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Karavaa Chauth

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Karavaa Chauth Vrat
Kaarttik Krishn 4th

Karavaa Chauth (Karak Chauth) falls on Kaarttik Krishn Chaturthee. This Vrat or fast or day is observed by married women (Suhaagin) for ensuring wedded bliss and wishing long life for their husbands and children. A married woman who observes this Vrat is called Saubhaagyavatee (joyous and happy state of wifehood).

On this occasion, a Kalash (small container) is filled with either milk or water. In that Kalash is placed Panch Ratn (five pieces of different metals gold, silver, copper, brass and iron). The Kalash is then presented to a Braahman and also exchanged with other married women. While thus presenting the Kalash, a wishful prayer is offered to Lord Ganesh - "Let the offerings of this Karavaa (Karak) gift bring long life to my husband and may my Saubhaagya be everlasting". And express such desire that "May my death precede that of my husband so that I can enter the Chitaa (funeral pyre) as a bride (not as a widow).

This Kathaa (narrative) first took place between Shiv and Paarvatee. Shiv told Paarvatee about the significance of Karavaa Chauth Vrat. In Dwaapar Yug, Draupadee asked Lord Krishn about the Vrat of Karavaa Chauth. Thereafter, the very first time this Vrat was observed in the town of Shukraprasth by Veeravatee, the daughter of Vedsharma and Leelavati. Ever since this Vrat has been observed by married women till the present day.

On the occasion of Karavaa Chauth, fasting (Vrat) is observed. In the evening, after taking a bath, under a banyan tree (or in the absence of such tree, draw a picture of such tree) place Moorti or pictures of Shiv, Paarvatee, Ganesh and Kaarttikeya and do Poojaa ceremony (Shodashopachaar or sixteen step Poojaa ceremony). When the Moon has risen, they do Chandra Darshan from behind the Chhalanee (sieve), worship him, then see the face of their husband and touch his feet. Only after that they can take water and eat the food. On this day in some families Baayanaa is also given to appropriate person along with some money.

If the husband is present, then worship him with Panchopachaar or Gandh, Pushp, Dhoop, Deep and Naivedya (perfume, flower, incense, lamp and food). If the husband is away on travels, then offer a prayer to Almighty to grant long life to your husband. Thereafter bring the Vrat to its conclusion.

Its origin goes to Mahaabhaarat times. When Arjun went to Neelgiri Parvat, Paandav had to face lots of difficulties. Draupadee was very sad seeing them in so much difficulty, so she remembered Krishn and expressed her concern. Krishn told her to observe Karavaa Chauth referring her to Paarvatee. Paarvatee had also observed this fast for her husband Shiv Jee. Married women observe it by praying for Saubhaagya, acquire Saubhaagya, progeny and lasting prosperity.

Story For Karavaa Chauth
The following story is told and heard at the time of Poojaa : 
There was a girl who had seven brothers. All the seven brothers used to love her very much because she was their only little sister. They could not see her in any kind of grief and sorrow. When she grew up into a fine young woman, she was married in a nearby village. After her marriage, on the day of her first Karavaa Chauth she came home to celebrate it. She with her all seven sisters-in-law observed the fast.

Because she was a very beloved sister of her seven brothers, all the brothers kept asking her as when she will take the food. They came to know that she can eat only after the Chandra Darshan, and the Moon will rise very late. Out of love, one brother brought a good heap of hay, the second brother carried it and climbed on a tree; the third brother set the fire to it; her fourth brother brought a Chhalanee to show her the Moon; the fifth brother rushed to call her for Chandra Darshan. Their mother said - "It is very early, how come that the Moon has risen so early? There is something wrong." But when that girl came outside she also saw the Moon rising, so she got convinced. She called her sisters-in-law also to worship the Moon, but they said, "You are the beloved sister of seven brothers, so this is your Moon. Our Moon will rise late in the evening."

Brothers insisted her sister to do Poojaa, so she did. After the Poojaa, she sat for her meal. As she started taking her food, a piece of hair came with the first bite, second time she started taking her food, somebody sneezed, and when she started third time a messenger came from her husband's house, saying that her husband was very ill and he has come to take her with him. She left her food as it was, and rushed to her home. After reaching home she found her husband was lying pricked with many needles in his whole body. He was lying senseless. She wept and wept. After some time the Moon rose, her sisters-in-law came one by one to give her Baayanaa saying, "Lo Suhaagan Baayana lo, Bhaiyon kee pyaaree Baayana lo".

When her eldest sister-in-law came, she asked her the remedy of her sorrow. She said, "Ask the next one". When the next one came, she also said the same to her, "Ask the next one". Thus all her sisters-in-law passed one by one saying "Ask the next one" but no one told her anything. When her youngest sister-in-law came, she held her feet tight and said, "I will not let you go until you tell me the remedy." The sister-in-law said, "Sister, now you serve your husband for one full year. Take out one needle everyday from his body. When the next Karavaa Chauth comes, you do your fast sincerely, he will be all right."

She did the same for one full year, but on the last day, on the day of Karavaa Chauth, when he was about to wake up, she fell sleep. She was so hungry and tired. Her maid servant was also very beautiful, when her husband woke up he saw the maid servant and thought she was his wife. The maid servant could not say no. After a while when the real wife woke up, she saw that their maid had taken her place. She pleaded her husband that she was his real wife and she served him so sincerely for one full year, and now he does not recognize her. Although it took some time but at last she was able to convince him.

God should protect all the husbands for all wives. On this day normally any work which involves any thing with a sharp needle such as sewing or knitting etc are prohibited.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 09/29/13