Friday, 1 July 2011

Bhai Duaj

On this day, brothers and sisters meet to express their love and affection for each other. The legends goes that Lord Yamraj, the God of Death, visited his sister Yamuna on the `Shukla Paksha Dwitiya` day in the Hindi month of `Kartik`. When Yamraj reached Yamuna`s home his arrival was celebrated in a special way. His sister welcomed Him by performing his aarti, applying `Tilak` on his forehead and by putting a garland around His neck. Yamuna also cooked varieties of dishes and prepared lots of sweets for her brother and offered all those to Him. Lord Yamraj ate all those delicious dishes and when He was finished He blessed Yamuna and gave her a boon that if a brother visits his sister on this day he would be blessed with health and wealth. This is why, this day of Bhayya Duj is also known by the name of `Yam-Dwitiya`.

And thus, it has become a tradition that on the day of Bhai-Dooj brothers visit their sisters` home and offer them gifts. Sisters also make various dishes for their brothers and also give gifts to them and wish for their long life, health and properity.

Another legend is that of Lord Krishna and his sister, Subhadra. After destroying Narakasur, Lord Krishna went to his sister. Subhadra welcomed her winner brother in the traditional way by performing His `aarti`, flowers and sweet and applied a holy `Tilak` on His forehead. This day gained importance as a celebration of the relationship between a brother and sister.

One more story behind the celebrations of Bhai-Duj is that when Bhagwan Mahavir attained `Nirvana`, his brother Raja Nandi-Vardhan became very sad. He missed Bhagwaan Mahavir very badly. Then, it was his sister Sudarshana, who comforted him. Since then, women have been revered during this festival. This day helps to strengthen the ties between brothers and sisters.

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