avittam’ or ‘Upakarmam’, the day when sacred threads worn by men is renewed. In the coastal region of the Western Ghats, the festival is known as ‘Nariyal Purnima’. The word ‘Nariyal’, which means coconut, is offered in prayer to the sea by the whole family to seek protection to those venturing into the sea for their livelihood, mostly fishermen. Pavitrapana is celebrated by the Gujaratis on the same day of Rakhi Purnima when people offer water to the Shivling in nearby temples and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. It is believed that whoever worships the Lord on this auspicious day, is forgiven for all their past sins.
In central India, the celebrations around the joyous occasion of Rakhi happens as “Kajari Purnima”. In Odisha and West Bengal, this auspicious day is often called ‘Jhulan Purnima’.
When it comes to Raksha Bandhan, one thing is for sure no matter how the celebrations take place and that is love. It is indeed a universal day of celebration all over the country and this year, Rakhi falls on the 22nd of August. So, what better way to celebrate than adding colour, joy and fun to the festivities with these delightful stories and colouring sheets for kids!
Please note: The colouring sheets have been drawn by BuzzingBubs. The inspiration behind these artworks have been taken from various sources on Google.