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Tying rakhi, applying tika on forehead, giving gifts and an elaborate platter of delectable food items on table. Sounds familiar? This year 22 August marks the Raksha Bandhan and even though the festival is all about celebrating the bond between brother and sister, one thing we all know by now is that when it comes to the vow of lifelong protection of siblings, women are equal.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in Shravan month during the full moon day or Purnima day. According to a website, Drikpanchang, the Raksha Bandhan Thread Ceremony time will begin from 06:15 am and continue till 05:31 pm. (Duration 11 hours 16 mins) and Aparahna time Raksha Bandhan Muhurat will begin from 01:42 pm and continue till 04:18 pm (Duration - 02 Hours 36 Mins).
Raksha Bandhan Bhadra End Time - 06:15 am
Raksha Bandhan Bhadra Punchha - 02:19 am to 03:27 am
Raksha Bandhan Bhadra Mukha - 03:27 am to 05:19 am
Purnima Tithi Begins - 07:00 pm on Aug 21, 2021
Purnima Tithi Ends - 05:31 pm on Aug 22, 2021
Let's look at some of the popular legends and stories that are associated with Raksha Bandhan.
1. Krishna And Draupadi
One of the most famous legends is the story of Krishna and Draupadi. While cutting sugarcane, Lord Krishna once injured his finger. Draupadi was around him at that time when she witnessed that Lord Krishna's finger was profusely bleeding. Without a thought, she tore a portion of her saree and bandaged Lord Krishna's little finger. It was during this time that Lord Krishna promised to protect Draupadi at all times and He used the word "Akshayam" which implies the protection extended to Draupadi is unending.
2. The Story Of Yama And Yamuna
This is another mythical story of how Raksha Bandhan started. It is believed that Lord Yama was tied a Rakhi by Yamuna and he was so moved by the gesture that he granted her immortality. Further, he declared that anyone who ties a Rakhi and vows to protect their sisters would become immortal.
3. Indra and Indrani
If one reads the story of Indra and Indrani, it will become very clear that Raksha Bandhan is just just a symbol of celebrating brother sister bond. Legend has it that during a war between Gods and Demons, Lord Indra was losing to King Bali, watching this in front of her eyes, Indra's wife Indrani prayed to Lord Vishnu, who gave her a holy thread and asked her to tie it around Lord Indra's wrist. As a result Indra was blessed with powers and he won the war. Therefore, this thread became the symbol of protection against any evil.
4. King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi
In the Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana, after Lord Vishnu conquers the three worlds from King Bali. Therefore, King Bali asks him to stay in his palace. Due to a turn of events, Lord Vishnu disguised himself as the doorman of King Bali- the grandson of Vishnu's ardent devotee Prahlada. Due to the absence of Lord Vishnu from Vaikuntha (their abode), Goddess Lakshmi becomes restless and then she in the guise of a Brahmin woman comes to earth and tells King Bali the story of her husband. King Bali offered her shelter and looked after her. It's said on Purnima of Shravan month, she tied a thread around Bali's wrist with prayers for his protection and happiness. Moved by her affection and after she reveals the true story, he grants her a wish and asks Lord Vishnu to return with Goddess Lakshmi to Vaikuntha.
5. Santoshi Mata
Lord Ganesha had two sons Shubh and Labh. When on Raksha Bandhan, Lord Ganesha visited his sister who tied a rakhi on his wrist. Seeing that his sons also insisted upon having a sister, so that they can also celebrate the festival. Therefore, Saint Narada appeared who persuaded Ganesha that a daughter will enrich him and his sons. Lord Ganesha agreed to this and created a daughter Santoshi Ma by divine flames that emerged from Lord Ganesh's wives Riddhi and Siddhi. Thereafter, Shubh and Labh loved and protected their sister Santoshi Mata.
6. Alexander the Great's wife Roxana and King Porus
This reference to the Raksha Bandhan festival dates back to 326 BCE, during Alexander the Great's invasion of India. He also tried to take over the kingdom of the Indian King Porus, but faced resistance from the King. Seeing this, Alexander's wife Roxana became worried and sent a sacred thread to Porus and requested him not to harm her husband in the battle. While the battle was ongoing, Alexander fell off his horse and found Porus holding a sword to his neck, but since Porus promised his sister to not harm Alexander directly, he restrained himself from attacking Alexander directly.
7. Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun
This is another famous version of Raksha Bandhan's story. After the death of Rana Sanga, widowed Queen of Chittor, Rani Karnavati sent a rakhi to Mughal Emperor Humayun and sought his protection from the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah who attacked Mewar for the second time. Human was in the middle of another military campaign when he received Rani Karnavati's call for help. He left everything behind and turned his attention to Mewar. Humayun then restored the kingdom to Karnavati's son, Vikramjit. This is how Humayun fulfilled his promise to Karnavati.