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Rakhi: Then and Now

Updated on August 11, 2013
Lakshmi Tying Rakhi to Bali to get her Husband, Vishnu, back.
Lakshmi Tying Rakhi to Bali to get her Husband, Vishnu, back.

Long ago, Indrani could not see her husband, Indra, agitated and frightened before a war with demons. She prepared a religious Raksha (defence) Sutra (thread) and tied it to his wrist, with the firm belief that it would keep him safe. Voilà! It worked! Indra didn’t just escape unhurt; he even won the battle.

In the Mahabharata, Draupadi tied a torn strip of sari to Krishna’s injured wrist and Krishna, touched by the act, adopted her as his sister. And then Rakhi became a trend, catching on to us, lesser mortals. When Alexander invaded India, his wife came to know about this unique ritual of ours and deciding to make the most of it, she sent one to King Paurus, who obliged and promised to protect her and her ‘suhag’, Alexander.

Much like the one between Draupadi and Krishna, and Roxana and King Paurus, a new relationship of Rakhi-Brother and Rakhi-Sister has evolved. Of course the conventional custom lies at the core of it.

Draupadi tying Rksha Bandhan on Krishna's Wrist
Draupadi tying Rksha Bandhan on Krishna's Wrist
A traditional Rakhi
A traditional Rakhi

Sending Raksha Bandhan: Home Delivery as it Evolved

Even in the age of chariots there were tough times when runners had to deliver rakhi over long distances. Times have changed and, alongside, troubles have evolved too. The siblings, once they are old enough, start living away in different states and often in different countries. The distance contributes to the trend of sending gifts and cards online to sisters or brothers.

The Rise of Online Greetings Stores

It is practically impossible to find time out of one’s work routine and online greeting card and gift portals offer a convenient and reliable substitute to shopping for Rakhi, gifts, chocolates, flowers and hampers from overcrowded shops. With the vast inventory of Raksha Bandhan gifts available online, a sister can send a Rakhi or even a traditional Rakhi thali to her brother in just a few clicks. A brother can send gifts to his sister with the same ease. These websites go a long way towards bridging the distance between siblings.

A Rakhi Greeting Card
A Rakhi Greeting Card | Source

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