INDIA FESTIVAL KARVA CHAUTH
Legends Of Karva Chauth
Long time back, there lived a beautiful princess, Veeravati. She was the only sister of her seven loving brothers, who was married to a king. On the occasion of the first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her parents’ house. After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However, the queen was too delicate and couldn’t stand the rigours of fasting. By evening, Veeravati fainted. However her brothers couldn’t stand the plight of their sister and decided to end her fast by duping her. They lighted up a fire at the nearby hill and asked their sister to see the flame. They assured her that it was the moonlight and since the moon had risen, she could break her fast. The moment queen broke the fast and started eating, she received the news that her husband was dead. While on the way to her husbands palace , she met Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati. Parvati informed her that the king had died because the queen had broken her fast by watching a false moon. However, when the queen asked her for forgiveness, the goddess granted her the boon that the king would be revived but would be ill. When the queen reached the palace, she found the king lying unconscious with hundreds of needles inserted in his body. Each day, the queen managed to remove one needle from the king’s body. Next year, on the day of Karva Chauth, only one needle remained embedded in the body of the unconscious king. The queen observed a strict fast that day and while she was out, her maid removed the remaining needle from the king’s body. The king regained consciousness, and mistook the maid for his queen. When the real queen returned to the palace, she was made to serve as a maid. However, Veeravati was true to her faith and religiously observed the Karva Chauth vrat .
Once when the king was going to some other kingdom, he asked the real queen (now turned maid) if she wanted anything. The queen asked for a pair of identical dolls. The king obliged and the queen kept singing a song " Roli ki Goli ho gayi... Goli ki Roli ho gayi " (the queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen).
On being asked by the king as to why did she keep repeating that song, Veeravati narrated the entire story. The king repented and restored the queen to her royal status. It was only the queen’s devotion and her faith that won her husband’s affection and the blessings of Goddess Parvati.
THE STORY OF SATYAVAN AND SAVITRI
In the history of Karva Chauth, there is also a story of the Satyavan and Savitri. When Lord Yama, came to procure Satyavan’s soul, Savitri begged him to grant him life. When he refused, she began fasting and didnot eat anything for a long period time. When Yamraj came to know about her devotion he gave up and granted her, her husband’s life. From this day onwards, Karva Chauth is celebrated by wedded brides for ensuring long life of their husband.
THE STORY OF MAHABHARATA
According to Mahabharata, Draupadi, too, is said to have observed Karva Chauth. 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 Shivas guidance under similar circumstances, she had been advised to observe the fast of Karva Chauth. Draupadi followed the instructions and observed the fast with all its rituals. Consequently, the Pandavas were able to overcome their problems. On this day, fasting women listen to Karva Chauth legends with rapt attention.
THE STORY OF KARVA
According to a legend, a woman named Karva was deeply devoted to her husband. One day while bathing in the strem, the husband was attacked by a crocodile. Karva came running and tied the crocodile with a cotton yarn. She then went to Lord Yama, the Lord of the death, and requested him to send the offending crocodile to hell. When Lord Yama refused, she threatened to curse him. Afraid of the power of a devoted wife, Lord Yama readily accepted and sent the crocodile to Yamalok or hell, and blessed Karva's husband with long life.
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