Karwa in Hindi means a pot and Chauth means fourth. The festival falls on the fourth day of the dark-fortnight, or Krishna Paksh. There are many legends regarding why Karwa Chauth is celebrated. We will be telling you about the known stories, including the story of the Queen Veeravati which is one of the most prominent ones.
Karwa Chauth Katha
The festival of Karwa Chauth is widely celebrated in the Northern part of India. In earlier times when military wars were often conducted by men in far places, they use to leave their wives and children at home to go off to the war, while their wives use to pray for their safe return. The festival also coincides with the wheat-sowing time. Sometimes wheat is stored in Karwas also known as big earthen pots, so that fast can begin as a prayer for a good harvest.
Story of Savitri and Satyavan
When Lord Yama came to take Satyavan's soul, Savitri begged him to grant him life. When he refused to do so, she stopped drinking and eating and followed Yama who took away her dead husband. Yama said that she could ask for any other blessing but except for the life of her husband. Savitri asked that she be blessed with children. Yama agreed. Being a devoted wife (Pati-Vrata), Savitri would never let any other man be the father of her children. Yama was left with no other choice but to give back the life of Savitri's husband.
Story of Queen Veeravati
As per mythology there was a beautiful queen named as Veeravati who was the only sister to seven loving brothers. After she got married, right from her first Karwa Chauth she began a strict fast. Her fasting began after the sunrise but by evening, she waited desperately for the moon to rise and suffered from severe hunger and thirst. Her seven brothers, who loved her so much, just could not see her in so much distress and they created a mirror reflection through the Peepal tree leaves. Considering it as moon they asked her sister to break the fast. The moment she broke her fast and had her dinner, she got the news that her husband was dead.
She cried the whole night and suddenly Devi Parvati appeared and asked her the reason for her weeping, she narrated the whole story. Goddess told her about the truth that how she had been cheated by her seven brothers and suggested her to perform the fast of Karwa Chauth again but under complete devotion and strict rituals. She followed the same and got her husband back alive.
The Katha in Mahabharata
The belief and trust in fasting and other rituals goes back to the pre-Mahabharata times. Draupadi is too believed to have observed this fast. Once when Arjun went to the Nilgiris for reparation, Pandavas faced many problems in his absence. Draupadi in desperation, remembered Lord Krishna and asked for his help. Lord Krishna told her that once when Goddess Parvati approached Lord Shiva for his guidance under similar circumstances she was advised to observe the fast of Karwa Chauth. Also as per some tales Lord Shiva told Goddess Parvati the story of Veeravati to describe the fast kept during Karwa Chauth. Draupadi then followed all the instructions and observed the fast with all its rituals. Consequently, the Pandavas were also able to overcome their problems.
Significance of Karwa Chauth
The festival of Karwa Chauth is observed to celebrate the love and relationship; not only between the husband and wife but also with other members of the family. It identifies the importance of a married women in her Sasural (in-laws house). Unlike other Vrats; Karwa Chauth Vrat is a celebration for a married women; to showcase her love and dedication towards her life partner.