Looks like Rakhi is one festival that is Style, Tradition and Love combined together. As one of those Western Journalist puts it its New Year, Thanksgiving and Christmas day all combined in one. Isn’t it true ? And look at this years’ craze the ZOoozoo rakhis.
If Spiderman, Superman and Ganesha rakhis ruled the markets last season, this year, Zoozoos the ingenious promotional characters used by a telecom network which captured the imagination of the entire nation have taken over the rakhi stalls too.
The shopkeepers are counting quick bucks as these innovative rakhis are finding a great demand among the younger lot.
And who says theres recession when daimond studded Rakhis are selling hot. Ofcourse anything to please a brother.
This is Surat diamond units’ ingenious idea that they launched diamond rachis for sisters who want to give their brothers some really good gift. After the festivals the brothers can convert this rachis into bracelets or pwndants.
The rakhis are also available where the diamonds are replaced by precious stones as per customer specifications like ruby, amber, emarald and others.
In Ahmedabad, a similar initiative has been made by local jewellers but instead of diamond they have used ‘kundan’ works (a technique of combining gold with precious and semi-precious stones).
These diamond rakhis could cost anything between Rs 2,000 to Rs 50,000 based on design and quality of the diamond and precious stone.
Back to tradition and folk stories and history put together I found this somewhere.
The tales and stories related to the Rakhi festival tell us about the great devotion and the affectionate bond between brothers and sisters:-
1. Yama and Yamuna: According to a mythological tale, Yama, the lord of death, was blessed with eternity as his sister Yamuna tied up a Rakhi thread on his wrist. Since that time the festival of Raksha Bandhan is associated with tying of Rakhi thread.
2. The Tale of Lord Bali and Goddess Lakshmi: According to the tale King Bali one day approached to the Lord Vishnu to get his kingdom safeguarded from its enemies. Lord Vishnu decided to help his great devotee and was set to leave his heavenly home. Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Vishnu, did not want her lord to leave the home and reached to the Balis mansion in disguise of Brahmin woman to seek shelter. On the auspicious day of Shravan Purnima Lakshmiji while tying a revered thread on Balis wrist told her purpose for being there. Touched by the tender feelings of Lakshmiji for her family, King Bali requested Lord Vishnu to not leave his abode. Therefore, the Rakhi festival is also called Baleva that means the devotion of King Bali to Lord Vishnu.
3. Indra and Sachi: Indra, the king of devtas, had lost his kingdom to the asura Vritra. Indras wife Sachi than tied a thread around her husbands wrist to ensure his victory in the upcoming war between him and Vrita. This was done at the behest of guru Brihaspati.
4. Draupadi and Krishna: Lord Krishna was left with a bleeding finger, after Shishupals death. To stop the flow of blood, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishnas wrist. Touched by her concern, Krishna declared Himself to protect her and promised to repay the debt manifold, and spent the next 25 years of his life doing just that.
There is also evidence from history that foretells how Rakhi festival originated in the course of time. These historical facts speak grandiose stories of sacred bond between the great heroes and heroines of the ages. They are:-
1. King Porus and Alexandars wife: Another rakhi tale comes from the battle between Alexander the Greek king, and Porus, the Hindu king. Wife of Alexander sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with Hindu traditions, Porus gave full respect to rakhi. In the battlefield, when Porus was about to deliver a final blow on Alexander, he saw the rakhi on his hand and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.
2. Humayun and Queen Karmavati: Queen Karmavati of Chittor had sent a Rakhi to Humayun to protect her from Bahadur Shah. Humayun, then engaged in an expedition against Bengal, turned back to carry out his sacred brotherly duty and tried to protect her but was too late. Chittor had already fallen and the Rani had immolated herself in the Rajput custom of Jauhar.
3. Rabindranath Tagore’s call to nation: During the partition of Bengal in 1905, Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate poet used the occasion of the Raksha Bandhan as a community festival and gave a call to tie a rakhi amongst all Hindus and Muslims so as to maintain peace and harmony between them and spread the nationalist spirit among people from different ethnic backgrounds.
This is how Raksha Bandhan came into existence in the ages of old Hindu mythology and has moved into the modern ages as a symbol of universal brotherhood and goodwill.