Karwa Chauth, an annual festival celebrated by married women in India, holds great significance in Indian culture. On this day, they seek blessings from Goddess Parvati to grant long-life for their husband. The fasting is the main ritual observed on Karwa Chauth day. It is an old custom to narrate stories relating to reflecting the significance of ages-old tradition of fasting, during Karwa Chauth puja ceremony. Women sing songs together and narrate stories. These songs and stories that remind the power of devotion towards one's husband are usually narrated by elderly women or a pujarin (priestess). There are many legends that propagate the importance of Karwa Chauth fast. Many of them portray stories of strong-willed women who were bestowed with special powers that they could even bring their husbands back to life, challenging the power of destiny. The stories narrated on Karwa Chauth strengthen the married women morally and make them confident about their inner strength. It is also a call to build a morally-strong society.
Karwa Chauth Fast Story
Long time ago, in a glorious kingdom, lived a princess called Veervati. She was the only sister of her seven brothers. As she grew into young woman, she was married off to a mighty king. As per tradition, Queen Veervati returned to her parent's house to celebrate her first Karwa Chauth after the marriage. On this auspicious occasion, she followed the ritual of observing Vrat (fast) for her beloved husband at dawn. In late afternoon, she developed severe pangs of hunger and thirst that the queen almost fainted. Her body constituents were too weak to endure severity of fasting ritual which she needed to observe until dusk, that is, till sighting of moon. Her seven brothers, who loved Veervati immensely, could not see the anguish of their only sister. So, they decided to place a mirror in a peepal tree that made it look like a moon. As queen Veervati was keenly awaiting the appearance of moon, she mistook the mirror for moon and ended her fast.
As soon as queen Veervati broke her fast and ate her evening meal, she received a shocking message that her husband died. Inconsolable, the queen rushed back to her husband's house. Along the way, Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati appeared before her and told her that she had been deceived by her brothers. The glow of light she had seen was not from moon. Queen Veeravati then pleaded for forgiveness. Shiva and Parvati assured queen that her husband would be brought back to life only when she observes strict fast ritual. They further added that her husband would be ill for some time. So, when queen Veervati arrived at the palace, she saw her husband lying in coma with scores of needles pierced in his body. Queen was able to pull out one piece of needle from king's body daily. In the following year on the day of Karwa Chauth, queen Veervati was full of hope since only one needle is left on her husband's body. Unlike previous year, she was bent on following the rituals strictly and set out to purchase essentials required for Karwa Chauth puja. In this brief intervening period, her maid took off the last needle from king's body and as a result king came out of coma. However, king misjudged the maid as his queen. No need to say that queen Veervati was shocked by this. Despite this, queen remained devoted and observed her fast rigorously. One day when the king was preparing state visit to another kingdom, he asked Veervati what she would want from his state journey. In reply, queen Veervati said she wanted a pair of identical dolls to which the king agreed. Then queen Veervati started humming a song that went as “ Roli ki Goli ho gayi... Goli ki Roli ho gayi”, meaning queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen. When the king enquired why she kept repeating the song, Veervati told the whole story. The king felt sorry and re-instated Veervati as his queen.
The story shows that if women are bent on her devotion and love towards her husband, she will be blessed with a wonderful married life, no matter how many tests and hardships she might endure.