The festival of Deepawali is celebrated on Amavasya, the night of new moon. Bhai Dooj or Yam Dwitiya, is celebrated two days after Diwali. On the second day of the bright fortnight. Like the festival of Raksha Bandhan, this festival too symbolizes the sacred love between brothers and sisters.
This festival has very beautiful spiritual significance.
Why is it called Bhai Dooj?
Remembering God As My Brother
Once we souls and Brother of us souls – Supreme Father – lived together in the Soul World (Paramdham). Later, we souls descended on the earth to play our respective roles and started taking rebirths. Though the soul started taking rebirths it had a memory that God is my brother. This has been expressed in the path of devotion through a very beautiful song.
‘You Truly are my Mother And You Truly are my Father.
You Truly are my Relative And You Truly are my Friend.
You Truly are my Knowledge and You Truly are my Wealth.
You Truly are my All, My God of gods.’
Why is it called Yam Dwitiya?
Another name of The Supreme Father is Yamraj. Yam means the one who has the accounts of all the karma which we the souls did in all the births. The perfect accountant.
To settle our karmic deeds He gives us the knowledge of self-sovereignty and celibacy.
Once we souls leave the Soul World and take many births on earth, there comes a time called Dwarpar yuga. From this time period, we start remembering God in all relations, including as a Brother.
We also invite him to descend on earth. In this context, there is a beautiful hymn sung in devotion.
‘Leaving the throne of the sky,
Come on to this earth.’
Which means souls knew that God is somewhere above, beyond earth.
God listens to all our prayers and devotion. When there is extremity of sin at the end of Kaliyuga, He reincarnates in the body of an ordinary human.
We souls feel gratified with His reincarnation. It is as if our prayers are answered. Our hearts are full of love for Him. Of the various relations with Him, we express our love and gratification towards Him, as a Brother, by offering Him ‘Bhog (food offerings)’ and showing hospitality towards him. Seeing our love and hospitality God blesses us. God says “I will liberate all those souls from punishments, who recognize Me truly, show hospitality to me respectfully and follow My advice”.
Linking these significances with the festival
Thus, this festival is the memorial of forging and fulfilling the relation with God. God is incorporeal, He doesn’t have a body of His own. Therefore, from Dwapar yuga, the human soul-sisters started celebrating it in the form of putting the Tilak of soul-consciousness on the forehead of human soul-brothers. In the spiritual parlance, it means that being the children of one God, we all are brothers and sisters. The festival of Bhai Dooj is the foundation of strengthening this pure relation.
This festival immediately succeeds Diwali; this has also some mystery. Deepawali is the memorable festival of coronation of Shri Lakshmi and Shri Narayan. After their coronation, a kingdom of such a brotherhood is established, in which not only men and women, but even animals live in harmony and brotherhood. This implies that all animals, creatures, natures etc. will spend the life lovingly.
Bhai Dooj connects us with Supreme Soul God Father as Brother. It highlights the Golden Aged brotherhood. Thus, we have a good wish that following His Godly advice, may you be liberated from the punishments!