This year Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated on August 22. On this auspicious occasion, sisters tie Rakhi on their brothers’ hands and pray for their long life. Brothers give gifts to their sisters and promise to protect them. The festival celebrates the bond of love between brothers and sisters. The festival has a connection with the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Lord Krishna himself narrated the holy story of Rakshabandhan after being requested by Yudhishthira.
Once Yudhishthira asked Lord Krishna to tell him the story of Rakshabandhan. Lord Krishna narrated the following story.
Once war broke out between the demons and gods. The war continued for 12 years. The demons defeated Lord Indra, King of the gods. After facing defeat, Indra along with the gods went to Amravati, the capital city of heaven. The conqueror and king of demons Daityaraj took all the three worlds -–heaven, earth and underworld- under his control. He ordered that gods and humans should stop performing Yagya (a Hindu ritual) and worship him instead.
With the destruction of religion due to this order, the power of the gods started decreasing. Witnessing this, Indra went to his guru Brihaspati to seek a solution. Brihaspati suggested Indra to get a rakhi tied on his hand while reciting a Vedic hymn on the morning of Shravan Purnima.
Wife of Indra, Indrani tied a rakhi on Indra’s right wrist on the auspicious occasion of Shravani Purnima. Later, she sent him to fight on the battlefield. The demons fled from the battlefield and Indra emerged victorious.
According to some Hindu beliefs, the tradition of tying rakhi has originated from this legend.