Raksha Bandhan is a festival of brothers and sisters. It was celebrated from many years ago in India. There are various stories and myths behind this festival. Some of the stories are like:
Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun
According to famous story of history for Rakhi, in year 1535, when Rani Karnavati ((Rani of Chittor), realised that she could not defend against the invasion by the Bahadur Shah (Sultan of Gujarat), as she was widowed queen of the king of Chittor, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun and asked him to help her to save her kingdom. But He arrived too late, and Bahadur Shah had already captured the Rani’s fortress.
Alexander the Great and King Puru
According to one legendary narrative, before 326 BCE, when Alexender The Great or Sikander invaded India, his wife Roxana (or Roshanak) sent a sacred thread (rakhi or rakhdi) to Porus (the king of Kaikeya), asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with tradition, Porus, gave full respect to the ruksana’s thread. In the Battle of Hydaspes, he restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally because of Roxana request.
Indra Dev : According to Bhavishya Purana , in the war between indra( devta of rain) and powerfull King Bali. Indra’s wife sachi was scared for his husband and she went to god Vishnu, who gave her a bracelet made of cotton thread. Sachi tied that holy thread around Indra wrist, and pray for his success. Indra successfully defeated the Bali. Raksha Bandhan thread is not only limited to sister-brother like relationships, as in ancient India were Amulets, holy thread was used by women as prayers and to guard men going to war.
Santoshi Maa : According to some stories, Ganesha had two sons (Shubh and Labh) but don’t have any daughter. Boys ask to their father for a sister to celebrate Raksha Bandhan. Then Narada persuades Ganesh for daughter. Ganesh agreed, and created a daughter named Santoshi Maa by his wives, Riddhi and Siddhi. Thereafter, Shubh Labh had a sister named Santoshi Maa (Goddess of Satisfaction) for Raksha Bandhan.
Mahabharata stories: According to Mahabharata, one day Krishna managed to cut his little finger while handling sugarcane. Draupati was there and she immediately tore off a part of her sarie and bandaged krishna’s finger. In return for her deed, Krishna promised to protect her in hard time. And on that day in the court of king Dritarashtra, Draupadi’s sarie became endless because of god Krishna who saved her form embarrassment in that court.
As other story of Mahabharata Kunti also ties rakhi on her grandson Abhimanyu, before war and pray for his long life.
Yama and the Yamuna : According to another legend, Yama(god of Death), had not visited his sister Yamuna (holy river) from 12 years. So, Yamuna was sad and ask Ganga to remind his brother Yama of his sister. Yama came to meet his sister and Yamuna was overjoyed after seeing her brother, and prepared variety of food for him. The god Yama asked Yamuna what she wanted as a gift. She told her brother to return and see her again soon. Yama agreed and promised her that he will come again to see her.