Celebrating Jivitputrika Vrat 2023: A Deep Dive into the Date and Traditions

Jivitputrika Vrat, also known as Jitiya, Jiutiya, or Jivitputrika Vrat, holds great importance in Hindu tradition, especially for mothers who fast to pray for the long and healthy lives of their children. To ensure the sanctity of this cherished tradition, it is crucial to understand how the exact date for this fast is determined.

According to the Bhavishya Purana, Jivitputrika Vrat should be observed on Krishna Ashtami Tithi during the month of Ashwin. However, there is a condition known as Pradoshvyapini, which means that the Pradosh Kaal (the twilight period) should coincide with Ashwin Krishna Ashtami Tithi for the Jitiya fast to be observed. During this time, mothers offer their worship to King Jimutavahana.

Jivitputrika Vrat
Maha shivratri festival background with shiv ling card design

In cases where there are two days with Pradosh during Ashtami Tithi, the preeminence of Kaal and Paran on Navami Tithi is considered. Observing Jivitputrika Vrat on the second day is deemed more appropriate. Fasting on the first day would result in the fast-breaking (Parana) occurring on Ashtami, which is considered impure.

If the first day of Ashtami falls within Pradosh, and the second day does not, it is advisable to observe Jivitputrika Vrat on the first day itself. After completing Ashtami Tithi, the fast should be broken on Navami. The Bhavishya Purana explicitly prohibits observing Parana on Ashtami Tithi.

If there is no Pradosh Kaal on Ashtami Tithi, the date of Jivitputrika Vrat is determined based on Udayatithi (moon appearance).

Jivitputrika Vrat 2023 Date Confusion

In the year 2023, Ashwin Krishna Ashtami Tithi spans from 6:34 AM on October 6th to 8:08 AM on October 7th. While Udayatithi places Ashtami on October 7th, it is important to note that Jivitputrika Vrat should not be observed on that day. This year, it is recommended to observe Jivitputrika Vrat on October 6th, in accordance with both Udayatithi and scriptural guidelines.

This decision aligns with the fact that Pradosh Kaal falls on October 6th in Ashwin Krishna Ashtami Tithi, as Ashtami concludes on the morning of October 7th. The period between sunset and the beginning of the night, known as Pradosh Kaal, is the designated time for worship during Jivitputrika Vrat. Navami Tithi commences at 8:08 AM on October 7th, signaling the conclusion of the fast.

In conclusion, Jivitputrika Vrat holds immense significance for mothers who fast for the well-being of their children. Understanding the precise date of observance, based on the rules and conditions outlined in scriptures, ensures the sanctity of this cherished tradition. In 2023, the most suitable date for Jivitputrika Vrat is October 6th, marking a day of devotion and prayer for the long and healthy lives of children.

Origin Story: Jivitputrika Vrat in Mahabharata

One of the mythological stories associated with Jivitputrika Vrat finds its roots in the epic Mahabharata. According to legend, when the revered warrior Dronacharya lost his life during the Mahabharata war, his son Ashwatthama sought vengeance. In his anger, Ashwatthama unleashed the destructive Brahmastra, causing the unborn child in Abhimanyu’s wife Uttara’s womb to perish.

However, it was the divine intervention of Lord Krishna that revived the child in Uttara’s womb. This child, born against all odds, was named Jivitputrika, which means the one brought back to life. Since that time, mothers have embraced the tradition of Jivitputrika Vrat, praying for the longevity and safety of their children.

The Tale of the Eagle and the Lion

Another popular narrative associated with Jivitputrika Vrat tells the story of an eagle and a lion who lived in harmony on a tree. These two creatures shared their food with each other, exemplifying the bond of friendship. One day, as the women in the village prepared to observe Jivitputrika Vrat, the eagle too felt inclined to participate.

The eagle shared the story of the fast with its friend, the lion, and both decided to observe Jivitputrika Vrat. The next day, as they fasted, the lioness, Siyarin, struggled with hunger and thirst. Despite her commitment to the fast, her distress led her to consume a half-burnt dead body she stumbled upon when someone in the village passed away.

In contrast, the eagle adhered to the fast with unwavering devotion and sincerity. This story illustrates the significance of adhering to the traditions and rituals associated with Jivitputrika Vrat.

The Story of Lord Jiutvahana

In their next life, the eagle and lioness were reborn as real sisters in a king’s household. The elder sister, Cheel, and the younger sister, Siyarin, both got married. The eagle, now a woman, gave birth to seven children, while all the lioness’s offspring met a tragic fate, dying at birth.

Siyarin’s jealousy towards her sister grew, leading her to commit a grave mistake. She killed all the eagle’s children and sent their severed heads to her sister’s home. Witnessing this tragedy, Lord Jiutvahana intervened, crafting clay heads for the seven children and restoring them to life with nectar. Siyarin’s severed heads, sent as a malicious gesture, miraculously transformed into fruits through Jiutvahana’s grace.

Upon discovering her sister’s crime, Siyarin repented deeply. The eagle, guided by Lord Jiutvahana, took Siyarin back to the same tree where their past life had unfolded. Siyarin recalled her previous actions and regretted her wrongdoing. Her sorrow was so profound that she passed away near that very tree, and her last rites were performed there.

The date of Jivitputrika Vrat, leaving people unsure whether to observe it on October 6th or October 7th. The date of Jivitputrika Vrat hinges on specific rules, including Udayatithi (the appearance of the moon), along with other considerations such as the Parana time (the time to break the fast) and the Puja Muhurta (auspicious time for worship).

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