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Each year both married and unmarried women observe the Saubhagya Sundari Vrat. This fast is considered just as auspicious as Karva Chauth. In Hinduism, it is also known by various names such as Gauri Tritiya, Saubhagya Vrat and Saubhagya Sundari Vrat. This year the fast will be observed on November 15.
Just like Karva Chauth, this fast is observed for a prosperous married life as well as family happiness. This fast is also observed by the people for the being blessed with children. According to the Hindu folklore, Goddess Parvati also observed the fast. It is said the observation of this fast delights the Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is also said that the person who observes this fast get the blessings of the lord as well as is also blessed with good fortune. This past is generally done by the people who marriage is getting delayed for some reason or they are not yet blessed with an offspring. Vedic Astrologers also believe that the adverse effects of Mangalik Dosha get cancelled by this fast.
The most important things that are required for the puja of Saubhagya Sundari Vrat are garlands, flowers, fruits, sweet, betel leaves and nuts, cardamom cloves as well as prescribed sixteen make-up items. In addition to dry fruits, seven Kinds of grains should also be kept along with water milk, curd, sandalwood, vermilion, henna; dry fruits, betel nuts, etc. Since this fast is mainly observed by the married couples, the suhaag items that are required are red sari, bangles, bindi, kumkum, henna and anklets.
People who are observing the fast should get up early and take bath. After this, they should prepare the place for the pooja. Women should then prepare the altar where the pooja would be held by placing sixteen shringaar items. The idol of lord Shiva and the goddess Parvati will be kept at the altar. Then the women should offer water to the lord Ganesha and put sandalwood teeka on the idols.
When this is done, worship the nine planets of the solar system and duly worship the Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha. Bathe the idols of the Lords with water, milk, curd and ghee. After this, apply sandalwood, vermillion and mehndi. Worship the Goddess Parvati with sixteen items of make-up then offer the bhog of sweets. It is imperative to fast for the entire day and break the fast after worshipping at night.
According to the Bhavishya Purana, when Goddess Sati sacrificed her body because of the words uttered by her father, Sati also vowed that she would only accept Lord Shiva as her husband in every subsequent birth. In her next birth, to commemorate this vow and to get Shiva as her husband, she fasted during the entire Saavan sans food and ultimately married Lord Shiva.
The story that is often narrated during the Saubhagya Sundari Pooja goes something like this. Once upon a time, there was a Brahmin family that lived nearby forest. They led a very happy married life, but this perfect happiness was marred by the absence of an offspring. This Brahmin couple daily prayed to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to bless them with an offspring. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were delighted seeing this Brahmin couple devotion and faith in them. One day they appeared to the Brahmin couple, and asked them to worship the idols placed in the forest. The lore has it that no one worshipped these idols and they were simply being destroyed by the forces of nature. The Brahmin couple started to worship the idols kept in the forest regularly and consistently. One day when the Brahmin who was going back to home after worshipping in the forest was bitten by the snake. The wife of the Brahmin started to worry when the Brahmin still hadn't arrived home, so she visited the temple in the forest and started offering prayers to the lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. Seeing this utmost display of devotion, the Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were delighted and decided to send the Brahmin back to home with no side effects of the snake bite. They also blessed them with a baby boy.
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