Ashok Puranima Fast

Hindu Fasts: Ashok Puranima Fast

Said The God Of Fire:

Hear me discourse on the process of practising
the Ashoka-Purnima-Vrata, in which the Bhudhara
manifestation of the god Shiva, as well as the earth-
goddess should be worshipped. The Vrata should be
first undertaken on the day of the full moon in the
month of Chaitra, and practised on the occasions, of
all subsequent Pumimas for a year. The rite of Vrisotsarga
should be performed on such a Tithi in the month of
Karticka. The penitent should break his fast in the
night, which should be spent in vigil. By practising
such a Vrata, a man goes to the region of Shiva
after death. This is what is known as the Vrisha
Vrata. Libations of water and cakes of obsequis offered
to one’s departed manes on the occasion of the Amavasi
(day of the new moon), known as the Pitri Amavasi,
last them for enternity. By observing fasts and pro-
pitiating the souls of his departed ancestors for a
year, a man becomes purged of all sins and ascends
heaven after death. Similarly by worshipping the birthless
deity (Narayana) on the day of the full moon in the
month of Magha, a man is able to witness the ful-
filment of all his heartfelt desires.

Now I shall describe the way of practising the
Savitri Vrata, which should be observed on the day
of the new moon in the mouth of Jaistha. The femala
Vrati should fast for three consecutive days on the
occasion, and worship Savitri the model of chastity,
with the grains known as the Saptadhanya, under-
neath a Vrata tree, on the above said Tithi. Damsels
should join hands in a merry-go-round and dance
and sing round the Vata tree, fondly embracing
(Kanthasutra) and worshipping it with pasted saffron.

They should return home on the morrow, dress
up and dedicate platefulls of offering by repeating
the Mantra “Obeisance to Savitri and Satyavana,” and
make them over to the Brahmanas. On the same
day, the pious Brahmanas should be treated with
sumptuous repasts, and the penitent shall break her
fast. Farewell should be bid to that model wife (Savitri),
by reciting the Mantra which runs as “Be pleased, 0
thou goddess Savitri.” A damsel practising such a
Vrata becomes exceptionally fortunate.

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