jitiya mother son
Jitiya Date: Jitiya is on 5th October 2015. Also called Jivat Putrika Vrat, Jitiya is one of the important festivals of Bihar. The vrat is observed on Ashwin Krishna Ashtami that is on the eighth day in the waning phase of Ashwin (September/October). It is also observed in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Jitiya is observed by Sadhwa woman, or woman having children, for the long life of children. On this day the women observe Nirjal fast and break the fast next day on the expiry of Ashtami. It is not dedicated to any deity but solely for prosperity and long life of children. In olden times women used to observe for sons but now-a-days women are observing for daughters as well.

Jitiya – Ritual

Jitiya vrat is observed for three consecutive days. The first day, the day before the vrat is known as “Nahai-Khai“. On this day women take holy bath and eat after the bath. They prepare special dishes in preparation of the next day vrat.

The second day the women observe complete fast even from water. A red and yellow sacred thread called Jiutya is worn by those who undertake this fasting. In evening they offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesh. Some religious women also perform poojas like “Ashtadasho Upchaar” or eight holy treatments and “Shodshon Upchaar” or sixteen holy treatments.

Third day is called Paaran when they break the fast. The fast is broken only at particular time called Paaran time with specialized dishes called saag made of edible herbs. Cakes made from the flour of Mahua, a local crop, is also served this day.

Jitiya Katha – The story of Jitiya Vrat
Jitiya Katha is the important aspect of Jitiya Vrat. The Vrat is incomplete without hearing or reciting the Katha. There are few legends that are popular among Biharis. Here we present two of the legends of Jitiya Katha.

Story of King Jimutvahan and Garuda

In Vedic literature there is story mentioned that in the beginning of KaliYuga, women were worried about their progeny as the Yuga is marked with violence and suffering. They went to Gautam Rishi who narrated a story that was told by Dhaumya Rishi to Drapadi.

In Satya Yuga there was a righteous king named Jimutvahan, who was known for his compassion and sacrifice nature. One night when the king was on the way to his in-laws home he saw a woman crying inconsolably for her dead son. She informed the king that Garuda, the fiery bird and vehicle of Lord Vishnu, has eaten his son and sons of many other women.

Due to his generosity the king went to Garuda immediately asked Garuda the reason of his killing. Garuda resoluted for hunger, king presented himself as prey. Garuda started cutting his body with his claws but the king was determined despite of the pain. Garuda was happy for his sacrifice and asked him to make a wish. Jimutvahan asked Garuda to give life to all those eaten sons. Garura fulfilled his wish by sprinkling Amrit on the dead remain of the bones of all the deceased sons and brought them back to life. Garuda also gave a boon that any women who hears this story by observing Nirjal fast on the eighth day of Ashwin Paksha will never see her children dying in her life. Thus king returned with all the sons and from that time women observe this vrat for longevity and prosperity of her sons.

Story of Chilo and Siyaro

There were two sisters Chilo and Siyaro. Chilo was religious and used to observe Jitiya faithfully. Siyaro was greedy and cunning and never observed Jitiya disposing the vrat as just a ritual. Chilo gave birth to 7 handsome and healthy sons but Siyaro didn’t have any children and every time her newborn child would die of some disease which made her very sad.

One day Siyaro, being very jealous of Chilo, plans to kill the seven sons. She sends 7 pots full of sweets as gift to her sister’s sons. Chilo’s sons opened the packs and were happy as their mausi (maternal aunt) had sent them sweets and relished them. Siyoro sends similar eateries several times and each time the sons receive them with enthusiasm.

After few days Siyaro sent pots that were filled with venomous serpents. Chilo’s sons as usual opened them with excitement. When they opened them..it was full of fruits, sweets and gold. Siyaro was sure that her sons must be dead and visited Chilo?s home to make a drama of concern. To her astonishment she saw Chilo’s sons alive and playing happily. She confessed about her heinous act and begged for forgiveness. Chilo then told Siyaro it was the power of Jitiya Vrat that saved her sons from untimely death and all bad omen. Soon after that Siyaro also observed Jitiya Vrat and conceived a healthy son. Both sisters lived happily with their sons.


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