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Karwa Chauth Date: Katha, Significance, Tales, Origins and Shubh Muharat

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Old 10-03-2017, 02:44 PM
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Default Karwa Chauth Date: Katha, Significance, Tales, Origins and Shubh Muharat

Karwa Chauth Date: Katha, Significance, Tales, Origins and Shubh Muharat For The FestivalKarwa Chauth Date: Origins and Shubh Muharat For The Festival
Photo Courtesy: Ranjeet Parab

Karwa Chauth is a one-day festival that will be celebrated this year on Sunday, October 8. Karwa Chauth is a festival celebrated by Hindu married women in Northwestern part of India in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. The festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Kartik which generally corresponds to September or October in the Gregorian calendar. In Karwa Chauth married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husband’s life. Many times unmarried women or betrothed ladies also join in the fast for their desired husbands or fiancés respectively. The words ‘Karwa Chauth’ comes from the word ‘Karwa’ which means a ‘pot’ and Chauth means ‘fourth’ which is a reference to the fact that the festival is celebrated on the fourth day of the krishna-paksha of the month of Kartik.

There are several stories related to the festival and the traditional tales highlight the fact that the woman who celebrates this festival with utmost devotion and dedication gets a long and happy married life. On Karwa Chauth Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are generally worshipped and women make clay idols of the two and pray to them for marital bliss and long life. There are several traditional tales regarding the significance of Karwa Chauth right from the legend of Veervati to a tale narrated in Mahabharata. However, the most famous story is of Satyavan and Savitri who even compelled Lord Yama to give back her husband’s life. Read the traditional tales below. Karwa Chauth Recipes: 3 Tasty Sabudana Recipes To Try After Breaking Your Fast!

1.Story of Satyavan and Savitri

The story of Savitri and Satyavan is found in the Vana Purana. Asvapati, the king of Madra kingdom was childless and lived ascetically for many years offering prayers to Sun God Savitr so that he can get a son to carry on his lineage. Pleased by his prayers the Sun God grants his wish and provides him with a daughter who is named Savitri. Savitri grows up to be a very beautiful woman and chooses Satyavan, the son of a blind king Dyumatsena of Salwa Kingdom. However, the blind king lives in the forest as he has lost his kingdom and Satyavan is destined to have a very short life and is supposed to die within a year from the day of his marriage. On the morning of Satyavan’s predicted death, he becomes weak while splitting wood and falls down in Savitri’s lap. When Lord Yama comes to claim his soul Savitri follows him. When Yama tries to convince Savitri to turn back, she praises Lord Yama for his Dharma, his strict rule, and his just rule. Yama offers her any boon except the life of Satyavan. Savitri first asks for eyesight for her father-in-law and restoration of his kingdom, then a hundred children for her father and then for a hundred children for herself and Satyavan. Yama agrees to these boons but since Savitri is a devoted wife, for her to become a mother Satyavan needed to live. Lord Yama was left with no choice but to restore Satyavan’s life.

2.The Story of Queen Veervati

Queen Veervati was the only sister of seven brothers who loved her very much. She spent her first Karwa Chauth at her parent’s house as a married woman offering prayers and fasting for the long life of her husband. However, by evening she was very thirsty and hungry. Seeing her distress her brothers created an illusion in a pipal tree and made it look as if the moon has risen, she broke her fast thinking this. The moment she ate, word arrived that her husband died. She wept through the night and her grief compelled Goddess Parvati to appear before her and listening to her woes she instructed her to repeat the Karwa Chauth fast with utmost devotion and dedication. When Veeravati repeated the fast, Lord Yama was forced to restore her husband’s life.

3.The Tale in Mahabharata

In Mahabharata, Draupadi is said to have observed the fast. Once when Arjuna went to Nilgiris for penance and the four remaining Pandavas faced many obstructions and difficulties in his absence, Draupadi observed this fast due to which her husbands the Pandavas were able to overcome their problems. Draupadi seeks Lord Krishna’s help who tells her that Lord Shiva had advised Goddess Parvati on a similar occasion to observe the fast of Karwa Chauth.

4.The Story of Karwa

According to legends, there was a woman named Karwa who was deeply devoted to her husband. While taking a bath her husband was caught by a crocodile. Karwa bound the crocodile with a cotton thread and asked Yama to send the animal to hell. On Yama’s refusal, Karwa threatened to curse Yama because she had got (spiritual power) due to her devotion to her husband. Yama, sent the crocodile to hell as he was terrified of being cursed by a ‘pati-vrata’ wife and blessed Karwa’s husband with long life.

Shubh Muhurat for Karwa Chauth prayers

Karwa Chauth Puja Muhurat – 17:50 to 19:05
Duration – 1 Hour 14 Mins
Moonrise On Karwa Chauth Day – 20:05
Chaturthi Tithi Begins – 19:28 on 8/Oct/2017
Chaturthi Tithi Ends – 16:46 on 9/Oct/2017

Karwa Chauth is a major festival observed by married women and it is celebrated as a joyous occasion even though they are fasting. During Karwa Chauth women shop for new clothes, jewelry, and cosmetics and decorate their hands with henna or mehendi. Karwa Chauth has also seen as a ***ist and regressive tradition by some but the fact is that the festival is a celebration of womanhood and the joy of being married. The festival signifies and celebrates the bond of friendship between women as they sit together and observe the fast and the rituals and is inherently a festival that celebrates the essence and power of being a woman. The legends and tales also signify the great power and potential that a woman harbours and is seen as the nurturer as well as protector of her family, her willpower and resilience is what is celebrated during this festival and should be taken in a positive manner rather than ridiculing a festival that brings joy and euphoria to countless women across India.

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