Fourteenth Phase Fast

Hindu Fasts: Fourteenth Phase Fast

Said The God Of Fire:

Now You shall describe the process of practicing the Vratas, which should be observed on the days of the fourteenth phase of the moon?s wane or increase
(Chaturdashi). A Vrati should observe a fast and worship
the god Shiva, on such a Tithi in the month of Karticka,
by respectively observing and performing which for
a year, he would be long lived and able to enjoy all
the comforts which this world offers. Similarly a Vrati
should practise self-control and live on fruits only,
on days of the third, eighth, twelfth, or the fourteenth phase of the moon’s increase in the month of
Magha, and worship the god Shiva, subsequently
foregoing the taste of all fruits till the completion of
the vow, whereon fruits etc., should be given to the
Brahmanas. The Vrata thus practised, is known as
the Fala-Chaturdashi, preference being given to the
latter Tithi in respect of its observance.

Likewise a penitent should fast and worship the
god Shambhu on the days of the eighth or the four-
teenth phase of the moon’s wane or increase, (night
being the proper time for its observance on both the
occasions), whereby he would be the happy possessor of all things worth-having in human life, and
secure an elevated existence after death. Poles should
be set up with streamers unfurled therefrom, in honour of the god Mahendra (the great Indra), on the
occasion of the dark Chaturdashi in the month of
Karticka, and the god should be invoked and worshipped over the flagposts described above. The Vrati
should take special care in bathing and absolving
himself of all inipieties that day, whereby he would
attain eternal felicity. Subsequent to that the Ananta
manifestation of the god Hari, should be worshipped
on the day of the fourteenth phase of the moon’s
increase in the same month.

The god, as well as the
waters of the ocean which forms his abode, should
be represented by the blades of holy Kusha grass,
tied up in knots, and the penitent should prepare a
cake with pasted Shali and powdered sun-dried rice.
Half of the cake should be given to a Brahmana,
while he should take the other half himself. The history
of the origin of the Vrata, should be recited and
heard on the bank of a pond and a string of thread
should be tied round the wrist or the throat of the
Vrati, by reciting the following distich. “Lift me, ever
sinking in this bottomless ocean of miserable births,
oh thou Vasudeva, whose image is but the eternal
time and infinite space. Break, oh break the fetters
that bind me down to successive rebirths, and I bow
down to thee, oh god”.

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