Jainism is known for strict rules kept by the Tirthankaras for the followers. However, among that there are some easy fasting days as well that can be observed by the householders. This day falls on the day when there is Rohini Nakshatra in the sky, and ends with the rising of the Marghashirsha Nakshatra.
There are total twelve Rohini Nakshatra days in a year, one in each month. Each of the fasts has to be observed by fasting, by the devotee. The total twelve fasts are to be observed ideally for five years and five months, however, variations are also found in this.
Early morning on this day the devotee has to get up take bath and decorate the altar for the deity. The idol of Lord Vasupujya is placed at the place of worship. The deity is then given a holy bath. This follows offering other sacred things such as incense sticks, prasad and flowers. Then, the holy worship is performed as a ritual. The women are not supposed to eat anything until the rising of the Marghashirsha Nakshatra in the sky.
Once the number of fasts are completed, the devotee has to perform the holy Udyapan. Udyapan is performed on the day of the last fast. The deity is worshiped with celebrations. The observer of the fast has to visit the temple. This is followed by distribution of the prasad among the devotees and in the neighbourhood and, of course, in the temple.
We know that no fast becomes successful without offering some donations to the needy. So, after the Udyapan, there is a provision to donate items of use to the poor and needy as per one's ability.
The Rohini Vrat can be observed by the whole family, however, generally only ladies do it. If you want to grow rich, this is one of the fasts that you can do, is what is believed in Jainism. The observer of the fast is blessed with health and prosperity. Ladies also do it for peace and harmony in the family, for the long life of their husbands and that of his relations.
Whom To Worship
Jainism is a religion started in ancient India. It was started by the first Jain saint, Lord Rishabhnath. There have been twenty three more such Tirthankaras. Tirthankara in Jainism refers to a saint. It is a person who has achieved a divine state through spiritual penance. Lord Vasupujya was the 12th among the Jain Tirthankaras. He is worshiped on the day of the Rohini Nakshatra.
He was the son of the king Vasupujya and mother Jayavati. It is believed that before he was born, his mother had seen a dream which indicated that a divine child was going to take birth in their home. Born on the fourteenth day of the Falgun month of the Indian calender, at Champapuri, he remained a celibate throughout his life and is believed to have achieved enlightenment in only one month of penance. He did not accept the throne offered by his father.
He travelled many places as a sage and preached the philosophies of Jainism. He advocated the principles of Ahimsa, peace and compassion. He emphasized on the right knowledge, right manner and right action, the three codes of Jainism. He taught people meditation and helped them liberate themselves from the continuous cycle of birth and death. Lord Vasupujya was a divine soul, who has become immortal now and is worshiped with all the devotion by his devotees.