- The Bhavishya Puran cites a story
that the devas once battled with the danavas (demons) for twelve
years. However, the devas lost, including the mighty Indra.
So they prepared to fight again. On this occasion, Indrani tied
a raksha on her consort Indra, after extolling Raksha Bandhan's
glory. Indra then attained victory.
- During the battle of Mahabharat,
Queen Kunti tied a raksha on her grandson Abhimanyu to protect
him in battle.
- When the demon King Bali's devotion
won over Lord Narayan, he was compelled to leave his abode,
Vaikunth, to stay in Bali's kingdom in Sutal. When Lord Narayan
failed to return, his distressed consort Lakshmi arrived in
Sutal on Shravan Purnima. She accepted Bali as her brother by
tying a raksha on him. In return, Bali asked her to wish for
a boon. She requested Narayan's return. She grieved that despite
having a consort she was experiencing premature widowhood in
Narayan's absence. However, the Lord had pledged to eternally
protect Bali, by guarding his door. To resolve his dilemma,
Brahma and Shiva agreed to guard Bali for four months each,
while Vishnu (Narayan) would guard him for the auspicious four
months - Chaturmaas - beginning from Ashadh Sud Ekadashi and
terminating on Kartik Sud Ekadashi, usually from Mid-July to
Mid-November. The festival of Raksha Bandhan commenced when
Lakshmiji tied the 'rakhadi' ('rakhee' in Hindi) on Bali Raja.
Since Bali Raja offered devotion by sacrificing everything to
the Lord, the day is also known as 'Bali-eva' or 'Baleva' for
short. Therefore when Brahmin priests perform puja rituals,
they chant a famous mantra while tying the 'nada chhadi' (raksha)
on a devotee:
Yena baddho Baliraja daanavendro Mahaabala,
tena twaamabhi badh naami rakshe maa chala maa chala
i.e. I tie on you (the devotee) the raksha which was tied on
Bali, the King of demons. Therefore O Raksha! Do not ever fail
to protect this devotee, do not ever fail.
- In ancient times a woman tied
a 'raksha' on her husband's wrist to protect him from evil.
Gradually this changed; she tied a 'raksha' on her brother's
right wrist, to protect him from evil influence and those factors
which may taint his character, and to strengthen the bond of
sibling love between them. She visits her home and performs
his 'pujan' by applying kumkum and rice grains on his forehead.
In return the brother gives her a gift and vows to protect her
too. The 'rakhadi' itself ranges from a coloured cotton string
to exquisitely decorated balls of various sizes and materials
such as fluffy cotton, 'zari' paper, tinsel, beads and so on.
- A second sentiment relates to
'Baleva' and our devotion to the Lord. Just as Bali Raja offered
devotion to Lord Narayan by sacrificing his kingdom and himself,
devotees should endeavor to emulate him. That is the true spirit
- The Guru also ties a 'rakhadi'
on his disciples. In the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, Pramukh Swami
Maharaj and the sadhus tie 'rakhadis' on devotees on this day.
The underlying sentiment is that the Ekantik Dharma of the devotees
- On 18/8/87, Pramukh Swami Maharaj
defined Raksha Bandhan as, The Raksha Bandhan is our surrenderance
to God and the Satpurush. Even if the body is not immortalized
by such a Raksha Bandhan, the soul is, in that it is freed from
metempsychosis - the cycles of birth and death. We also do not
falter from Satsang. Devotees should forever beg for such a
Therefore on this day devotees pray
to the Lord and Guru for ultimate protection; to be delivered
from 'kusang' - evil elements, from the bondage of samsara and
to be eternally bound, hence true 'bandhan' - to You and none
On this day, Yajurvedi and Rigvedi
Brahmins and those who normally wear 'yagnopavit' (janoi) also
adorn new 'janois'.