Bhai Dooj aka Bhaubeej, Bhai Tika, or Bhai Phonta is a celebrated festival on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar or of Shalivahan Shaka calendar month of Kartika during the Diwali or Tihar festival. At this festival, the sisters cherish their bond and offer presents to their brothers.
Different regions, different names
In the entire Northern part of India, Bhai Dooj is observed during the Diwali festival. This festival marks the second day of the Vikrami Samvat New Year, the calendar followed in Northern India (including Kashmir), which starts from the lunar month of Kartika.
The first day of this New Year is observed as Govardhan Puja. Bhai Phonta in Bengal takes place every year on the second day after Kali Puja and is mainly observed in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Bangladesh.
Bhai Tika in Nepal is the most important festival after Dashain (Vijaya Dashmi / Dussehra) and is observed on the fifth day of the Tihar festival, it is widely celebrated by the Khas people. Bhai Jiuntia in western Odisha and Bhau Beej, or Bhav Bij or Bhai Beej amongst the Marathi, Gujarati, and Konkani-speaking communities in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, and Karnataka is celebrated majorly.
Do you know the history of Bhai Dooj?
Historically, the day is known as Yamadwitheya or Yamadvitiya, after a legendary meeting between Yama the god of Death, and his sister the Yamuna (the famous river) on Dwitheya (the second day after the new moon).
Bhatru Dviteeya, or Bhatri Ditya or Bhaghini Hastha Bhojanamu in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are a few other names known for this festival. Being immensely pleased with the love and respect Yama was showered with, Yamraj gave the Yamuna a boon and she, in turn, asked him to dedicate a day on which he would visit her house each year.
Hence, the ritual of siblings visiting each other on this day began to honor the kinship between them. Also as per the Hindu mythology on this day, after slaying the evil demon Narakasura, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. She also affectionately applied tilaka on Krishna’s forehead. Some believe this to be the origin of Bhai Dooj.
Muharat and Mantra of Bhai Dooj 2021
This year’s muhurat is mentioned here:
Bhai Dooj: November 6, 2021 (Saturday)
Bhai Dooj Aparahna Time: 01:10 PM to 03:21 PM
Dwitiya Tithi Begins: 11:14 PM on November 05, 2021
Dwitiya Tithi Ends: 07:44 PM on November 06, 2021
The auspicious time of Bhai Dooj Tilak will start from 1:10 am to 03.21. Apart from this, it will also be auspicious to do tilak in Abhijit Muhurta – from 11:19 am to 12:04 in the afternoon, Vijay Muhurta – from 01:32 to 02:17 in the afternoon or Amrit Kaal Muhurta – from 02:26 to 03:51 in the afternoon and Bhai Dooj Mantra is- Ganga puje Yamuna ko, Yami puje Yamraj ko, Subhadra puje Krishna ko, Ganga Yamuna Neer Bahe, Mere Bhai aap badhein, phule phalein.
Significance of Bhai Dooj
The festival of Bhai Dooj has a literal meaning attached to it. ‘Bhai’ means brother and ‘Dooj’ means the second day after the new moon which is a day of celebration. In Hinduism, this day depicts utmost significance in the lives of a brother and a sister and this occasion is a medium to not only honor the strong bonding between two opposite-sex siblings but also to protect them from the evil forces and bring new hopes and prosperity in their lives.
Samagris of Bhai Dooj
Two wooden chowkis (low wooden platforms – one for placing the idols of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, and Lord Ganesha and the other for your brother).
A red cloth for covering the chowki meant for the deities. A cloth or a kerchief Roli or kumkum and/ or chandan for putting tika, whole coconut with its husk, a whole dried coconut without its shell, an aarti thaali, two brass lamps Ghee or oil for lighting the lamp (one for the deities and the other for performing brother’s aarti), cotton wicks, sweets, Paan and supari, dakshina, flowers, fruits, Kalava or mauli (scared colorful thread) for tying aound the wrist, bhog for Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu and Camphor (Kapur).
Puja Vidhi of Bhai Dooj
Rise early, take a bath, wear fresh or new clothes. The rituals must be performed during the mentioned time. Cover one of the chowkis with a red cloth and place the idols of Shri Ganesha, Lord Vishnu, and his consort, Lakshmi.
Light an oil lamp and place it facing south and ignite an incense stick. Begin the puja by invoking Lord Ganesha to seek his blessings. Then offer flowers, dakshina, and a sweet or fruit (banana or any other fruit) to him. Then offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi and seek their blessings. Offer flowers, paan, supari, coconut, dakshina, and naivedya or bhog.
After praying to the deities, make your brother sit on the other chowki facing north-west. Give him the kerchief to cover his head. Then apply a tika on your brother’s forehead with the roli and chandan.
Give the whole coconut (without its shell) to your brother and ask him to hold it in his right hand as you tie the kalava around his wrist. Then perform the aarti, put the akshat on his head and conclude the rituals by making him have a sweet.