The last day of the Diwali 2014 festival culminates with a celebration known as Bhai Beej. Bhai Beej 2014 occurs on Saturday, October 25, according to drikpanchang.com.. Given the various dialects spoken in India, Bhai Beej is also known as Bhau Beej, Bhaiya Dooj, Bhai Duj or Bhathru Dwithiya. The word Bhai or Bhaiya or Bhau means brother. Beej or the other similar terms refer to the second phase of the Moon in Vedic astrology or Jyotish.
I spoke with Shri Vivekshastri Godbole of Shri Krishna Yajurveda Pathashala about the significance of Bhai Beej 2014. He said Bhai Beej is the day for brothers and sisters. On this day, the sister sprinkles water and fragrant oil infused in coconut oil on her brother’s head, and she does arati to him. In turn, the brother gives his sister a gift. Married ladies especially invite their brothers to their homes. This way, all the relatives come together and have a celebration.
There is story of Lord Yama, the messenger of death. His sister, the River Yamuna, had been inviting him many times to come to her. But his schedule was very busy transporting souls. Finally one day he said, “I will come.” On the he day came to Yamuna, he had a good bath and she performed arati to him. Yamuna said, “Whoever worships Yama and Yamuna by praying to them, they will not have a bad death. They will have a good death.”
There is a hymn to Yamuna River which we can chant. In India for Bhai Beej, people offer water with sesame seeds to Yama. Afterwards, you can offer that water to plants. The mantra for Yama is Yamayah Namah. We can repeat it fourteen times. People offer lamps for Yama facing South. Yama governs the Southern direction in Vaastu Shastra. If your brother is away, pray to the Moon. See the crescent Moon and think of the Moon as your brother. Do arati to the Moon.
If a loved one has passed away within the past year, and you feel that person is not in a good place and their soul is suffering, pray to Yama. Say, “My relative has died. If he/ she is suffering, then please save them and send them to the proper loka (realm).”
Happy Bhai Beej 2014!