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6 Raksha bandhan tales from history and mythology
Last updated on: August 12, 2011 18:09 IST

Like all Indian festivals, the festival of rakhi has numerous tales associated with it. Here are some you may or may not have heard.

Everyone loves a good story and when it is about a
festival it's even better, isn't it? So here they are -- stories of Raksha Bandhan from history and mythology so you can tell your kids about why we celebrate this festival. Krishna and Draupadi

Perhaps the most popular of the rakhi stories in our
mythology is that of Lord Krishna and Draupadi -- the wife of the five Pandavas. An incident in their lives finds a mention amongst the various stories of the Mahabharata. According to one version on a Sankranti day, Krishna managed to cut his little finger while handling sugarcane. Rukmini, his queen immediately sent her help to get a bandage cloth while Sathyabama, his other consort rushed to bring some cloth herself. Draupadi who was watching all of this rather simply tore off a part of her sari and bandaged his finger. In return for this deed, Krishna promised to protect her in time of distress. The word he is said to have uttered is 'Akshyam' which was a boon: 'May it be unending'. And that was how Draupadi's sari became endless and saved her embarrassment on the day she was disrobed in full public view in king Dritarashtra's court. Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh

Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun
Last updated on: August 12, 2011 18:09 IST

Among the many tales of Raksha Bandhan, a version of the story of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun is one that often finds
a mention. Karnavati was the regent of Mewar after the death of her husband Rana Sanga. She ruled in the name of her elder son Vikramjeet. When Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked Mewar for the second time -- he had defeated Vikramjeet earlier -- the queen began reaching out to her nobles for support. Initially apprehensive, the nobles finally agreed to take on Shah. In the meanwhile, Karnavati also wrote to Humayun, for help. She sent him a rakhi and sought protection. Interestingly, Humayun's father Babur had defeated Rana Sanga when he led a confederation of Rajput armies against him in 1527. The Mughal emperor was in the middle of another military campaign when he received the call for help. Abandoning it he turned his attention to Mewar. Unfortunately, he never made it on time. As the Rajput army was defeated in Chittor -- where the battle was taking place -- Karnavati committed Jauhar -- an act of self-immolation to protect herself from indignity of falling in the hands of Bahadur Shah. Shah however could not go any further and had to turn away from Chittor as Mughal military reinforcements arrived soon after. Humayun then restored the kingdom to Karnavati's son, Vikramjit.

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the Lord of Death and Yamuna. Roxana and King Porus Last updated on: August 12. he is said to have declared that any brother who was tied a rakhi and offered to protect his sister would also become immortal.com/getahead/slide-show/slide-show-1-specials-6-raks. the ritual of Raksha Bandhan would be followed by Yama..com http://www. 2011 18:09 IST 2 of 4 13/08/2011 9:02 AM . the lord of death granted her immortality. And so moved he was by the gesture. the river that flows in India.6 Raksha bandhan tales from history and mythology .rediff.Rediff. Yama and the Yamuna Last updated on: August 12. 2011 18:09 IST According to another legend.. The story goes that when Yamuna tied a rakhi to Yama.

a sacred thread and asked him not to harm her husband on the battlefield.. Roxana sent Porus.rediff. Popularised by the 1975 Bollywood film Jai Santoshi Maa.Riddhi and Siddhi. 2011 18:09 IST Unlike the previous one. when he confronts Alexander. this legend does find mention in various Hindu scriptures. Lord Ganesha's sister Manasa visits him to tie him the rakhi. he refuses to kill him. Lord Vishnu has been protecting his devotee and the demon King Bali. Eventually. 2011 18:09 IST Now even though this tale has no basis in the Hindu scriptures.6 Raksha bandhan tales from history and mythology . the take of the birth of Santoshi Maa has been linked to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. Another legend has it that when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BC. Eventually. his wife.Rediff.com/getahead/slide-show/slide-show-1-specials-6-raks. the tale goes somewhat like this: On the auspicious day. Goddess Laxmi and King Bali Last updated on: August 12. Ganesha's sons -. Honouring the request.com http://www. disguising himself as his doorman. 3 of 4 13/08/2011 9:02 AM . after his death. Ganesha creates goddess Santoshi from the divine flames that are said to have emerged from his consorts -. On seeing this. Giving in to their demands. A version of this story goes thus: As part of a promise. The birth of Santoshi Maa Last updated on: August 12.Shubha and Labha -..begin insisting on having a sister. Porus would become a very loyal Macedonian satrap. Porus would lose the battle of the Hydaspes River but would gain Alexander's respect and honour.

. Laxmi ties a thread of coloured cotton on Bali's wrist and wishes for protection and happiness. the goddess of wealth and prosperity enters the household Bali begins to prosper. the abode of Vishnu.6 Raksha bandhan tales from history and mythology .com/getahead/slide-show/slide-show-1-specials-6-raks. In return. she approaches Bali. The generous king opens the doors of his palaces for the lady.com http://www. Laxmi simply points to the gatekeeper who now reveals his real identity. 4 of 4 13/08/2011 9:02 AM . his consort Laxmi has been missing him. The goddess follows suit.Rediff. Disguising herself as a woman seeking a shelter to live in since her husband has been away. Vishnu promises to return and be with Bali for four months of each year. As Laxmi. Back in Vaikunth. Bali asks her what she desires and promises to fulfil it.. Bali keeps his promise and requests Vishnu to return to his home with his consort. On the full moon day of in the holy month of Shravana.rediff.