Saptami Vrata (Fast) Procedure and Story | Santan Saptami Vrat Vidhi (Rath Saptami Fast Katha)
Saptami fast is observed on seventh date of Shukla Paksha of every month. This fast is specially for, conceiving a child, safety of child, and growth of child. Although, every month’s fast on Shukl Paksha is significant, but, fast of Saptami on Bhadrpad’s(sixth month of Hindu calender) Shukl Paksha has its own special significance.
Santan Saptami Vrata ( Fast) Procedure
The fast of Saptami is observed by mothers for their children. Mother observing this fast should take bath early in the morning and complete her routine work and wear clean clothes. After this, in the morning, she should worship Lord Vishnu and Shiva. And, should take the resolution of Saptami fast.
Keeping the Nirahar Vrat, in the afternoon, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati should be worshiped with Chauk Purkar Sandalwood, Akshat(rice used in worship), incense, small lamp, Prashad, betel nut and coconut etc.
In Saptami Tithi fast, Kheer, Puri and Pua of jaggery are prepared as Prasadam. Wishing for child’s safety, Lord Shiva is offered a red color thread. After offering it to God Shiva, the thread is worn and story related to fast is heard. The story of Saptami Tithi is as follows.
Story (Katha) of Saptami Vrata
An ancient legend is famous regarding the Saptami fast. As per this narration, once Lord Krishna told Yuddhistra “at some time, Lomash Rishi came to Mathura. My parents Devika and Vasudev, served him devotedly, then the Rishi ordered them to get over the grief of their sons, killed by Kansa”. Rishi said “Hey Devika!
Kansa killed many of your sons and gave you the sorrow of sons’ death. To be free from this pain, keep the fast of ‘Santan(child) Saptami’. King Nahusha’s queen, Chandramukhi, also kept this fast. Then, Chandramukhi’s children also did not die. Devika, this fast will also make you come out of the grief of sons’ death.”
Devika said, “O God! Please tell me the methods of observing this fast. So that I could complete it in a systematic way.” Lomash Rishi, explained her the procedure of worshiping and also narrated the story of fast.
Nahusha was a glorious king of Ayodhya. His wife’s name was Chandramukhi. In his kingdom, there lived a Brahman, named Vishnudat. His wife was Rupwati. Queen Chandramukhi and Rupwati had a good friendship. One day both of them went to take bath in river Sarayu. Other women were also having a bath at that place.The ladies, had made an idol of Shiva and Parvati there and worshiped them in a systematic way. Then, queen Chandrmukhi and Rupwati asked those ladies, the procedure and name of the Puja.
One of those ladies said “we worshiped Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. We tied a thread to Lord Shiva with a resolution that, we will observing this fast up till the time we are alive. This ‘Muktabhran Fast’ is the giver of happiness and child.”
After listening to the theme behind the fast, both the friends took the resolution of observing this fast for their lifetime and, tied a thread in name of God Shiva. But, after reaching home, they forgot the pledge. As a result, after death, queen was born as female monkey and Brahmani as a chicken.
Over the time, both of them left the animal form and were born as humans. Chandramukhi, became the queen of king Prithvinath, and, Rupwati was again born in a Brahman’s house. In this birth, queen’s name was Eshwari and Brahmani’s name was Bhushna. Bhushan was married to Rajpuohit(oldest Hindu Brahman), Agnimukhi. In this life also both the ladies had a very good friendship.
Because of forgetting about the fast, queen was deprived from the happiness of getting a child, in this life also. In mature state, she gave birth to a deaf and dumb son. But, he also died on becoming nine years old. Bhushna remembered about the Vrat, and gave birth to good looking and healthy eight sons.
As a gesture of sympathy, Bhusna went to meet queen Eshwari, who was in the grief of not getting son. Looking at Bhusna, envy grew in the mind of queen. After Bhusna’s departure, queen called her sons for a meal and added poison in their food. But, as a result of fast kept by Bhusna, nothing happened to her children.
By this, queen got more angry. She ordered her servants, to take Bhusna’s children at the bank of Yammuna with an excuse of Puja and through them in deep water. But, this time also, by the blessings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, sons of Bhusana had no effect.
As a result, queen called executioners and ordered them to kill the Brahman sons at the slaughter place. But, they also got failed in their attempts. Listening this news, queen got surprised. She called Bhusna, narrated the whole story and asked for forgiveness. Then, she asked why weren’t her children dieing.
Bhusna said “don’t you remember the incident of past birth?” Queen got surprised and said “no I don’t remember.”
Then Bhusna said “listen, in our past birth, you were the wife of king Nahusha and i was your friend. Once, both of us had tied a thread in name of Lord Shiva and took a resolution that in whole of our life we will observe the fast of Saptami. But, unfortunately we forgot and neglected the fast. As a result, we took birth in different forms and then we were born as human. Now, I remembered about the Vrat, and so, started observing it. By its effect only, you could get by children killed.”
Hearing this, queen Eshwari also observed this fast, Muktabhran, in a systematic way to get a child. Then, by the grace of this Vrat, queen again became pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful child. From that time, for conceiving a child and his safety, this fast got popularity.
After listening to the story, in the evening Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshiped with incense, small lamp, flowers, fruits and Prasadm is offered. And, Lord Shiva’s Aarti should be recited,which is as follows.
Aarti of Lord Shiva in Hindi
जय शिव ओंकारा, हर शिव ओंकारा,
ब्रह्मा विष्णु सदाशिव अर्द्धांगी धारा।
एकानन चतुरानन पंचानन राजै
हंसानन गरुणासन वृषवाहन साजै।
दो भुज चार चतुर्भुज दसभुज अति सोहै,
तीनों रूप निरखते त्रिभुवन मन मोहे।
अक्षमाला वनमाला मुण्डमाला धारी,
चन्दन मृगमद चंदा सोहै त्रिपुरारी।
श्वेताम्बर पीताम्बर बाघम्बर अंगे,
सनकादिक ब्रह्मादिक भूतादिक संगे।
कर मध्ये च कमंडलु चक्र त्रिशूलधारी,
सुखकारी दुखहारी जगपालन कारी।
ब्रह्मा विष्णु सदाशिव जानत अविवेका
प्रणवाक्षर में शोभित ये तीनों एका।
त्रिगुण स्वामी जी की आरती जो कोई नर गावे
कहत शिवानन्द स्वामी सुख सम्पत्ति पावे॥