The Gauri Vrat, which is also referred to as the Jaya Parvati Vrat, is a fast that is observed by the women of Gujarat.
The Gauri Vrat is also observed in the western parts of India other than Gujarat. The Vrat can be observed by both the married women and unmarried ones.
The Gauri Vrat is generally observed for a period of five days, and some women even observe this fast for as long as five to eleven years. The women who observe the Jaya Parvati Vrat, or the Gauri Vrat, have to adhere to certain strict rituals.
The women cannot consume vegetables, salt or tomatoes. According to the beliefs, Jaya Parvati bestows happiness and prosperity to the women observing the fast and blesses them with not only a good husband but also a very happy married life.
The Gauri Vrat, or the Gauri Puja, is dedicated to Goddess Gauri and is observed during the Ashada month, in accordance with the Gujarati calendar. The Gouri Vrat commences on the Ashada Ekadashi or Dev Shayani Ekadashi and ends on Guru Purnima or Ashad Purnima.
These five days are referred to as Panchuka or the Gauri Panchak by the Gujarati women. This Vrat is mostly observed by the unmarried girls, so that they get a perfect husband.
Legend Of The Gauri Vrat
According to the legends, the Jaya Parvati Vrat is considered to be one of the most auspicious Vrats observed by the women. The legend says that a Brahmin couple was a great devotee of Shiva. They were happy and prosperous and had almost everything that they ever wanted.
The only prized possession that they did not have is a child. They wanted a child desperately, and they worshipped Lord Shiva in His temple. Lord Shiva was greatly touched by the devotion of this Brahmin couple.
He revealed Himself to the couple and told them that there was a Linga in the jungle and nobody worshipped the same. He wanted the couple to go to that part of the jungle and worship the Linga. He also mentioned that if they worship the Linga, they would be blessed with what they wanted.
The couple decided to go and worship the Linga. They found the place that was left abandoned for ages. Once they found the Linga, the Brahmin went to look for flowers to offer to the Linga, while the women stayed back.
Unfortunately, a snake attacked the Brahmin, and he became unconscious instantly. The woman started becoming anxious when she realized that her husband had long gone and did not return yet. She set out looking for him and kept praying intensely for the safety of her husband.
Lord Shiva was moved by the love of the woman for her husband and her devotion towards Him. He brought the consciousness of the husband back. After this, the couple went back to the spot where the Linga was, prayed, and were finally blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby boy.
This is the legend behind the great Jaya Parvati Vrat or the Gauri Vrat. Unmarried women observing the fast cannot eat food that has salt in it. Wheat products and vegetables should also not be consumed during the Vrat.
More About The Vrat
On the very first day, the women plant Javara or wheat seeds and place it in their temple. This is worshipped, and a necklace of cotton wool is also made. After this, the women decorate this with a number of Vermillion spots on the pot.
Until the fifth day of the Vrat, the women follow the same rituals, and they continue watering the wheat seeds. The final puja is conducted in the Mataji Temple to break the Vrat.
This is when the women can take food with salt and wheat products can be eaten. The women plant the Javara in their garden, after they take a bath on the sixth day.