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Bhai Beej
Bhai Beej, symbolizing the deep affection between brothers and sisters, is celebrated on the second day of the bright fortnight of Kartika, which falls the next day to Govardhan Puja or the New Year Day. The married women invite their dear brothers to their respective homes, tilaks on their foreheads, tie a coloured thread round their right wrists, pray for their prosperity and longevity and then feast them on sweets and other delicacies. In return they receive valuable gifts. Unmarried girls do so at their parent’s homes.
Bhai Beej is also called the Yama Dvitiya, because this day also symbolizes the deep affection between Yama and his sister Yamunaji. On this day, Yama’s sister invited him for lunch. The happy Yama asked his sister to ask for something, and Yamunaji asked Yama to come for dining at her place on the same day every year and who so ever sister asks his brother to dine so, should be blessed with happiness.
A brother who does not dine at his sister’s place on this day looses all his gains and holiness; it is said. In contrast, the sister who asks her brother to dine at her house and does so, is blessed with long life of her husband and her brother.
Before the dining, the prayer or ritual should be performed by the sister in a proper way. She says that Markayanday, Bali, Vedvyas, Hanuman, Vighishan, Krupacharya, Ashwathama and Parshuram are the eight ‘chiranjivs’ (living for ever); similarly please give my brother a long and eternal life and make him one more ‘chiranjiv’. Then she dreams that thought her brother may be looking small, he will become big one day and make name and fame. She prays to God that his brother should not be involved only in the worldly affairs, but he should do work for the society and God and uplift himself and others.
The moon of Beej also signifies some things:
Moon is a symbol of “work” and “karma”. It is considered as one of the big karma yogis. Similarly, the brother should work for God in what so ever happiness or difficulties he have. The Beej moon gradually grows to become large, saying that if you do not have anything start and you will start gaining. And when it earns everything, it gives it back as it reaches a full size by poonam and then starts reducing in size. The moon of Beej is difficult to see many a times; similarly, for the married sister, it is difficult to meet his brother for a long time.
In short, Bhai Beej signifies the love and affection between a brother and sister, and the dreams of a loving sister for his brother and well wish of a brother for his sister.
Do not forget to invite your brother on this day; or to dine at a sister’s place!!
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