The Shashti Vratas

Hindu Fasts: The Shashti Vratas

Brahma Said:

Similarly, the god Kartikeya should be worshipped
under the auspices of the sixth phase of the moon’s
increase in the month of Bhadra, Ads of ceremonial
ablution, etc., performed on that day, bear immortal
fruits- The votary should break his fast the next morning,
after having worshipped the Sun-God and sumptuously feasted the Brahmanas. The Mantra to be recited in connection with the solar worship on the
occasion, reads as follows:?”Om, 0 Sun, 0 thou
the first and permanent light-meteor, that illumine
the vast expanse of heaven, the parent of all life on
earth and emblem of eternal life, least thou my friend
and guide in the universe. Humbly do I lay myself
prostate before thy godly presence.” The votary should
break his fast thereafter on the day of the eighth
phase of the moon’s increase, and eat nothing but
pepper that day. The Vratam is called Maricha Saptami,
the reward of its performance being the attainment
of all objects in life.

The votary having bathed and lived as an anchorite
on the day of the seventh phase of the moon’s in-
crease in the month of Bhadra, should worship the
Sun-God and make gifts of fruits to the Brahmanas.
His food that day should consists of nothing but
Matulungas or cocoanuts. The fruits should be gifted
to the Brahmanas on the occasion by reciting the
Mantra, “Be pleased, 0 Sun-God.” The Vratam is
called Phala-Saptami. It makes it performer the happy
possessor of all good things he covets in life. The
votary having worshipped the Sun-God under the
auspicies of the seventh phase of the moon’s in-
crease in Bhadra, should make offerings of sweet
porridge (Payasa) to the god, and feast the Brahmanas
with that article of food.

He should take nothing but
milk on the day of the Vratam, and pay money re-
munerations to the Brahmanas, who have been feasted
on the occasion with food, drink, lambatives, etc.,
which should be foregone by the votary himself.
The Vratam is called Anodana-Saptami, which brings
wealth, progeny and creature comforts to its per-
former. A person wishing victory in life should take
nothing but air on the occasion of the Vij ay a-Saptami,
whereas a person with the realisation of any definite
object in his heart, should live on Arka leaves on
the day.

The performance of the Vratam is rewarded
with the fulfilment of all desires of the votary, who
is enjoined to refrain from using all kinds of cereals,
honey-cakes, utensils made of stone, or of Indian
bell-metal, unguents, oils, meat, etc. Moreover he
should forewear his cup and the bed of his wife on the day of the fast, which enables its performer to witness the realization of all his desires.

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