Hindu Festival-The Festival Of Bhai Dooj
Legends And Rituals Associated With The Festival Of Bhai Dooj
As the name suggests, the festival Bhai Dooj celebrates the bond of eternal love and friendship between a brother and a sister. This festival is celebrated two days after the festival of Diwali and is marked by sharing of food, exchange of gifts and strengthening of love between the siblings. Traditionally, this festival is more important for brothers whose sisters have been married off, although unmarried sisters also celebrate it with equal zeal and fervor. The most common legend associated with the celebration of Bhai Dooj is as follows.
It is said that the long time ago, the Sun God Surya was married to the extremely beautiful princess Sangya and the couple gave birth to the twins Yama and Yamuna. The twins grew together and shared a deep bond of love and care. Meanwhile, Sangya unable to bear the glare of Surya any longer, left her home secretly, but not before leaving behind her shadow, Chhaya to take her place in the heavenly abode. Unfortunately, Chhaya turned out to be a cruel stepmother and even convinced Surya to evict Yama and Yamuna from their home.
Consequently, the siblings were separated as Yamuna became the holy river after falling to the Earth and Yama set up his abode in the underworld as the Lord of Death. As time passed, Yamuna married a handsome prince, although she constantly missed her brother and even though Yama also felt the same, he was unable to spare the time to visit his sister. However, one year Yamuna sought a promise from her brother that he would visit her two days after Diwali. Excited at the prospect of seeing her brother after such a long time, Yamuna prepared several dishes to welcome him.
On the appointed day, Yama visited her sister’s home and was delighted by the warm welcome she gave him. The siblings spent a pleasant evening together, at the end of which Yama asked Yamuna to seek any boon from him. Yamuna then wished for all brothers to visit their sisters on this day and for the sisters to pray for the happiness and prosperity of their brothers by applying a tilak of vermilion mixed with rice on their forehead. Yama granted the boon and parted from his sister after presenting her with numerous gifts.
From then on this day came to be celebrated as Bhai Dooj and it is believed that brothers and sisters who pray for each other on this day do not have the fear of Yama.
Wish All Brothers In This World Happy Bhai Dooj
Author : M Nadir