Friday, November 13, 2015

Bhai Dooj: Sacred Love of Siblings

The fifth and final day of Diwali celebrations is Bhai Dooj, a day dedicated to the love of brothers & sisters. This is celebrated on the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of Karthik. On this day, sisters observe fast during the day hours of Bhai Dooj and invite their brothers for Bhai Dooj, and after finishing puja, they apply Tilak on the forehead of their brothers and give sumptuous meal alongwith sweets and fruits and end their fast. They pray for the welfare and longevity of their brothers. Brothers bless their sisters and vow to protect and take care of her in the days of her hardship. Bhai Dooj is a social and family celebration and especially an opportunity for a married girl to get together with her family and share a bonding. The brothers gives gifts and cash to their sisters as part of celebration.

It is also known as Bhai Teeka in Nepal, Bhai Phota in Bengal, Bhai Beej, Bhav Bij,or Bhau Beej in Western parts of India. It is believed that the God of death Yama met his sister Yamuna on Dwititya, so it is known as Yamadwititya.

The Legends:

The Legend Of Yamaraj and Yamuna :
Yama, God of Death had a twin-sister named Yami or Yamuna. Yami, Yama's twin sister, was transformed into the sacred river Yamuna in whose purifying waters people bathe on holy days.

It is believed that once Yama went to visit his sister Yami who welcomed him with an auspicious tilak on his forehead and after garlanding him fed him a sumptuous meal and sweets. As a token of love, Yamraj gave her a special gift while Yami presented him with a gift made with her own hands. Yamraj then announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will prosper. So to this day sisters welcome their brothers with the traditional tilak and sweets and brothers give gifts. It is also known as Yamadwititya.
The Legend Of Shree Krishna:

On this day, Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister Subhadra who welcomes him the lamp, flowers and sweets, and puts the holy protective spot on her brother's forehead and hence it is believed that Bhai Dooj originated henceforth.

The Legend Of Lord Mahavir:

Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his brother King Nandivardhan was distressed because he missed him and was comforted by his sister Sudarshana. Since then, women have been revered during Bhai Dooj.

It is mostly celebrated in Hindu families of India & Nepal and it’s more of a celebration of a trust and love of siblings; relationship of sisters and brothers and an occasion to gather together post Diwali and with this festival, the long celebration of five days comes to an end.

May the love of siblings multiplies with time.

Happy Bhai Dooj to All!

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