Jitiya Fasting – Jivitputrika Vrat

Jivitputrika Vrat, also known as Jiwit Putra, is observed for the well being of the sons by mothers in North India, especially in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In 2014, the date of Jivitputrika Vrat is September 16. Time of Paaran in 2014 is at  8:13 PM on September 16. The Vrat is observed on the eighth day in the waning phase of the Ashwin Month. Jiutya, a red and yellow thread, is worn by mothers who undertake this fasting. A section of Hindu society has started questioning the relevance of such Vrats that are exclusively dedicated to sons; they are argue that it only worsens the condition of women and only encourage female feticide.

Jivitputrika Vrat is not dedicated to any particular deity. The sole aim of the Vrat is the long life of sons. After early morning bath and prayers, mothers start the fast and do not take any food during the whole day. Jiutya, a red and yellow thread, is worn on the day by fasting women and some women wear it till the thread is worn out.

Usually, Jiutiya fasting is done in a group and there will bhajans and narration of Jivitputrika Vrat Katha etc. The rituals associated with the Vrat vary from region to region but the purpose is the same.
The Jivitputrika Vrat demonstrates limitless love and affection of a mother for her son. In ancient days, sons were necessary for the protection of the mother and other female members in the family. But times have changed and today daughters are equally capable and can provide the same kind of protection a son provides. But sadly a large section of society still sees female as a burden and encourage female feticide.

One of the greatest aspects of Hinduism is to adopt fresh ideas and assimilate them into it. One idea that needs to be assimilated soon is the respect for girl child. And Jivitputrika Vrat should be performed for the welfare of sons and daughters (offsprings) not just sons.

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