Jivitputrika Vrat Katha: A Hindu Ritual for the Well-Being of Children
Jivitputrika Vrat, also known as Jitiya or Jimutavahana Vrat, is a Hindu ritual observed by mothers for the well-being, long life and prosperity of their children. It is mainly celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Nepal. The word Jivitputrika means \"one who gives life to her children\" and Jimutavahana means \"one who rides on a cloud\". The ritual is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnation Jimutavahana, who sacrificed himself to save the lives of snakes from Garuda, the king of birds.
The Jivitputrika Vrat is observed on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the moon) in the month of Ashwin (September-October) according to the Hindu calendar. In 2023, it will be celebrated on 17th September. The ritual begins on the seventh day (Saptami) with a ceremonial bath and a light meal. On the eighth day, the mothers fast without water and food from sunrise to moonrise. They also perform puja and listen to the Jivitputrika Vrat Katha, which narrates the story of Jimutavahana and his devotion to his parents and all living beings. On the ninth day (Navami), they break their fast after offering prayers to the moon and feeding their children.
The Jivitputrika Vrat Katha is a sacred text that describes the origin and significance of the ritual. It tells how Jimutavahana, the son of King Nisadh and Queen Nalayani, was born with a divine mark on his chest that indicated his future sacrifice. He grew up to be a compassionate and righteous prince who renounced his kingdom and lived in a forest with his wife Malayavati. One day, he saw Garuda carrying a snake to eat and felt pity for the snake. He offered himself as a substitute for the snake and asked Garuda to spare its life. Garuda agreed but warned him that he would have to face his wrath if he tried to escape. Jimutavahana then lied down on a rock and asked Garuda to eat him.
Meanwhile, his parents and wife came looking for him and saw him lying on the rock with Garuda hovering over him. They were shocked and grief-stricken and pleaded with Garuda to spare their son. Garuda refused and said that he was bound by his duty as a bird of prey. He also said that Jimutavahana had willingly given up his life for the sake of a snake and that he should be honored for his noble deed. He then asked them to perform his funeral rites before he ate him. They reluctantly agreed and prepared a pyre for him.
As they were about to light the pyre, Lord Vishnu appeared before them and stopped them. He praised Jimutavahana for his supreme sacrifice and said that he was an incarnation of himself. He also said that he had tested his devotion by taking the form of Garuda and that he was pleased with him. He then revived Jimutavahana and blessed him with long life, wealth and happiness. He also blessed his parents and wife and granted them their wishes. He then disappeared along with Garuda.
The Jivitputrika Vrat Katha is believed to inspire mothers to emulate Jimutavahana's selflessness and devotion towards their children. It is also believed to invoke Lord Vishnu's blessings for their children's health, safety and success.
If you want to download the Jivitputrika Vrat Katha in Hindi PDF format, you can use one of these links:
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