Admit it. You all have heard of Karva Chauth whether it is celebrated by your relatives or not. Being an Indian, I feel that Karva Chauth is as famous as Diwali or Holi, thanks to our daily soaps and Bollywood films.
Karva Chauth is the festival celebrated by married Hindu women. They fast from dawn till the moon rises; all this for the long life and prosperity of their husband. When the moon finally turns up, the women look at it through a sieve and then at their husband. Then she is fed water by her husband and her fast is broken. So we see husbands rushing home early from work on this day (otherwise God save them!).
But all this tells us how this festival is celebrated.
Do you want to know the mythological story behind this festival? Continue reading to find out –
The story revolves around a beautiful princess, Veeravati. She was married to a king. On her first Karva Chauth after marriage, Veeravati was visiting her parent’s place. She had been fasting from dawn. By the time darkness fell, Veeravati had become rather too weak. Finally, she could no longer bear the hunger and thirst and fainted.
Veeravati was the beloved sister of seven brothers. They had immense love for their sister and they decided to prevent her from fasting any longer.
From here, there are two stories that are popular.
The first one goes like this –
The seven brothers placed a round mirror in a Pipal tree. They claimed that was the moon. Veeravati believed her brothers and thus she broke her fast.
The second story states –
The brothers made a fire behind the mountain and said that the glow was that of the moon. This tricked Veeravati and so she broke her fast.
As soon as the queen ate food, she received the news of her husband’s death. Here again, there are two versions. Some say that Veeravati wept copiously throughout the night. On seeing her misery, Parvati appeared for her rescue. The Queen explained how she had been deceived by her brothers. On hearing this, Parvati asked Veeravati to repeat the Karva Chauth fast the next day. It is believed that this second day of fasting compelled Yamraj to return the King’s soul.
The second version claims –
On hearing the news of her husband’s death, Veeravati started for her husband’s palace. On her way, she came across Shiva and Parvati. They informed her that the King’s demise was because of her untimely breaking of the fast. Veeravati instantly asked for forgiveness.
Here again, there are two subsets of beliefs. One goes like this –
Parvati cut her little finger and gave Veeravati few drops of her holy blood. The queen sprinkled the blood on her husband’s dead body and hence brought him back to life.
The second one goes like this –
Parvati forgave Veeravati but she said that the King would remain sick and unconscious for a hundred days. When the queen returned to her palace, she found a hundred needles pierced into the King’s body. Every day, the queen would take out one needle from his body and the King would get slightly better.
Eventually, just one needle was left and it was the day of Karva Chauth. Veeravati observed a fast and had gone to the market to buy things required for the puja. Meanwhile, a maid removed the last needle from the King’s body. The King regained consciousness. However, he mistook the maid for his queen. On returning, Veeravati was made to work as a maid.
Even after going through so much, Veeravati continued to love her husband and fasted on Karva Chauth for his longevity. Once, the King was leaving for another kingdom. He asked Veeravati (his supposed maid) if she wanted something for herself. She demanded a pair of identical dolls.
Throughout the day, Veeravati would sing a song, “Roli ki Goli ho gayi, Goli ki Roli ho gayi” (the queen has turned into a maid, the maid has turned into a queen).
The King asked Veeravati why she kept singing that song. To this, she narrated the entire story to him. Thus, the King realized his mistake and accepted Veeravati as his queen.
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