Karva Chauth is celebrated in the whole country every year by wedded women of India with a wish of long lasting life for their husbands. Generally, women keep abstention from food or even any form of liquid to represent their love for their husband. This penance is basically associated with many legends which basically start from the story of ‘Savitri and Satyavan’.
According to the legends, when Yudhisthira (A warrior of MahaBharat) asks Sage Markandeya if there was any woman born in the world who had devotion like that of Draupadi, Sage then replied that no one in the world can match the devotion of ‘Queen Savitri and King Satyavan’:
According the the story, Savitri was a very devoted wife of Satyavan, who, was scheduled to die on a particular day. The prophecy of the death of her husband was already in knowledge of Savitri, who, started penance three days prior to the date of the death of her husband. Her penance was so strong that Lord Yama himself had to descend down to earth to claim Satyavan’s life.
Lord Yama offered a boon to Savitri except for the life of her husband but she wished for nothing other then her husband. Since her devotion was so strong Even the God of Death had to bow down in respect and granted her husband’s life back. Since then Karva Chauth is being celebrated as a symbol of devotion and dedication of wedded women towards her husband.
The legend of Draupadi
Draupadi was worried when Arjun went for penance and other Pandavas were facing difficulties in his absence. She asked for help from Lord Krishna,who told her to perform the fast which Queen Savitri once did for her husband. Her dedication and devotion modulated the luck in their favour and Arjun returned from the penance successfully with the boons he desired earlier.
Once lived a queen Veervati who had seven brothers. She observed the fast for her husband’s long life. However, she couldn’t bear the hunger and thirst and fainted due to weakness. Out of love for her sister, her brothers created a mirror in a pipal tree and told their sister that the moon is in the sky now. Mis-informed, Queen broke her fast. Soon she received a news that her husband, the king is dead. Knowing the cause of her husband’s death, Queen then dedicatedly fasted for her husband and once again the God had to bow down to devotion of a ‘pati-vrata’ women (a women devoted for her husband).
Earlier in Mughal rule
When Mughal invaded India, men prepared themselves for battle against the invaders, hence women fasted for their husbands so that they would be blessed in battle field. They would dressup in the best way possible to look pretty as they are would have a romantic evening before their husband leave for war to fight for the glory and peace.
Modern day celebration
Modern day Karva Chauth is somewhat similar to what it has been in legends. Women gather and read the story of Queen Veervati. They then offer their offerings to moon and look their husband’s face via the ‘Channi’. Many Men also fasts along with their woves to reflect their love for them.
Karva Chauth is symbolization of the power of a woman, who could even bend the will of the God himself and can snatch the life of her husband from the hands of the Death.