Swosthani puja is one of the important festivals of Nepal observed for a month started from the mid of January end Friday with special worship of goddess Swosthani along with lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. With the final day of the month long festival today recitation of the story of Sri Swosthani every evening will over.
Devotees, in the early morning are seen taking holy bath into the river and thronged to the nearby Shiva temples across the country to worship goddess Swosthani and lord Shiva.
Goddess Swosthani is worshiped to grant wishes specially to get better husband or wellbeing of their betterhalf.
The story is based on Lord Shiva ( Mahadev) and Goddess Parvati and other god and goddess. According to the legendary story it is believed that who perform its rites, will be blessed, washed of sins, and cleansed of curses.
It starts on the full moon day of Paush (Jan) and ends later one month on the full moon day of Magh (Feb). The devotees fast for a month eating only one time a day; taking always the holy bath in the morning; and wearing the nicely daily washed pure clothes most of the devotee eat only after worshipping and reading the holy Swosthani book. After finishing the Puja he or she should distribute the fruits or sweets as a Prasad to the listeners. On the last day means after one month. On the Magh´s full moon day, one hundred eight small donot like bread shelroti are prepared for the Prasad. Out of these 108 breads, after completing the puja, the eight breads are given to his or her son. If she or he doesn´t have son, it is offered to their blood brother´s son; and rest of the breads are distributed as a Prasad to the Swosthani puja listeners and also it should be consumed by her too. If she or he doesn´t have the blood brother´s son; it should be drawn in some holy rivers by asking the Goddess to be fulfilled their wills.
That´s why millions of Hindus women practice this one month´s long fasting to their husband´s prosperous life; and the unmarried women do this fasting to get a very rational husband. The rest of the males and females do this fasting to achieve their wills from the Goddess. A huge religious gathering takes place in most of the holy rivers on this day like the other holy religious days. The most significant fair takes place at Sali Nadi( means River in Nepali) in Kathmandu which is also been described in the holy Swosthani book Which is located 40 kilometers east of Kathmandu. It is believed that taking a dip in the river at Sankhu will wash all sins and purify the souls of the devotees. The fair takes place there since the beginning day of the fasting; and many devotees stay there itself in the pilgrimage during the month by fasting. That´s why the place remains quite spectacular during the month.
It is not easy to take fasting with full devotion and complete all formalities of the worship. But still the festival is popular and widely worshiped in Nepal for many generations and hopefully it will continue in the future too. The story of Swosthani is derived from Skanda Puranas dated back to 1200 BC. The story is available in various languages of Nepal and every version is equally important and read by that particular community. Lord Shiva is one of the most popular and widely worshiped god of Nepal may be because of this the festival so popular even today in many communities of Nepal. Kailash Parbat the holy place of Lord shiva is in Tibet and deities are from almost all the Hindus, Buddhist or shamanism.
According to the story the Goddess Swosthani is the ultimate gift grantor, but, if she is insulted, she can make life miserable. By worshipping Swosthani, Parvati attained Lord Shiva as her husband. If worshiped with full of devotion can bring all kinds of happiness, prosperity, good fortune and eternal salvation by removing all kinds of curses. According to Hindu mythology it is believed that Swosthani is the true Goddess and when someone practices this fasting and puja whole heartedly; will be blessed by goddess and relieved even from their poor economic life. That´s why she is considering as the most beloved Goddess for their devotees. The devotees who can’t go to Sali Nadi they practice this one month long fasting and puja at their own home but now a days we can read the festival is celebrated or performed all over the world where Nepalese community is living.
Throughout the month, thousands of devotees take month-long fast and read out in most households every evening. The grand sri Swosthani fair takes place during the whole month in the bank of Sali Nadi at Kathmandu. Where everyday thousands of devotee visit and take bath and listen the story of Sri Swosthani. The article is Based on different sources and prepare just to inform or highlight one of the popular festival of Nepal.