JAN 09, 2012 KATHMANDU – Nepal a cultural tranquility, has hundreds of days of festival and religious importance, Historically Nepal observes many different religious events such as Swosthani Brata (Swosthani fasting) which falls in the full moon side of the ninth month of Bikram Era (started after King Bikramaditya of India centuries ago) which is year 2068 this year.
Swosthani Fasting that lasts for a month began from Monday. The day has its own significance for the entire Hindus of Nepal. It falls on the full moon day of Poush, the ninth month of Nepalese calendar.
This day onwards till the next full moon day, the recitation of Swosthani Brata Katha, a religious text, is performed every evening in most of the Hindu homes. Some devotees observe fast for the entire month taking only one meal a day. And there are others who fast at the beginning and the concluding day of the festivity.
Legend has it that, goddess Parvati observed the fast of Swosthani and her wish to have Lord Shiva as her husband was fulfilled. The religious text comprises of various stories including the story of the creation of New World, deities, and demons.
Legend also has it that Goma, who at the age of seven, was married to a 70-year-old man passes through various miseries including her partition from her old husband shortly after marriage and her only son goes in search of his father but does not return. After she observes the fast of goddess Swosthani, her dark days come to an end with the return of her son. Later on her son becomes a king and her life of prosperity begins.
On the contrary, her daughter-in-law Chandrawati who dishonors the deity suffers from leprosy for long on the banks of Sali Nadi, a river at Sankhu, a village 17-km away from the capital. It is only after she worships the goddess and observes fast that she regains her normal life with added beauty and is reunited with her husband. With this belief, even today thousands of devotees, male and female alike throng the banks of Saali River in Sankhu to observe a month’s fast.
It is believed that among the Peeths (temples of deities) mentioned in the text at least one should be visited during the month.