In this article, we will talk about Origin and Significance of Karva Chauth.
Our country has a rich and diverse culture that is embedded in numerous festivals and rituals. One of the major festivals celebrated in the Northern region is Karva Chauth. Married women from the Hindu and Sikh community celebrate Karva Chauth by fasting the entire day for the long lives of their husbands. The concept and significance of Karva Chauth are to pray and seek the blessings from the Almighty for the well-being, prosperity, and longevity of their husbands.
Made of two words, Karva Chauth, Karva means an earthen oil lamp and Chauth means four. Karva Chauth is celebrated close to Diwali that falls exactly on the fourth day of the month of Kartik. The month of Kartik rejoices the harvest time where people from various areas meet and celebrate. The Karva Chauth celebrates the beautiful bond between a husband and wife and their moments of love and togetherness. However, nowadays, Karva Chauth has become more of an occasion rather than a prayer.
Significance of Karva Chauth
The story of Queen Veeravati
Years ago, there was a beautiful queen named Veeravati who was the only sister of seven loving brothers. At one Karwa Chauth function, she was at her parents’ place. She began a strict fast after sunrise. In the evening she was waiting keenly for the moon to rise as she was suffering from hunger and thirst. The brothers were sad to see the plight of their sister. So, they created a mirror in a Pipal tree to make it look as if the Moon has come up in the sky. Veeravati, unaware of this, broke her fast. Within a few moments, she was delivered the news that her husband is dead.
She started crying and that’s when the Goddess Parvati appeared in front of her and revealed that she was tricked by her brothers. Since she fasted for Karwa Chauth with full devotion, Yama, the lord of death restored her husband’s life.
The Story from Mahabharata
Legend has that Draupadi also observed Karwa Chauth Vrat. Once Arjuna, whom Draupadi loved the most went to the Nilgiri mountains for self-penalty while the rest of the brothers were dealing with several challenges without him. Draupadi asked Lord Krishna to provide a situation to deal with these challenges. Lord Krishna narrated the story of Goddess Parvati where in a similar situation she performed the Karwa Chauth rituals. By the guidance of Lord Krishna, Draupadi followed the strict rituals of Karwa Chauth to help the Pandavas and resolve their problems.
The Story of Karwa
There was a woman named Karwa who loved her husband dearly and this intense love gave her lots of spiritual powers. One day her husband was bathing in a river when he was attacked by a crocodile. The courageous and devoted wife, Karwa bound the crocodile using cotton yarn and prayed to Yama, the Lord of death.
Yama was afraid of being cursed by such a dedicated and doting wife. Fearing it, he sent the crocodile to hell and restored her husband’s life.
The Story of Satyavan and Savitri
In our Hindu culture, Savitri is considered as a pious woman for her love and devotion to her husband. Legends say that when Lord Yama came to get Satyavan's life, Savitri begged to grant him life. However, Yama was adamant and took her husband’s soul. Seeing this Savitri stopped eating, drinking and followed Yama on the way to Yamlok. Yama said that Savitri can have any boon except for her husband’s life. Being a clever woman, she asked Yama that she wants to be blessed with children and since she is a loyal wife, she will not have any kind of adultery. Seeing this Yama had no other option but to give back the life of Satyavan.