The legend of Karva Chauth: This is the story that started it all


We’re sure you’re looking forward to dressing up and being part of the celebrations this evening. We’re sure your husband has cancelled a couple of meetings or put off some work till tomorrow to be able to make it home in time, so you can be fed water by him as soon as the moon rises, thus breaking your day-long fast.
As women all over the country starve themselves for their husband’s long life, here’s the legend that supposedly started it all. We’re sure you’ve heard bits and pieces (or even slightly different versions) of the story we’re about to tell you, but it’s essential to know the tale behind the traditions we so love to follow.
So, according to Wikipedia, legend has it that there lived a beautiful queen named Veervati, who was the only sister of seven loving brothers. She spent her first Karva Chauth as a married woman at her parents’ house. She began a strict fast after sunrise but, by evening, was desperately waiting for the moon to rise, because she couldn’t put up with the thirst and hunger any longer. Her brothers couldn’t bear to see their sister in distress, and thus placed a round mirror in a Pipal tree, which made it look like the moon had risen.
Now, there are different version to how the false moon was created by the brothers. Some stories also state that the brothers build a massive fire behind a mountain and tricked their sister by convincing her that the glow (emitting from the fire) was that of the moon.
So, Veervarti fell for her brothers’ tricks and broke her fast. The moment she ate, word arrived that her husband, the king, was dead.
Again, there are two versions to the story here on. The first one is that Veeravati wept through the night until her will and pain compelled a goddess to appear. When Veeravati explained the reason for her pain, and revealed to the goddess how she had been tricked by her brothers, the goddess instructed Veeravati to repeat the Karva Chauth fast with complete devotion. When Veervati repeated the fast, Yama (the god of death) was forced to bring her husband back to life.
The second version states that once Veeravati hears of her husband’s demise, she begins to rush back to his house, which is a little far away from her parents’ house, and ends up meeting Shiva and Parvati on the way. Parvati tells Veeravati that her husband had passed away because she did not adhere to the rules of the fast, following which, Veeravati explains to Parvati that she had been tricked by her brothers to break her fast. As a result, Parvati cuts her little finger to give Veeravati a few drops of her holy blood, and instructs her to complete fast the next day. Veeravati sprinkles Parvati’s blood on her dead husband, bringing him back to life.

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