Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bhaiya Dooj holy dip in Yamuna

It is believed that if the brother and the sister take holy dip together in Yamuna on Bhai Dooj day then they would get rid of Yama Lok troubles. This year, Bhai Dooj was observed on November 5, Tuesday. On the significant day of Bhai Dooj, which is observed on Kartik Shukla Dwitiya as per Hindu almanac, thousands of brothers and sisters took holy dip at Vishram Ghat of Mathura.

According to legends, Yamuna the daughter of the Surya Dev after getting cursed reached Mathura after wondering at different places. Goddess Yamuna took rest at Mathura and the place where she rested got famous as Vishram Ghat. Lord Yamaraj who is the son of Surya Dev and the elder brother of Goddess Yamuna came to Vishram Ghat to meet His sister. It is believed that it was an emotive meeting for Lord Yama and Goddess Yamuna. Goddess Yamuna did auspicious Tika to Lord Yama and in return Lord Yama asked Her to make any wish which He can fulfill. Goddess Yamuna asked that anyone who takes dip in my water at our meeting place would never go to Yama Lok.

Bhaiya Dooj Tika after holy dip in Yamuna at Vishram Ghat
Since then brothers and sisters take bath together every year on the auspicious day of Kartik Dwitiya. After bath sisters do Tika on the forehead of their brothers. After this brothers and sisters visit Yamuna Maharani and Dharmaraj temple at Vishram Ghat and offer Puja, clothes and various Shringar items.

Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja celebrations are none other than those at Govardhan town in Mathura. Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the next day of Diwali on Kartik Pratipada. Devotees throng to Govardhan hills from far flung places on the auspicious day of Govardhan Puja. In 2013, Govardhan Puja was celebrated on November 4, Monday.

Chhappan Bhog offered to Lord Giriraj on Govardhan Puja
The Puja began around 4 a.m. during Arunodaya time. Devotees took holy dip at the bank of Manasi Ganga and lit lamps to pay their respects to the holy lake. It is believed that Manasi Ganga was created by Lord Krishna itself. After holy dip at Manasi Ganga people worshipped Lord Giriraj Maharaj and performed Sapta-Kosi Parikrama of Govardhan Hills. Giriraj Maharaj is one of the several names of Lord Krishna.

Giriraj Maharaj made of cow-dung 
Traditionally, devotees who are not able to visit Govardhan hills make Giriraj Maharaj with cow-dung at home and worship it in the evening. People offer various types of food to Lord Giriraj and this ritual of offering different type of food items to Lord Krishna is known as Chhappan Bhog.