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Bhai Dooja

Yamuna, the presiding deity of the river of the same name, the beloved daughter of Sun, revered sister of Yamraj (Dharmraj; God of justice; God of death), is fourth among the eight principal queens of Lord Krishna. Krishna had special consideration for Yamuna right from his childhood. He purified Yamuna at Vrindavan by driving away the demon like Kaliya Nag who had poisoned the water so strongly that it killed not only a number of living beings but also the flora and fauna around it was destroyed. Krishna saved the river and saved the environment. The entire childhood leelas of Krishna at Vrindavan revolve around the Yamuna. The demons Keshi and Bakasur were killed on the banks of Yamuna. Cheerharan and later Maharaas were again performed on the banks of Yamuna.

 

While proceeding to Mathura with Akrurji, Krishna decided to give him a glimpse of his divinity. So, as Akrurji entered Yamuna water, he saw Krishna along with Balram inside the river. Worried, he came out and saw the brothers sitting happily in the Chariot. Satisfied that the brothers are safe, he again entered Yamuna only to see Krishna inside the water. He saw the lord in his full glory resting on Sheshnag accompanied by Devi Lakshmi. A number of Devs and Gandharvs in attendance, sages, saints and Vedas singing in praise of the Lord of all. He prostrated to the Supreme Lord, prayed for the grace. The Lord smiled and Brahm Vidya was granted to him inside the waters of Yamuna.

 

In the evening after killing Kans, his own maternal uncle who personified sin and cruelty and occupied the throne of Mathura forcibly dethroning his aged father, tired Krishna along with his brother Balram and cowherd boys of Vrindavan came for a bath in Yamuna. This place is known as Vishram Ghat (resting place), as Yamuna soothed the tired bodies of Krishna and Balram by its refreshing water massage. Its serene environs cooled down the tempers that ran so high in the day. Its invigorating air charged the bodies again to take up higher responsibility of managing kingdom the next day.

 

When Krishna fled Mathura, he lamented that he will be missing Yamuna and its environs in Dwarka. But Yamuna reached there to serve her beloved Lord as a dedicated wife, one of his principle queens. Such is the glory of Yamuna.

 

The festival of Bhaidooj, also known as Yam dwitiya, is celebrated at the banks of Yamuna. Main celebrations are held at Vishram Ghat in Mathura. It is believed that Yamuna, the sister of Yam, has the power to protect its devotees from the sorrows and harsh punishments inflicted on them by Yamraj for their misdeeds. This means Yamuna has the capability of lifting the souls above the karmic law! Please remember only the Supreme Lord enjoys such powers. So Yamuna is as much a part of Supreme as is Giriraj Goverdhan. Poetically it is described as:

 

Vrindavan dham ko vas bhalo, jahan pas bahe Yamuna patrani |

Jo jan nhae ke dhyan dharen, vaikunth mile tinh ko rajdhani ||

Charhu ved bakhan karen, aur sant muneen gunee man maanee |

Yamuna yam dootan tarat hein, bhav tarat hein shri Radhika rani ||

 

That is: Yamuna saves the devotee from the torture inflicted by the messengers of the God of Death whereas the soul is liberated and achieve salvation by grace of Shri Radha Rani.

 

Traditionally on Bhaidooj, a brother should visit the sister at her place. So Yam comes to visit Yamuna at Mathura. Devotee from far and near make a beeline to Vishram Ghat to take a dip in Yamuna and pray on this day. Ladies accompany their brothers to the Ghat. Brother and sister take dip holding hand in hand, probably to strike that soft note in the heart of Yamuna, the sister ---- as you are enjoying the company of your brother ---

 

O kind hearted Goddess! Grant us the mercy to enjoy the company of our dear brothers! May they live long, happy and healthy lives!

 

A devotee can always pray: O Goddess Yamuna, grant me the mercy of enjoying the company of my brother forever! My brother who is none else than your beloved husband Lord Krishna! My brother Shri Banke Bihariji Maharaj!

 

Jai Shri Kunj Bihari | Jai Shri Swami Haridas ||



Festival Significance : Yam Dwitiya
Festival Date (Hindu Calender) : Kartik Shukla Dwitiya
Festival Date (English Calender) : Sat, 21 Oct 2017


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