Celebrity Vaastu and Feng Shui consultant, Dr. Rupa Batra discusses how Karwa Chauth still holds its importance in the modern times. Let's have a look.
While a woman heading for her office after sending kids to school, preparing lunch for her husband which he can take to his office and after making arrangements for dinner, often thinks over and over again as to why is it that the person who is running back-to-back is supposed to observe a fast and prove her commitment towards her husband? These questions rising in the mind of today’s woman are very natural. Since ages this fast has been made an unsaid norm for married Indian women, especially of north India.
A walk through history
If we turn the pages of history we would learn that India has been a land that has witnessed numerous wars both internal and with foreign nations. It was since then that men had to leave their families behind and join the forces. At times, innocent women were subject to various atrocities by the foreigners! Women, whose husbands were out in the battle, used to observe fasts, gather in various spots and vow not to bow before any external power! They sat in deep meditation of God and sought strength to help them and their husbands to combat adverse situations.
If we look around us, things have not changed much today! Even today there are forces and pressures which trouble us equally. Adversities like work pressure, raising kids, managing finances, handling the household well despite all challenges, and providing emotional support to husband who is fighting his own battle with workplace pressures.
The modern day significance of Karwa Chauth
Today, Karwa Chauth can be seen as a festival that renews the bond between married women and their god friends share. However, even today the purpose of celebrating Karwa Chauth is predominantly focused on the well-being and prosperity of their respective husbands. Moreover, it provides an opportunity to the married women to get closer to their husbands and cherish the bond they share. In the northern and western parts of India, this festival has a remarkable social and cultural significance.
- Karva means an ‘earthen pot’ and chauth means ‘fourth' in Hindi. It is in reference to the fact that Karwa Chauth is observed on the fourth day of Krishna Paksh as per Hindu calendar.
- Although water is kept in the karva but the significance of karva is related to the wheat-sowing time which is the start of the Rabi crop and it coincides with this time and so the wheat consuming north Indians store wheat in the karva and offer to God as a significance of a good harvest.
Why are the Karvas exchanged?
It is believed that in ancient times a woman at the time of her marriage was made to tie a sort of friendship band to a woman of almost her age belonging to her in-laws’ village. This was done to help the girl open her heart out to that friend in case of any issue with the husband and or the in-laws as at times the bride’s own house was very far and it was not possible for her each time to go and share problems of her life with them. It is believed that a day prior to Karva Chauth the girls bought earthen pots and filled them with cosmetics, bangles and other such stuff and on the day of Karva Chauth exchanged them with these friends they had made during their marriage.
Other Forbidden Things during the Fast
It is believed that there are few things which are forbidden for the women keeping the fast on Karva Chauth. The forbidden activities include weaving a cloth (kumbh chrakhra feri naa), not to flatter an annoyed person (ruthda maniyen naa), and making someone awake from his sleep (suthra jagayeen naa).
So happy karva chauth ladies, enjoy the festivity!
- Dr. Rupa Batra