Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Bhai dooj....bonding between brothers and sisters

Only in India, the bond of brotherly-sisterly love is gloried. We Hindus, celebrate this special relationship twice every year, with the festivals of 'Raksha Bandhan'( tyeing a sacred thread on brother's wrist) and 'Bhai Dooj'(celebrated two days after Diwali). Sisters all over India get ready for 'Bhai Dooj' - when sisters convey their love by putting an auspicious tilak or a vermilion mark on the forehead of their brothers and perform an aarti of him by showing him the light of the holy flame as a mark of love and protection from evil forces. Sisters are lavished with gifts, goodies and blessings from their brothers.

The name 'Dooj' means the second day after the new moon, the day of the festival, and 'Bhai' means brother. Every brother eagerly awaits this occasion that reinforces the bond between brothers and sisters and their affectionate relationship. It's an opportunity for a good feast at the sister's place, coupled with an enthusiastic exchange of gifts, and merriment amid the resounding of conch shells.

Legend says Yamaraj, the Lord of Death and the Custodian of Heaven and Hell, visits his sister Yami, who puts the auspicious mark on his forehead and prays for his well being. So it's held that anyone who receives a tilak from his sister on this day would never be hurled into hell.

According to another legend, on this day, Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister Subhadra who welcomes him with aarti, flowers and sweets, and puts the holy protective spot on her brother's forehead.

Yet another story behind the origin of Bhai Dooj says that when Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his brother King Nandivardhan was distressed because he missed him and was comforted by his sister Sudarshana. Since then, women have been revered during Bhai Dooj.

Like all other Hindu festivals, Bhai Dooj too has got a lot to do with family ties and social attachments. It serves as a good time, especially for a married girl, to get together with her own family, and share the post-Diwali glee.

Today being Bhai Dooj, my brothers came over and after the ceremonies was over, I cooked for them. Post lunch, we just chatted with each other, reliving the times of our childhood, mercilessly taking sides and generally having a good time.Yet again I found that such bonds can never be broken, no matter what.


  1. Everytime Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj come along, I keep wishing I had a brother!

    So glad you had a nice time with your brothers, Gautami...thanks for sharing the significance of Bhai Dooj, I think it's absolutely wonderful to set a day aside to celebrate this bond between siblings, if more of us did this, there would be less family spats, I think!

  2. I have 3 wonderful sisters, but they don't need another holiday to get gifts from me!! Kidding. This is great!!

  3. We all could learn from this -- thanks for telling us.

  4. lotus reads: I agree. We need more of this>

    pat paulk: the gift part is not as important as the bonding. I am lucky to have such great brothers.

    j.andrew lochart: yes we can....we need more of this

  5. Very touching!
    Thanks for sharing with us!

    **I found such bonds can never be broken, no matter what.**



  6. In a world where the mob is running behind money only,highlighting the points based on such a holy relationship is absolutely fantastic.