Description: This article provides information about how bhai dooj is celebrated during Diwali.
Diwali is celebrated on four consecutive days – the thirteenth (Dhanatrayodashi), the fourteenth (Narak Chaturdashī), the new moon day (Amāvasyā – Lakshmīpūjān) of the dark fortnight of Āshwin and the first day of the bright fortnight of Kārtik (Balipratipadā).
Bhai dooj or Yamadwitīyā (also called as bhaubij) is celebrated on the 2nd day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month Kartik and it comes after the 4th day of Diwali. This festival is celebrated as a symbol of Divine bond of love between brother and sister. On this day, Shrīkrushna slayed the evil demon Shakatasur and liberated many women from the demon’s clutches.
In reality, Bhai dooj is not a part of Diwali (Festival of lights); but altogether a different Holy festival.
In this article, we will explain how Bhai dooj is celebrated during Diwali.
The second day (Dwitīyā) of the bright fortnight of Kartik is also named Yamadwitiya. This day is widely known as Bhai dooj. On this day, Deity Yama (Deity of Death) visited His sister, Yamuna for a meal. Hence the day has acquired the name Yamadwitiya.
How is bhai dooj celebrated?
It is said that on this day, men should not eat meal cooked by their wife. They should visit their sister, gift her new clothes, ornaments, etc. and have a meal at her place. If they do not have a real sister, then they can go to any female cousin’s place or consider any other woman as his sister and have meal at her place. On this day, as Yamaraj visits His sister for a meal, the souls suffering in the hell are liberated at least for a day.
If a woman does not have a real brother, then considering any man as her brother she should perform the act of moving lit lamps around his face (Āratī). If that is not possible, then she can consider the Moon as her brother and perform arati for the moon.
Spiritual significance of worshipping Deity Yama (The Deity of Death)
On Dhanatrayodashi, Narak Chaturdashi and Yamadvitiya, Yamaraj, the Deity of death should be worshipped to prevent untimely death (apamrutyu). An offering (tarpan) should be made to Him while chanting His fourteen Names. This results in averting an untimely death. The offering is made with the resolve (sankalpa) with a prayer, ‘O Yamaraj, I am making this offering unto You.’
Please click here to read about how to do Yamatarpan.
Source: Publication – Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances, published by Sanatan.