Karwa Chauth Pooja Vidhi•
Posted on September 28 2022
Karwa Chauth is a Hindu festival celebrated primarily by women from northern and western parts of India. The festival is celebrated in the Hindu Kartika month on the fourth day after the full moon. It is accompanied by a pooja and a stringent fast for the long-life and good health of their husbands. Karwa Chauth always coincides with Sankashti Chaturti, a fasting day for Lord Ganesha.
As part of the pooja rituals for Karwa Chauth, special prayers are offered to Goddess Parvati to seek her blessings. This is followed by worshipping Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya with utmost devotion.
On the day of the pooja when the fast is observed, women wake up early in the morning, have a bath and take a pledge or sankalp to observe the fast for the welfare of their husbands and their family members. The Sankalp is accompanied by a recitation that the fast will be carried out without having anything to eat or drink after sunrise and will be broken only in the evening hours after sighting the moon.
The women undertaking the fast can have something to eat before sunrise after their bath. This is called sargi and must be of satvik type. In other words, the sargi must be vegetarian food cooked without onions and garlic. The sargi is usually given to the daughters-in-law by their mothers-in-law and is typically vermicelli kheer prepared with milk, milk, tea, fresh coconut and dry or fresh fruits. It is important to also drink enough water along with the sargi to remain hydrated all through the day.
The ideal time recommended for performing the Karwa Chauth Pooja is during the evening hours after sunset. Women use either a photo of Chauth Mata or draw images of Chauth Mata and Goddess Gaura to offer their prayers. The pooja is often performed by women in a group whenever possible in a common place.
The pooja commences by placing a photo or idol of Chauth Mata on a wooden platform covered with fresh red cloth. The women then sprinkle some raw rice on the left side of the deity. A covered karwa filled with water is placed over the rice. Some sugar is spread on the lid and a lit earthen lamp with ghee is kept on top of the lid.
A kumkum tilak is then drawn on Chauth Mata and the karwa followed by putting some Akshat on them. The Akshat is essentially whole grain rice mixed with kumkum as well as other colour powders and helps to maintain the chaitanya and shakti of any rituals. A kalash filled with water is placed on the right side of the deity as an offering to the Sun God.
The Panchopchara pooja is performed and the deity is offered sandal paste, flowers, dhoop, flowers and fruits along with the lit lamp. Once this is done, the women gather together to listen to the Karwa Chauth katha being read by an elderly member in the group. The women then seat themselves in a circular manner and pass on their pooja thalis to the ladies near them. The pooja thali comprises several items like an oil lamp with a cotton wick, an earthen pot, roli, sweets, flowers, sandal posder, kumkum, turmeric, dhoop, incense sticks, milk, camphor, ghee, sugar, ghee and curd. This exchange is followed by singing several devotional songs. Finally, they end the pooja by performing an arti.
After the pooja is over, the womenfolk wait for the moon to rise and offer their worship to Moon God and make their offerings of water in a karwa along with flowers, cooked rice and kumkum to the lord. The group is then divided into pairs and each pair exchanges the karwa between them seven times. As the exchange is done, one woman asks the other woman “Jal Dhapi Ya Sawag Dhapi” and the other woman replies “Jal Dhapi Sawag Nahi Dhapi” alternatingly.
The above rituals are followed by sighting of the moon and their husbands through a sieve. The fast is broken once this is done with the husband feeding his wife the first morsel of food. Finally, they seek the blessings of the elders and offer the karwa filled with milk or water and precious stones to brahmin women or other married women chanting a Karwa Chauth related mantra.
For the pooja, women dress themselves in a heavily embroidered dupatta or sari in typical bridal colours like a bride. They also adorn themselves in all essential bridal accessories such as bangles, mehndi, nose pin, earrings, tika and more. It is also recommended to have the Karwa Chauth pooja calendar handy to perform the pooja correctly. This calendar not only contains the photos of Chauth Mata and Goddess Gaura worshipped during the pooja but also the Karwa Chauth katha.
Written by - Deepthi K