From when did the celebration of Raksha Bandhan begin?

There are many stories in history and mythology concerning the origins of Raksha Bandhan. Some of the popular ones are as follows:

  • According to Rana Safvi, a historian, the celebrations of Raksha Bandhan began in the Mughal Era in 1759 when Shah Alam II practiced Salona (Rakhi festival) to pay his respect to a Hindu woman.

  • According to Hindu mythology, the celebrations of Raksha Bandhan began when Draupadi tied a piece of cloth from her sari on the bleeding finger of Lord Krishna and in return, Lord Krishna protected her sanity and reputation from the humiliation in the court of Kauravas.

  • Many also believe that Raksha Bandhan is celebrated because of the legend of Yama and Yamuna. Yamuna hadn’t seen his brother Lord Yama, the god of death, in a long time, so she invited him to her home. She prepared a meal for his brother and tied a thread to his wrist. Lord Yama was so pleased with his gesture, and he announced that any brother who gets a rakhi from a sister and promises to protect her will be immortal.

  • Some also believe that Raksha Bandhan was celebrated early by husbands and wives according to the story of Indra and Indrani. Indrani had tied a thread to her consort Indra’s wrist for his protection and victory over Vritrasura.

  • There is also a belief that the celebration of Raksha Bandhan began from the day when Goddess Lakshmi tied Rakhi to King Bali.

  • Another legend talks about the relationship between Roxana, the wife of Alexander the Great, and Porus. She sent a Rakhi thread to Porus asking him to not harm her husband on the battlefield. Porus honored her request and refused to kill Alexander after the confrontation.