Karva Chauth: Fascinating Facts And Unknown Legends

RITUALS

Posted by Sahil Singh on 18 October, 2016

The most beautiful part about our country is its rich and diverse culture. Every festival is celebrated here with great pomp and joy. From 'Navratri' to 'Diwali' and from 'Gudi Padwa' to 'Karva Chauth', India welcomes all festivals with open arms.

Also Read: Know The Stories Behind 5 Glittering Days Of Diwali

Karva Chauth, the festival is conducted by women for the well-being and long lives of their beloved husbands. The word Karva Chauth can further be divided into two parts, 'Karva' means 'pot' (a small earthen pot of water) and 'Chauth' means 'fourth' in Hindi (as the festival falls on the fourth day of the dark-fortnight, or 'Krishna Paksha', of the month of 'Kartik').

Karva Chauth Moon Image Courtesy - WikiHow.

But, do you know where and how did Karva Chauth really begin?

There are stories associated with the Karva Chauth festival. In some stories, the tales are interlinked, with one acting as a plot for another.

Karva Chauth Devi Image Courtesy - Swadesh By Unnati.

STORY OF VEERVATI

Veervati was the only sister of seven loving brothers. She spent her first Karva Chauth after marriage at her parents' house. But, by evening she was desperately waiting for the moonrise as she suffered severe thirst and hunger. Seeing their sister in such distress, her seven brothers created a mirror in a pipal tree that made it look as though the moon had risen. Veervati mistook it for the moon and broke her fast. Immediately, word arrived that her husband was dead. Heartbroken, she cried through the night until her devotion compelled a Goddess to appear and ask why she cried. When queen Veervati explained her distress, the Goddess revealed how she had been tricked by her brothers and instructed her to repeat the Karva Chauth fast with complete devotion. When Veervati repeated the fast, Yama was forced to restore her husband to life.

Also Read: The Homecoming Of Goddess

In another version of this story, the brothers build a massive fire behind a mountain instead and tricked their sister that made it look as though the moon had risen. The moment she broke her fast, the word arrived that her beloved husband was dead. She immediately runned to her husband's house and is intercepted by Shiv-Parvati. Goddess Parvati reveals the trickery to her, cuts her own little finger to give the wife a few drops of her holy blood, and instructs her to be careful in keeping the complete fast in the future. The wife sprinkles Parvati's blood on her dead husband and, coming back to life, they are reunited.

UNKNOWN EXCERPT FROM MAHABHARATA

Basically the belief in Karva Chauth fast and its associated rituals goes back to the pre-Mahabharata times. Draupadi, too, is said to have observed this fast. Once Arjun went to the Nilgiris for penance and the rest of the Pandavas faced many problems in his absence. Draupadi, out of desperation, remembered Lord Krishna and asked for help. Lord Krishna reminded her that on an earlier occasion, when Goddess Parvati had sought Lord Shiva's guidance under similar circumstances, she had been advised to observe the fast of Karva Chauth. In some tellings of this legend, Shiva tells Parvati the story of Veervati to describe the Karva Chauth fast. Draupadi followed the instructions and observed the fast with all its rituals. Consequently, the Pandavas were able to overcome their problems.

SAVITRI'S DETERMINATION

When Yama Dev (Lord of death) came to procure Satyavan's soul, Savitri begged him to grant him life. When Yama Dev refused to do so, Savitri stopped eating and drinking and followed Yama who carried away her dead husband. He said that she could ask for any other boon except for the life of her husband. Savitri asked that she be blessed with children. Yama Dev agreed on this. Being a "Pativrata" (devoted) wife, Savitri would never let any other man be the father of her children. Yama was left with no other choice but to restore Savitri's husband to life.

Karva Chauth Puja Image Courtesy - WikiHow.

You now know all that you need to, about this popular festival. The day-long fast, the ritual of passing the puja thali around in a circle, breaking the fast when the moon rises, are all celebrated till date with zest.


SHARE THIS POST