Raksha Bandhan in the history of India

Posted by Adhiraj Sengupta | Posted on August 14, 2016

History is a mystery as we are always short of showing evidence and proving a point. In this article I will go through some past stories related to Raksha Bandhan. To my point of view, a story can not emerge from just nowhere so there must have been at least something true if not the whole story is true. It is very interesting to know that during the medieval period of India “rakhi bandhan” was not only restricted to the Hindus while in the next era we can see inspirations of spreading rakhi bandhan as “universal brotherhood”.


Raksha Bandhan  symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being
[“Raksha Bandhan” symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her.]
*Image is the property of this website.



Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Bandhan in Indian History:


Krishna and Draupadi
During releasing Sudarshan chakra to behead Sishupal, Krishna cut his finger and Draupadi almost came from nowhere tearing a part of her sari to bandage Krishna’s cut. Krishna blessed Draupadi that whatever she did for him will be kept as a debt and when time comes, she will be repaid every thread of the torn sari. In fact whenever Draupadi needed help she prayed “Krishna’s name” and Krishna also came from nowhere every time to help her. In Mahabharat, before the Kurukshetra war in order to protect army and himself from war Krishna suggested Yudhistir to perform a ceremony. In the ceremony Panadava mother, Kunti tied a rakhi to his grandson Abhimanyu’s wrist while the Pandava wife, Draupadi tied a rakhi to Lord Krishna’s wrist.

Some readers may think that why this story is included in the “history” section but not in the “mythology” section, that is done because I, the writer consider Mahabharat as history not mythology!


Humayun and Karnavati

After the death of husband, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, Rani Karnavati realized that she could not defend her country from the Gujarat Sultan invasion so to gain political favor she sent a Rakhi to Mughal Emperor Humayun. Humayun’s heart was touched by sisterly love of Karnavati so he took action by sending a skilled troop for the defense of Chittor. However the story has a tragic end as Humayun was too late to arrive and within that time Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujrat sacked the Rani’s fortress.


Traditional “Raksha Bandhan” thali
[Traditional “Raksha Bandhan” thali. Brother gives his sister(s) gifts such as cards, clothes, money or something thoughtful.]
*Image is the property of this website.



Porus and Roxana
There is a story that when Alexander invaded India in 326 BC his wife Roxana sent a sacred thread to Porus indicating him not to kill his husband in the war. Porus gave full respect to the rakhi by not attacking Alexander at a point of time when the war was going in his favor remembering the rakhi.


Rabindranath Tagore

I feel no introduction is needed so let us get straight into the topic. When the British colonial rulers were busy to divide the mentalities of people through their wicked “Divide and Rule” policy, Tagore preached Rakhi bandhan as a concept to spread respect, love and vow mutual protection between Hindus and Muslims to spread the Indian culture of “Unity of Diversity”. Thus Rabindranath Tagore opened the gates of “unspoken secret closed circuit” of rakhi bandhan (female to male) and preached it as a symbol of universal brotherhood.


Adhiraj Sengupta

About the author

I am Adhiraj Sengupta, an article writer. I feel no background and other details are necessary about me, simply, if you like my writing then feel free to contact me. Happy reading :)! Read more


Please share your feedback about this blog and author