Jivitputrika vrat, also known as Jitiya Puja, It is a prayer ritual performed to make offerings, honoring, evoking or worshipping gods. The ceremony can also be performed to pay homage to the beloved ones who are dead is a fast observed by women for their children’s well being. It is observed on the eighth day of the dark lunar fortnight in the month of Ashwin (September-October), according to the Hindu calendar. Mothers show their selfless love for their children and their willingness to keep them protected under any circumstance. The day is not dedicated to a particular god as the sole focus is to attain a long-life for the children. It is celebrated majorly by the people of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
According to a legend, there was a king named Jimutavahana who was very wise and just. Even though he was very responsible, his duties only as a king did not satisfy him thus he gave up his kingdom and spent all his time taking care of his father. Once he was wandering in a forest and he found a mourning old woman. When he asked the lady the reason of her tears, she said that her son was killed and eaten by Garuda. The lady belonged to the snake family and according to a promise every day one snake is offered to the grand bird and it was her son’s chance.
Jimutavahana was very touched and saddened by the plight of the woman and decided to bring back her son and many other children who were consumed by Garuda. He offered himself to GarudaGaruda
Garuda is a mythological bird-like creature who was large and considered the king of the birds. He was known for his speed... and on being asked the motive of his actions, the king replied that no child is ordinary for his mother and no mother should go through the heartbreak caused by the death of her child.
Impressed and moved by his selfless act, Garuda promised not to take any more lives. He also sprinkled the elixir immortality on all the dead bodies thus bringing back each one of them to life. The old lady thanked the king for his noble deed and bravery.
Garuda also claimed that in future, all the mothers who will observe a fast on the eighth day during waning phase of the moon the month of Ashwin will be blessed with their children’s long life.
Mothers take an early bath and begin with their fasting custom. They wear a red or yellow thread on their wrist and it is not be taken off. They cook numerous dishes to break their fast with like Saag It is a leaf-based dish which can be prepared by spinach, mustard leaf, basella or collard greens. Spices and butter are also added to it and can be consumed with bread or rice. It is savored in Asian countries like India and Pakistanand litti-choka. Women gather in groups and sings songs and dance on the occasion. They cherish their gift of child and thank God for making them fertile enough. The above-mentioned story is also narrated or read by the women as a part of the ritual. In some families, the elders present their daughter-in-laws with new clothes and jewelry.
Women chant the following Mantra A group of sacred words chanted in order to gain something, be it materialistic pleasures or peaceful mindwhile performing the rituals-
“Yatraashtmi Cha Akshni Krishnapakse, Yatrodayan Vai Karute Dineshah, Tada Bhavet Jivitputrika Yasyam Udaya Bhanu Paran Navami Dine”.
Mothers are the epitome of selfless love and this strict fast without a single drop of water is proof of that. Children are blessed with long and healthy life, and mothers do not experience the pain and separation of their kid due to unduly or untimely death. They treasure their motherhood.
It is believed that this fast was also observed by DraupadiDraupadi
Draupadi (Wife of Five Pandavas), also known as Krishna, because of her dark complexion, is the daughter of Drupada... after all her sons were killed in the war of Mahabharata. Also when KaliKali
There are several traditions of how Kali came into existence... Yuga began, mothers became worried for the lives of their children. They wanted their children to be safe in the times of evil and hypocrisy and thus to find a solution, they went to sage Gautam who told them the legend of the king and Garuda and asked them to observe a fast.