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Vrat

VratIn the context of Hinduism and Hindu mythology, vrat (व्रत )denotes a religious practice to carry out certain obligations with a view to achieve divine blessing for fulfillment of one or several desires. Etymologically, vrata, a Sanskrit word, means to vow or to promise.

Vrat – self-control – form the core of the practices of Jainism. Sādhus and sādhvīs (monastics) follow the five mahavratas “great vratas” while śrāvakas and śrāvikās (layfolk) follow the five anuvratas “minuscule vratas”. There are also several common fasts which are also termed vratas.

Hinduism is often described as a religion of fasts, feasts and festivals.Fasting a Hindu tradition to please God, by controlling and curbing one’s desires. Fasts most commonly known as Upvaas or Vrat are the days when devotees refrain themselves from food or water. Fasts of different Gods or Goddesses are observed on particular days. These stories have given solace to millions of people from time immemorial. It would be worthwhile to explain as to how a particular day of the week was allotted to particular star or planet.

व्रत और उपवास संकल्पपूर्वक किए गए कर्म को ‘व्रत’ कहते हैं। मनुष्य को पुण्य के आचरण से सुख और पाप के आचरण से दु:ख होता है। संसार का प्रत्येक प्राणी अपने अनुकूल सुख की प्राप्ति और अपने प्रतिकूल दु:ख की निवृत्ति चाहता है।

उपवास को हम यहां अनाहार के अर्थ में लेते हैं। उपवास एक प्रकार की शक्ति है जिसके बल से जहां रोगों को दूर कर सेहतमंद रहा जा सकता है, वहीं इसके माध्यम से सिद्धि और समृद्धि भी हासिल की जा सकती है। उपवास के अभ्यास से व्यक्ति कई-कई महीनों तक भूख और प्यास से मुक्त रह सकता है।

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