Bhai Dooj: Celebrating the Sacred Sibling Bond
Mark Your Calendar: Bhai Dooj 2023 Date & Tilak Muhurat
Bhai Dooj Muhurat
- Bhai Dooj: Tuesday, November 14, 2023
- Bhai Dooj Aparahna Time: 01:17 PM to 03:30 PM
- Duration: 02 Hours 13 Mins
- Dwitiya Tithi Begins: 02:36 PM on Nov 14, 2023
- Dwitiya Tithi Ends: 01:47 PM on Nov 15, 2023
The Essence of Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj, also known as Bhatra Dwitiya, Bhai Dwitiya, Bhathru Dwithiya, or Bhau Teej, is a cherished Indian festival that follows the grandeur of Diwali. This festival, celebrated on the second day of Sukla Paksha in the month of Kartik as per the lunar calendar, holds a special place in the hearts of brothers and sisters across the nation. In 2023, Bhai Dooj will grace us on the 26th of October, according to the Gregorian calendar.
The Celebrations Begin: Bhai Dooj Rituals
Bhai Dooj kicks off with a delightful tika ceremony, where sisters bestow their brothers with a tilak on the forehead. This symbolic gesture carries the promise of protection and well-being that a brother pledges to his sister. In return, sisters eagerly await gifts from their brothers as a token of their affection and commitment.
The Simple Yet Significant Puja Vidhi
The puja vidhi for Bhai Dooj mirrors the rituals of Raksha Bandhan, emphasizing the profound sibling bond. Here are the steps for performing the puja on this auspicious day:
1. Start Early: Begin the day by waking up early and taking a purifying bath.
2. Dress Festively: Adorn yourself in new, vibrant attire to mark the occasion.
3. Invoke the Divine: During the auspicious muhurat of the day, offer prayers to the deities.
4. Tilak Ceremony: Sisters perform the tilak ceremony by applying roli and akshat on their brother’s forehead.
5. Light the Way: Light a Diya in the southern direction of your home.
6. Sacred Thread: Tie a kalava (sacred thread) on your brother’s right wrist and pour water on his hand while chanting the mantras.
7. Gift Exchange: In some regions, sisters place kaddu (pumpkin) flowers, along with betel nuts and leaves, in their brother’s hand.
8. Sweet Gesture: Sisters place coins in their brother’s hand after the tilak ceremony.
9. Savor the Moment: Offer your brother delectable sweets prepared for the occasion.
10. Gifts Galore: Brothers reciprocate by presenting gifts to their sisters.
11. Aarti of Protection: Conclude by performing the aarti for your brother, seeking his promise of lifelong protection.
12. Additional Offerings: In some traditions, women make garlands out of cotton and roli to offer to the Gods, seeking their blessings for their families.
Astrological Insights: Bhai Dooj’s Cosmic Connection
Astrologically, Bhai Dooj aligns with Chitragupta Jayanti, celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha during the Kartik maas. This day carries significance as devotees believe that worshipping Lord Chitragupta on this occasion can bring blessings, as he keeps a record of everyone’s actions and decides their fate, including liberation from the cycle of life and death.
Significance of Bhai Dooj: Honoring Sibling Bonds
Bhai Dooj, also known as Yama Dwitiya, occupies a significant place in the Hindu community’s calendar. Falling on Dwitiya Tithi in the month of Kartik, it marks the culmination of the five-day-long Diwali festivities. This day holds deep-rooted traditions, where sisters pray for their brothers’ health, happiness, and longevity by performing tilak ceremonies and offering prayers to deities. Brothers, in turn, express their love through gifts. The day is also associated with worshipping Yamraj, the God of death, along with Yama Doots and Chitragupta, adding to its importance.
Rituals That Unite Hearts: Bhai Dooj Customs
The zeal and enthusiasm surrounding Bhai Dooj rival those of Raksha Bandhan, with similar yet distinctive rituals:
Vow of Protection: Unlike Raksha Bandhan, there is no rakhi-tying tradition, but brothers take a solemn vow to protect their sisters.
Variations Across Regions: Rituals differ slightly across regions, with Nepal using seven colors during the Tilak ceremony and West Bengal incorporating sandalwood paste and kajal.
Unique Offerings: In Haryana and Maharashtra, sisters without brothers worship the moon on this day.
Delicious Delicacies: Culinary delights play a significant role, with dishes like Kheerni poori in Maharashtra and Khaja in West Bengal taking center stage.
Names and Diversity: Bhai Dooj Across India
While the essence of celebrating the sibling bond remains constant, Bhai Dooj goes by different names across regions:
1. Bhai Dooj: Northern India
2. Bhau Teej: Maharashtra
3. Bhai Bij: Gujarat
4. Bhatru Dwitiya: Odisha and Southern India
5. Bhav Bij: Goa and Konkan regions
6. Bhai Phota: Assam and West Bengal
7. Bhai Tikka: Nepal
Legends That Inspire: The Story of Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj finds its roots in the captivating tale of Yama, the God of death, and his sister, Yamuna. Yama, preoccupied with his divine duties, had neglected his sister for an extended period. To bridge the gap, Yama visited Yamuna on Dwitiya Tithi unannounced. Overjoyed by her brother’s presence, Yamuna welcomed him with a tilak on his forehead and a garland around his neck. In gratitude, Yama granted a boon: he would spare brothers’ lives on this day, giving rise to the celebration of Yama Dwitiya. Taking a dip in the sacred waters of Yamuna on this day is believed to bestow devotees with Yama’s blessings.
In conclusion, Bhai Dooj transcends religious boundaries and resonates deeply with the essence of sibling love and protection. It’s a celebration that unites hearts, reinforces bonds, and reminds us of the profound significance of family in our lives. This year, mark your calendar, prepare your tilak, and celebrate the enduring bond between brothers and sisters on Bhai Dooj.