Bhai dooj and Yama Dwitiya

Article also available in :


Kartik Shukla Dwitiya (Second day of the bright fortnight of Kartik) is celebrated as Bhai dooj (Bhaubeej) and Yama Dwitiya.

Spiritual significance

Deity Yama is the son of the Sun Deity. On this day the Tama component in Deity Yama decreases and the Sattva component increases. As a result His punitive and wrathful form calms down and He becomes gentle. Instead of emanating energies of dissolution and destruction, Dharini and Poshini energies which are essential for sustenance start emanating from Him.



On this day, Deity Yama visits His sister, Yamuna for a meal. Hence, the day has acquired the name Yama Dwitiya.

Spiritual significance

Since on this day Yama’s form becomes gentle the Tarak (Saviour) energy in Him gets activated. Yama is the son and Yamuna is the daughter of the Sun Deity. On this day the brother-sister duo of Yama and Yamuna meet and celebrate. The sattvik meeting of these Divine energies first occur on the earth (bhulok) after which They travel to Suryalok (the abode of the Sun Deity) to meet their parents, Surya and Sandhya. Bhai dooj is therefore celebrated on the earth to imbibe the Sattva predominant frequencies of radiance and auspicious energies of the Sun which emanate from Yama and Yamuna.



A. To prevent untimely death, the Deity of death Yama is worshipped on the days of Dhantrayodashi (dhanteras), Narak Chaturdashi and Yama Dwitiya.

B. On this day, Deity Yama visits His sister for a meal and liberates for a day the souls suffering in hell.

Spiritual significance

In the month of Kartik, Pusha (one of the 12 Adityas (Deities)) is functional. To be able to imbibe His Principle and Chaitanya (Divine Consciousness) it is appropriate to worship the Sun Deity, who is the manifest form of the Adityas. Since Yama is the son of the Sun Deity, He is worshipped as a representative of the Sun Deity and a symbol of Dharma (Righteousness). Once Deity Yama is pleased, the threat of premature death of an individual is averted.


Method of celebration

Yamatarpan, Yamadeepdan and prayers to Deity Yama

The ritual of tarpan is performed (Offering of water to God, Sages, ancestors’ souls and human beings) reciting the fourteen names of Deity Yama accompanied by a sankalp as, ‘श्री यमधर्मप्रीत्यर्थं यमतर्पणं करिष्ये ।’. This ritual is explained in the panchang. On this day, lamps should be offered to Deity Yama. Deity Yama is the Deity of death and Dharma. There should be a constant awareness that every human being is destined to die; only then will there be no wrong deeds committed or money wasted. Hence, after deepdan to Deity Yama, pray thus – “O Deity Yama, like these lamps, we will remain alert and vigilant. Accept this lamp, which is the symbol of alertness and vigilance. We do not know when You will arrive; hence we keep our accounts up to date, so that we do not have to worry about any unfinished accounts; for we are aware that You can arrive any time.” – H.H. Parashram Madhav Pande Maharaj, Sanatan Ashram, Devad, Panvel.

Spiritual significance

1. Yamatarpan : On this day by offering water to Deity Yama amidst recitation of His 14 Names  viz. Dharmaraj, Pitrupati, Samavarti, Pretaraj, Krutant, Yamunabhrata, Shaman, Kal, Dandadhar, Shraddhadev, Vaivasta, Antak, Yamadharma and Audumbar (note 1) the dissatisfied souls of deceased ancestors and dead souls within His control receive get momentum to attain a higher sub-plane. The individual performing the ritual of tarpan receives grace of Deity Yama and he does not face any distress due to ghosts, spirits and negative energies.

2. Yamadeepdan : By offering a portion of the fire in the form of a lit lamp to Deity Yama, Tej-tattva (Absolute Fire Principle) and the Principle of the Sun within Him get activated. As a result, one worshipping Him obtains His grace faster.

3. A prayer unto Deity Yama : When an individual who is righteous and performing regular spiritual practice offers his prayer to Deity Yama, He gets pleased and provides protection to the individual from His noose and mace. Due to His blessings and grace the worshipper enjoys a long life with good health and receives knowledge on Dharma.


Aukshan of the brother by a sister

On this day, a brother should go to his sister’s house and the sister should do his aukshan (waving of lit lamps in front of a Deity or a person). If a woman does not have a brother, she should do aukshan of a male friend who is like a brother to her and if that is also not possible, she should do aukshan of the moon, having an emotion that it is her brother. ‘On this day no man should eat food in his own house cooked by his wife. He should go to his sister’s house and after presenting her with clothes and ornaments, he should have a meal there. If he does not have a sister then he can go to a cousin’s house or to any woman who is akin to his sister and have the meal there.’

Spiritual significance

On this day the Scriptures have laid emphasis on nurturing the brother-sister relationship. The only objective underlying this is that pure emotion may develop in the mind of a man towards the women, so as to reduce the sexual desire in his subconscious mind. Just as the love of mother towards her child is pure so also is that of a sister for her brother. Siblings perform Bhai dooj to share this love with each other and to develop a sense of gratitude towards each other.


The real gift to a sister on the occasion of Bhai dooj

Today so many women are being brutally raped and widowed. Protect your mother and sister and give them the apt gift of bhai dooj by safe-guarding them. Spread the benefits deriving by abiding the code of conduct as prescribed by Dharma and performing spiritual practice to all young women and also impart self-defense training to them ! This will be the real gift of bhai dooj to them.


Video : Bhai dooj (Yama Dwitiya)

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy text ‘Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances’

(Note 1) : The Holy text of the Sanatan titled ‘Other Deities’ describes the main Deity associated with dissolution of living organisms – Yama, the other 14 Names of Yama. References are taken from this Holy text.

–  Miss Madhura Bhosale (knowledge received from the subtle) Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa (8.10.2017, 10.44 p.m.)

Leave a Comment