Mataji Vrats

There are many types of vrats people do. Here are some: Dashama Vrat, Vaibahv Laxmi Vrat, Shiv bhagwan Vrat, Santoshi Mata vrat...

Laxmi Vrat

 

This fast is done to remove all obstacles
· Fast till evening and have meals only at night.
· Food should include white coloured food like rice pudding (kheer) or milk.

Story related to this vrat:
 

Once upon a time there were three friends each belonging to different castes - Kayastha, Brahmin and Vaishya. They were married, however the Vaishya had not brought her wife home after wedlock. On the suggestion of his friends, the Vaishya one day decided to go and fetch his wife from his in-laws home. The Brahmin friend cautioned him that at this time the Friday was setting, this was not an auspicious period; he better wait and fetch her at the rise of Friday. However the boy was adamant and did not pay heed to the advice of friends and relatives and set forth.
On seeing their son-in-law, the girl's parents were surprised, they tried to reason with him that it was inauspicious to leave during that period. The Vaish boy took his wife along and set for his journey back home. On the way he met with a few mishaps - firstly the wheel of his chariot broke injuring his wife, then the dacoits waylaid him and deprived him of all the valuables and cash. Moreover a short distance away from home, a poisonous snake bit him and he became unconscious.
The wife was deeply grieved when she was informed that her husband would live for three days only. When the Brahmin friend came to know about the state of his Vaishya friend, he realised that this was all because of his friend's insistence to fetch his wife back during the inauspicious period. He sent the couple back to the in-laws house. No sooner had the couple reached the house the boy came back to his senses. Having realised their mistake, when the period was the rise of Friday, the couple were sent back home. Thereafter they enjoyed a happy and prosperous life.

Santoshi maa Vrat

The worship of santoshi mataji reflects her own simplicity. She doesnt expect costly equipmment or complicated preparations. Her puja needs no shrine, no temple, and no special place because santoshi mataji is present everywhere in every herat and in every house. What pleases her is to see us perform her puja with true and pure heart.Santoshi Mataji was created on A friday during raksha bandan festival so friday is the most suitable day for her prayers. The devotee should get up early and free himself from daily routine. The puja could be held in a temple but a neat and clean place in any house will do.

Incense should be burnt throughout the devotions. Put a picture up of Santoshi mataji, and light a ghee lamp in front of it lay aside the cares of the world for a while and concentrate on the glory of santoshi mataji. Prepare a prasad of gor and chana, and a place them over a vessel full of water.

Now is the time to begin the varta- the stories of santoshi maa. During the puja people should proclaim the name of Maa Santoshi a few times do it with loud and full of devotion. A small amount of ghor and chana should be held in the hand durging the reading of the varta and then placed near the tulsi plant.After the varta garba and aarti the listeners should  collectively utter jai santoshi mataji. The gor and chana prasad should be shared among the devotees. Take care to ensure That everyone recieves a portion of the prasad. After that water from the vessel should be sprinkled throughout the house or hall prayer. The sacred water brings peace and calm into the house.

The prasad of santoshi mataji has a great significance. It reminds us that luxury dishes are unnecessary.We could just survive on just gor and chana, As with food so with our rest of our lives. A desire for luxury and grandeur is unhealthy. The puja of Santoshi mataji gives us an opportunity to turn away from exspensive luxuries and pledge our lives to small and ordinary items of daily use.

During this puja or prayer devotees should give up something physical as well as discarding there curiosisties and desires. On the day of prayer to santoshi mataji devotees should give up all desires and needs, and observe a fast before their prayers. In addition they should completely give up sour dishes. Sour dishes magnify baser qualities.

Those who pray to santoshi mataji reguarly evry friday for upto sixteen consecutive weeks will attain contentment although devotees often choose to worship her for longer than the minimum period. The time period varies to the wishes of the devotee.

Those who observe the fasts for santoshi mataji should conclude the series with the udyapan or closure of fast on the last friday. Although the udyapan can be performed at any time it has a special value when devotees perform it on the friday tha immediately follows 15 consecutive fasts.

As well as observing a fast on the fiday of udyapan worshippers should also perform the varta and aarti for santoshi mataji with great devotion as always the prasad of gor and chana should be distrubuted among the devotees after  the puja.

Then one must offer thaal to the goddess. Usually khir pur and chana shakh are offered to santoshi mataji and the distrubuted among the listeners as prasad. Bear in mind that the rule prohibiting the consumption of sour dishes must be observed. Failure to observe the restriction will negate the benefits of the fasting prayers. At the end of the ceremony eight boys which can be from the devotees family are invited to take the prasad of khir puri cand chana shakh. Finally the boys should be given dakshina not money a present fruit like a banana again according to ones means.

After the udyapan the puja for the mother santoshi mataji will have been completed with great ceremony. So long as the devotees have observed the rites of the puja and fats wit devotion true love and firm discipline their wiches will be fulfilled.

Please regard the preceding points as a guide rather than the authorotive account. As  always devotees should consult priests and elders for detailed instructions.

Dasha maas or Momai maas vrat (Brief information about the vrat) In this 10-day festival in which Goddess Dashaa or Momai Mai is worshipped, the devotees pray to improve their destiny and give them good fortune. Dasha maa/ Momai Maa gives us the strength to live on one meal a day. For the next 10 days, people doing the vrat will only eat food made of wheat once a day, It richens your life ,gives you wealth and mata dasha maa/ momai maa takes your unhappiness away.At the starting of the 10 day vrat the matajis moorti is bought home. The people doing the vrat mainly the women of the house has to place a handful of wheat and a betel nut on a plank. After 10 days, the person doing the vrat immerses the idol into water.It’s like a dear one leaving you, 

About the festivalThe Dasha Maa Vrath is a 10-day festival that begins on the ashad amavas of the Sharavan month of the Gujarati calendar. The devotee who brings home the idol of the Goddess has to fast for 10 days.
They can eat only one meal a day. The rituals are supposed to improve the destiny of the person who fasts. It is also supposed to bring luck and prosperity to the person. The idol is then immersed on the tenth day.

 

 

Shitala Satam Vrat-Shitala Satam (Saptami)  શીતળા સાતમ
Compiled by Shree Veeranandaji Maharaj.

 (Deity presiding over the disease of smallpox. On this day, food cooked on the previous day (unheated) is eaten by the Vratdhari)

 This vrat is observed in the month of Sravana on the seventh day of the dark fortnight. On this day Shitalamata’s puja is performed after taking bath with cold water. One cold meal is eaten during the day.

It is written in the Skand Purana that donkey is the vehicle of Shitalamata. Shitalamata holds a broom in her one hand and a kalash (container with water) in her other hand. The one who observes the Shitala vrat bathes in a river or in a lake. There Shitaladevi’s image (murti) is placed on the banks of river or lake. Shitaladevi is offered cooked food and ghee. On this day cold food is eaten; the food that was cooked the previous day (cooked on chhatthi or sixth day). For the vratdhari (one who observes this vrat), it is forbidden to eat warmed or hot food on this day.

 Those who can afford it, can make golden image of Shitaladevi and together with the image of the vehicle (donkey) place the devi's image on eight petalled lotus flower. Offer obeisance with joined palms saying ‘My pranam to Shitaladevi’ and make puja. In some places people offer raw flour and gor (molasses) as naivedya to the devi. It is customary to eat only one meal on Shitala Saptami day.

 Katha  (from Bhavishyottar Purana)

 In the olden days, Hastinapur was ruled by king Indralumna. His wife’s name was Pramila who was full of faith and devotion and was keen on performing religious ceremonies and rituals. They had a son, Mahadharma by name and their daughter’s name was Shubhakaari. She was given in marriage to prince Gunvaan, son of king Sumati who ruled Kaundinyanagar.

Prince Gunvaan lived up to his name. He was a virtuous prince. A year after the wedding, Gunvaan went to his in-laws to fetch his wife. The king (his wife’s father) asked his son-in-law to stay over because the next day was the day of  Shitala Saptami vrat. The king invited a Brahmin and his wife for the ceremony of Shitala Saptami vrat. The king’s daughter Shubhakari mounted a chariot and with her female friends set out for the puja ceremony of Shitaladevi. The puja was to take place by some lake.

 Unfortunately, they took a wrong turn and got lost. Leaving the chariot, they started walking on foot, and dispersed in different directions. Princess Shubhakari was overcome by fatigue and sat under a tree. She saw an elderly woman approaching her and asked her for directions.

 “O girl, follow me and I will lead you to a lake” said the old woman and took them to a lake. The princess bathed in the lake and with devotion and faith, placed the image of Shitaladevi on a makeshift platform of stone. The old lady was herself Shitaladevi. She was well pleased. Placing her hand on the head of Princess Shubhakari she asked her to state her wish.

 The princess said: “Mother, I shall surely ask when the need arises”. 

Then the old lady (Shitaladevi) escorted the princess and her female friends to the lake where they were to meet the Brahmin and his wife. The Brahmin’s wife was heard crying aloud. Princess Subhakari went to her and saw that her husband was lying dead, apparently bitten by a snake.

 Princess Shubhakari again bathed in the lake and concentrated her mind upon Shitaladevi and stated her wish: “Mother, please bring back to life this Brahmin”.

 Bhagavati Shitaladevi was pleased and restored life to the Brahmin. Everybody was full of joy. They all performed Shitaladevi’s puja and returned home.

 People of Hastinapur were filled with awe on hearing that the dead Brahmin was brought back to life. The citizens together with the parents of the princess made a murti of Shitaladevi and celebrated this day in the manner of a festival. After staying for a few more days, Princess Shubhakari went with Prince Gunvaan to her in-laws. There also, being impressed by Shitalamata, they developed faith and devotion. It is said that the children of those who are Shitala vratdhai (who observe this vrat) do not suffer from smallpox and that their wishes get fulfilled.

Kathas

Katha of Brahmaji’s  great sacrifice
Brahmaji decided to perform a great sacrifice and for that purpose he and his wife Saraswati went to Pushkar (a town in Rajasthan). When all the preparations were made with due rites and ceremonies for performing the great yagna , Saraswati, held back by some household work , was not able to come. A pujari was immediately advised to call her. But she replied that she had not yet completed her sari, or put on her jewellery. Since without a wife there was no way that Brahmaji could perform the yagna, Brahmaji advised Indra to bring a wife for him wherever he could find one. Indra proceeded accordingly and, he found a milkmaid named Gayatri who was a young, beautiful woman.  Indra seized her and brought to the assembly. Then Brahmaji told that he would espouse Gayatri and she would be regarded as the mother of the Vedas. Thus Brahmaji was united with Gayatri maa.
At this time Saraswati, accompanied by Lakshmi maa and Parvati maa with the other Devis, came to the place where the yagna was about to be performed. Seeing Gayatri in the bride's attire, Saraswati became furious and cursed Brahmaji and all the other gods and left. But Gayatri repaired most of the curses by performing proper sacrifices. Once Saraswati had left Brahmaji, finally he performed the great yagna on Pushkar Lake accompanied by Gayatri.
According to this Katha it is also said that in Saraswati maa’s fury she cursed Brahmaji by saying  that he would never be worshipped anywhere except in Pushkar and that too only once a year.
Today Pushkar is known to be a well known Rajasthani yatra town. Every year to mark this day a huge fair is held at Pushkar, known as the biggest camel trading fair in the world. Pushkar is famous for its three mandirs ontop of Ratnagiri hill. The first is dedicated to Brahmaji , the second to Gayatri maa and the third is dedicated to Saraswati maa.