Love, friendship, bonding and relationships are the essence of any Indian festival and it holds true for Raksha Bandhan as well. It celebrates the undying bond between a brother and a sister on Shukla Paksha Poornima in the holy month of Shravan. This year, Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated on August 26, when sisters will tie a sacred and protective thread on their brother’s wrists, wishing them good health, fortune, well being and long life. Successively, brothers bound by the holy thread will promise to protect their sisters from all evils, troubles and harms that exist in our universe. The fragile silk thread connotes a profound and eternal relationship between the brother and sister, which is indulgent, delicate and unfaltering. The great sagas that relate to Raksha Bandhan are the story of the eternal bond between Devakinandan and Draupadi, the daughter of king Drupad and the wife of the Pancha Pandavas in the Mahabharata. Both Krishna and Panchali hold a special place in Hindu mythology and it is believed that the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan started with Shyamsundar and Draupadi during the epic Kurukshetra war.
Draupadi Ties a Bandage around Krishna’s Finger
Though not siblings by birth, Shri Krishna and Draupadi shared a unique and powerful bond of love and friendship for each other. According to the Mahabharata, Krishna was so fond of Panchali that he addressed her as ‘sakhi’. Panchali too had complete faith on Devakinandan and prayed to Him with much devotion. On a beautiful day of Sankranti, the Lord cut his little finger while He was handling sugarcane. Shri Krishna’s wife Satyabhama sent for help to get a cloth to bandage Shyamsundar’s hand while Rukmini, the other consort of Krishna, quickly came to the Lord’s assistance to tie a bandage around His finger herself. Panchali who was close by tore off a section of her sari and bandaged Madhav’s finger. In return for this favour, Shri Krishna pledged to protect Panchali when she would be in trouble.
According to another legend, Shri Krishna held the Sudarshan Chakra to kill Shishupala, son of Damaghosha, to punish him for his many wrongdoings and sins. The Lord threw the celestial chakra at Shishupala soon after which he was beheaded. When Krishna’s finger started to bleed, Draupadi, who was the Lord’s keen devotee, rushed to tie a bandage around His finger. She tore a small portion from her sari and covered Krishna’s finger with it. Devakinandan was so moved by Draupadi’s love and affection that He promised to act as her saviour and protect her whenever she needed it. Devakinandan asked Panchali what she would like to have for her selfless gesture. Draupadi, just as a loving and devoted sister, asked for Krishna’s protection and presence in her life eternally. Panchali tied the sacred thread of Rakhi on Krishna’s hand each year and the Lord showered His blessings on Yagyaseni. Shri Krishna uttered the word ‘Akshyam’, which was a blessing signifying ‘unending’.
Krishna Saves Draupadi
To return Draupadi’s favour, Lord Krishna protected Draupadi’s honour when the Kauravas attempted to dishonour her by disrobing Panchali in front of her husbands in a court full of courtiers. With Krishna’s blessings, Draupadi’s sari became endless when Dushasana tried disrobing her. This is how Shri Krishna saved Panchali just like a brother protects a sister from all evils.
Raksha Bandhan Celebration in Vrindavan
Among the numerous festivals in Vrindavan and Mathura, Raksha Bandhan holds a special significance in the holy Braj. The people of the holy town perceive Shri Krishna as their loved family member and offer beautiful rakhis to the Lord in the numerous temples of Vrindavan as a token of love and bonding with Devakinandan. The Krishna bhakts in the holy Braj offer rakhis to Devakinandan regardless of their gender.
Come and be a part of Raksha Bandhan and the many festivals of the holy Braj. You can opt for a Krishnabhumi Holydays membership and spend 7 days in Vrindavan every year. You can also own a home in Krishna Bhumi, the temple township featuring beautiful apartments and villas close to the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir.