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8-Agni Puraan

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19-More on Vrat and Fasts

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19-More on Vrat and Fasts
8-Agni Puraan, Ch 175 , p 360-363

Some more information on Vrat and Fasts;

More on Vrat and Fasts

Agni Dev said - "Vashishth Jee, Now I will tell you about the Vrat and Daan done on the occasion on Tithi, Vaar, Nakshatra, day, month, season, year and Soorya Sankraanti etc. To observe any rule which is according to Shaastra is called "Vrat". The same is "Tap". "Dam" - controlling Indriyaan, and "Sham" - controlling mind are also its parts. Whoever takes up any Vrat, he has to tolerate some kind of physical discomfort, that is why Vrat is called "Tap" also; and because in a Vrat one has to control his Indriyaan also, that it has been named as "Niyam" also. Whoever Braahman or Dwij (Kshatriya and Vaishya) do not do Havan etc, Vrat are prescribed for them. Devtaa are pleased with the observance of Vrat etc and give pleasures and Moksh.

Whoever observes all good qualities leaving aside all kinds of sins and pleasures, the same called "Upavaas". He who observes Upavaas, he should leave Kaansaa pots, meat, lentils, black gram, Kodon, leaves, honey, other people's food, and woman/man. One should not use flowers, jewelry, beautiful clothes, perfume, any kind of Lep (fragrant paste), tooth powder also in Upavaas time. One should start his Upavaas after washing mouth with water and then taking Panchgavya.

Vrat becomes broken by taking water and betel leaf several times, sleeping in daytime and with the association of man/woman. Forgiveness, truth, kindness, donation, cleanliness, control on Indriyaan, worship, Havan, contentment and not stealing anything - these 10 rules are considered necessary in all Vrat and fasts. A Vratee man should take bath daily and eat only limited food. He should not eat salt, honey, sour, liquor and meat. Besides sesame seeds and Moong (green gram) other things should also not be eaten. In grains one should not eat Urad (black gram), jaggery, milk and radish. Pumpkin, white gourd, eggplant, spinach

One may eat rice, Saathee rice, Moong, peas, sesame seeds, barley, Tinnee rice, and wheat. Charu (Kheer), food gotten in alms, Sattoo, yogurt, Ghee, milk, Agahanee rice, Tinnee rice, barley Halavaa are considered Havishya - these can be used in Vrat, Nakt Vrat, and Agnihotra. Otherwise leaving meat, liquor etc unholy things, all good things are good to eat in Vrat.

In Praajaapatya Vrat, one should eat in the morning for 3 days, in the evening for 3 days, and then eat A-Yaachit food for 3 days only once in day time; and after that keep complete fat for 3 days. Thus it is 12 days Vrat.

In Ati-Krichchhra Vrat also one should as Praajaapatya Vrat, eat in the morning for 3 days, in the evening for 3 days, and then eat A-Yaachit food for 3 days only once in day time; and after that keep complete fast for 3 days.

When one takes Panchgavya (see also Panchaamrit in Recipes) on the 1st day, and keeps fast on 2nd day, it is called "Saantapan Krichchhra" Vrat.

When one takes the Panchgavya materials individually on 6 days and then keeps fast on the 7th day, it is called "Mahaa Saantapan Krichchhra" Vrat which destroys all sins.

Whatever Vrat is completed in 12 days, it is called "Paraak" - this destroys all sins.
When the same Vrat is completed in 36 days (3 times), it is called "Mahaa Paraak".

After taking 15 morsels food on Poornimaa, if one decreases his food one morsel everyday and keep fast on Amaavasyaa; then again from Pratipadaa, start taking 1 morsel food and increase his food by 1 morsel each day, this is called "Chaandraayan" Vrat. This Vrat can be done other way also - keep fast on Amaavasyaa, then start taking 1 morsel food on the first day and then increasing 1 morsel food each day, reaching 15 morsel food on Poornimaa, then again decrease food by 1 morsel each day and keep fast on Amaavasyaa.

Prepare Brahm Koorch in the morning, then keep complete fast the whole day, then in the evening do Jaap of Aghamarshan Mantra, or do Jaap of Yajur Ved Richaa 11:50 "Aapo Hi Shthaa..." etc Mantra with Pranav (Aum), and drink that Brahm Koorch. Who does that he becomes free from all sins and goes to Vishnu Lok.

Who takes food only in the evening; who takes food in the 6th Prahar of the 8-Prahar day, who has left eating meat, who has done Ashwamedh Yagya, and saints go to Swarg.

Installation, Yagya, Daan, Vrat, Devavrat, all Sanskaar, any auspicious work should not be done in "Mal" (Purushottam or Adhik) Maas.

Some Other Useful Information

From one Amaavasyaa to another Amaavasyaa, the month is called "Chaandra Maas" (Lunar month).
30 Days are in Saavan Maas.
From one Sankraanti to another Sankraanti is "Saur Maas" (Solar month).
From the 1st Nakshatra (constellation) to the end of 27th Nakshatra, when all Nakshtra are finished, is called "Nakshatra Maas"
Marriage etc are considered by Saur Maas;
Yagya etc are considered by Saavan Maas; and
Annual Shraaddh etc are considered by Chaandra Maas.

One must do Pitar Shraaddh in the 5th Paksh (fortnight) which falls after Aashaadh Maas (means in the first half of Aashwin Maas - this is called Pitra Paksh). There is no need to consider Soory's position at that time - that whether Soorya has entered Kanyaa Raashi (Virgo Sign) or not.

In a monthly or annual Vrat, if a Tithi (or see under " When to do Vrat" in Introduction to Vrat) falls on 2 days, then the Tithi falling on the 2nd day should be considered auspicious.
In  Nakshatra Vrat, one should keep fast on the same Nakshatra in which Soorya sets.
In day fast, one should keep fast on the same day when the Tithi is spread up the whole day;
While in Nakt Vrat, one should consider the Tithi prevailing at night.

When 2nd Tithi meets 3rd; 4th meets 5th; 6th meets 7th; 8th meets 9th; 11th meets 12th; and 14th meets Poornimaa and Amaavasyaa meets 1st - these Yog are auspicious. The conjunction of these Tithi gives great fruits.
On the contrary, when 1st Tithi meets 2nd, 3rd meets 4th; 5th meets 6th; 7th meets 8th; 9th meets 10th - these Yog are terrible. It destroys all Punya done previously.

If a woman has taken up a long Vrat, and if her periods appear during that period, that doesn't hinder her Vrat.
A pregnant woman; a woman in Sootak; a menstruated woman should take help of others to do any auspicious work.
A man, if unable to do any Vrat, should take help of his wife or daughter to do it.
When a Vrat has been started, it should be continued even in Sootak and Paatak; only worshipping should be stopped.
If a Vratee becomes unconscious because of Vrat, he can be given milk etc or use any other way to bring him in the senses.
A Vrat is not broken by these 8 things - water, fruits, roots, milk, Havishya (Ghee), fulfilling Braahman's wish, Guru's order, and medicine.

In all kinds of Vrat, it is customary that the Vratee should worship the Deity's idol after taking bath and sleep on the floor in the night. At the end of the Vrat, one should do Jap, Havan, and Daan. Along with this one should feed 24, 12, 5, 3 or 1 Braahman and give Dakshinaa to all.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 05/21/13