In India, the legends are considered as the backbone of
festival. They are also a great medium for parents to inculcate interest
in the younger generation and to impart values of Indian festivals to
them. There are many unique and interesting legends associated with Bhai
Dooj festival. The various Bhai Dooj legends lays stree on the
significance of the sacred relationship shared between a brother and a
sister, making it an extremely vital festival. All these myths and
legends mentioned below also effects the ritual and customs that are
observed on this day.
The famous legends associated with Bhai Dooj are as follows :
The Legend Of Lord Vishnu
According to this legend, when Lord Vamadev was pleased with Bali
maharaj and appeared in Vishnu-rupa, Bali asked a boon that Lord Vishnu
would be on every door at Patalaloka. Vishnu agrees and goes to become a
Dwarpalaka of Bali. When Goddess Lakshmi heard this news by Narad, she
was in great distressed. Laxmi plays trick on Bali in order to make her
husband return back to his original place.
She went to Bali as a poor woman seeking help. She says that she
doesn't have a brother and would dearly like one. Then Bali accepted her
as his sister and told her to ask anything that she need. Then Laxmi
replied that you have my everything in your service - please release
Lord Vishnu. Thus, Lord Vishnu was released from the service of Bali.
The Legend Of Yamaraj and Yamuna
According to Veda, Yamraj-God of dead is the son of Vivasvat. He had
twin sisters named Yami or Yamuna. Yami, Yama’s twin sister, was
transformed into the sacred river Yamuna in whose purifying waters
people bathe on holy days. Yama was given an equally important role and
made the god of Death, whom all fear. On Bhai Dooj day, Yami or Yamaraja
was called to his sister’s home Yamuna, where she offered Aarti and
a small gift for her brother.
Yama then told her that on this day brothers would be invited to their
sisters’ home and in return the brother would bring a gift for his
sister. Until today this tradition is maintained with great love. As
Yama's sister is Yamuna and she fed Yama to his satisfaction he said
that from now on any brother who visits the sister on Bhai Dhuj day will
escape the hand of Yamaraj - the sister prays for her brother.
The Legend Of Lord Mahavir
Another legend 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, sisters have been revered during Bhai Dooj.
The Legend Of Lord Krishna
According to the legend, on the auspicious day of Bhai Dooj Lord
Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister Subhadra
where she welcomes her brother with the lamp, sweets, flowers, etc and
put the holy protective tilak on his forehead. Keeping this legend in
mind, people celebrate the festival of Bhai Dooj with great enthusiasm