Bahula Chaturthi 2017: August 11 (Friday), Puja Tithi Timing, Vrat Katha and Significance
Bahula Chaturthi aka Bol Choth Vrat is a cultural festival of India wherein the cattle are worshiped by the farming community, especially women. The festival happens during the auspicious month of Shraavana. While the festival is celebrated across the county, it is reverentially celebrated in the state of Gujarat a day before Nag Pancham (not Nag Panchami). On this day, cows and calves are worshipped. It is believed that those who fast the whole day on Bahula Chaturthi and worship cows in the evening attract fortune. Devotees on this day refrain from having milk and consuming milk products, considering that only calve have the right to drink the cow milk. Pictures or idols Lord Krishna signifying His love for the cows called Suabhis are worshiped by the devotees. The farming communities throughout Gujarat get up early in the morning. The sheds and the cattle are washed thoroughly on the occasion. Delicious eatables are prepared from rice and offered to the cattle.
Date & Day
August 11 (Friday)
Godhuli Puja Timing
Generally food items prepared during Bahula Chaturthi incudes those made of millets. An interesting point to be known here as that people on this day prepare or cook and eat the food items out in the open under the sky. Villagers organize special prayer sessions in the evenings. Priests or Brahmins leading the devotees recite scriptural legends of cows and the cow-tending boy baby Krishna of Vraj.
There’s a legend or Vrat Katha (story of this festival) popular among the farming communities especially of Gujarat. There was a cow named Bahula who faced a lion while on the way home to feed her calf. The hungry lion intimidated her and made it clear he wanted to satisfy his hunger with her flesh. Scared to death, the cow gathered some courage and said she needs to feed her calf. Once done, she will come back and he then can have her. The lion let her go and awaited her return. After feeding her calf, she returned and surprised the lion. The lion was shocked to see her commitment and let her go. Passion, anger and physical strength of the lion could not stand the cow’s ever-increasing love for her calf. Another legend popular in the Morbi region of Kutch (Gujarat) is that once a married woman of a farmer’s family had ignorantly milled a calf named Ghaulo instead of ‘Ghauulo’ regional and traditional name for wheat grains. Sacred to death, her mother-in-law hid the head calf away in the forest. When the villagers unearthed the truth, they informed the head. Considering the heinous act was committed by a married woman in ignorance, the head declared that on this day no one would make any milk products, eat wheat items or anything that needs to be cut with a knife. Only millet item and steamed green gram.
What to do on Bahula Chaturthi: How to celebrate it?
• On this day, one should rise early in the morning and take bath. Bathe the cattle (cow and calf) and wash the cow shed. • If possible, one can observe fast till the evening. If not possible, one can have millet bread and steamed green gram. One as per the tradition is not allowed to eat anything made of wheat or needs to be cut with a knife. • You may visit a Vishnu/Krishna temple and offer prayers. If a temple is not around, you may offer prayers at your home in the morning. The idols of Lord Vishnu should be worshipped with sandalwood, flowers, fruits and dhoop. Vishnu Yantras are the best ways to worship Lord Vishnu. You can be in a quiet room and meditate on Lord Vishnu with His mantra: ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’. This powerful mantra was given by Sage Narada to Dhruva Maharaja as described in the Bhagavat Purana (4.8.54). You can also chant the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra on the Tulasi bead. • In the evening, one can worship cows and calves (Godhuli Puja Timing given in the table) • If one does not have cattle, they can have a picture of mother cow and offer prayers to her.
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