Siblings are for sharing laughter and wiping tears. The bond between a brother and a sister is one beyond words. A relationship where time fails to fade the childishness away and a bond greater than that of blood prevails. However, in India, the relationship becomes even more important as there is a festival called "Raksha Bandhan" dedicated to the sibling love.
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is known to have originated centuries ago and there are several stories related to the celebration of this special festival in the hindu mythology. Some major accounts are described below:
- Santoshi Maa- It is believed that the two sons of Lord Ganesha namely, Shubh and Labh were frustrated by the fact that they had no sister. They asked their father for a sister who finally obliged to his sons after Naradji intervened. Hence lord Ganesha created Santoshi Maa from the divine flames and his two sons got their sister for the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
- Krishna and Draupadi- In the epic Mahabharat, Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas tied a rakhi to Lord Krishna while Kunti tied a rakhi to her grandson Abhimanyu before the epic war.
- Yama and the Yamuna- According to a legend, the god of death, Yama, had a sister named Yamuna who was saddened because Yama did not visit her for a period of twelve years. When Yama finally went to meet his sister, she was very happy and that delighted her brother. Yamuna, in turn, expressed a desire to see her brother again and again. Hearing this, Yama made his sister immortal so that he could see her again and again.
- King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi- When Lord Vishnu won the three worlds from the demon King Bali, The demon king requested him to stay beside him in the palace. The Lord accepted the request and started living with the demon king. Goddess Lakshmi, wife of Lord Vishnu wanted him to return home to Vaikuntha. So, she tied a rakhi around the wrist of demon king, Bali and made him a brother. On asking about the return gift, Goddess Lakshmi asked Bali to free her husband from the vow and let him return to Vaikuntha.
- Indra Dev and Sachi- According to Bhavishya Purana, once there was a fierce battle between Gods and demons. Lord Indra was fighting the battle on the side of Gods and was having a tough resistance from the powerful demon King, Bali. Seeing this, Indra's wife Sachi went to Lord Vishnu who gave her a holy cotton bracelet. Sachi tied the holy thread around the wrist of her husband, Lord Indra who ultimately defeated the demons. Unlike, the present times, those holy threads were not limited to brother-sister relationships.