Raksha Bandhan is celebrated as the day where a sister ties a thread around her brother’s wrist as a symbol of protection while the he promises to protect and take care of her.
Krishna and Draupadi
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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 man 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.
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.