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Endearing tales of the love between brother and sister abound in Hindu mythology and many are remembered and recounted to children on this special day of Raksha Bandhan.

The divine bond between Lord Krishna and Draupadi, wife of the Pandava brothers, is legendary. She was his dear friend whom Krishna loved as his little sister.

Once while fighting the evil King Sishupal, Krishna was hurt and left with a bleeding finger. Seeing this, Draupadi rushed to his aid. Tearing a strip of cloth from her sari she tied it around his finger to stop the bleeding. Lord Krishna, realising her affections and concern for him, declared himself bound by her sisterly love. He promised to repay this debt whenever she needed him in the future.
darupadi a Madhubani painting depicting the above story.

Many years later, when the Pandavas lost Draupadi in a game of dice and the Kaurava brothers tried to  humiliate her by pulling away her sari, Krishna came to the resucue. With his divine powers he created the illusion of an endless garment which no matter how hard Dushasan tried, he could not remove.  Draupadi was saved the terrible embarrassment in the court of Hastinapur that day.

draupadi 2

On another occasion when Draupadi and the Pandavas were in exile and living in the forest Sage Durvasa, famous for his temper, visited them.Tired and hungry they asked for alms. Draupadi had a magical vessel, known as Akshayapatra, which would serve an endless supply of rice. But once washed for the day, it would yield nothing until the next day. On that day Draupadi had cleaned the vessel and when Durvasa arrived there was nothing left to serve him. The Pandavas and Draupadi were terrified of offending the great Sage but didn’t know what to do.

As always when Draupadi was in trouble she found herself turning to Krishna for help. There was one small grain of rice still left in the vessel stuck to its rim. Krishna ate it . As soon as he had done so, Durvasa and his followers felt an inexplicable fullness and all their hunger vanished. With no more desire for food they carried on their way. Once again Krishna had saved his sister from an unfortunate episode.