Hindu Fasts: Vratas Under Various Asterisms

Said The God Of Fire:

Now I shall describe the process of practising the Vratas, which coming on the different days of the week or on days marked by the different asterisms and astral combinations (Vara Vratas). By bathing in the washings of the drugs known as the Sarvoushadhis under the auspicies of the asterisms Hasta or Punarvasu, a man is sure to attain bliss in this life. Similarly, by performing Shraddha ceremonies in honour of one's departed manes, a man enjoys unbroken health in the course of his seven successive rebirths. The Vrata known as the "Vrata after the heart of the Sun," should be practised on the occasion of the sun's passing over to a new sign of the zodiac on a Sun- day.

Such a Vrata should be practised on each night marked by the asterism Hasta for a year, whereby the penitent would be entitled to enjoy al the com- forts of the world. Similarly by seven times practis- ing the Vrata, which should be observed on Mon- days marked by the asterism Chitra, the life of a man becomes a continuous run of pleasure and en- joyment. Likewise by performing the Vrata, which should be practised on the nights or seven Wednes- days, marked by the asterism Vishakha, a man be- comes able to get rid of the baneful influences of planets, and secures their good graces in return. Similarly by worshipping the Jupiter, the preceptor of the gods, on seven Thursdays marked by the asterism Anuradha, and by breaking his tasts on the nights of each of such seven days, a Vrati derives the same benifit as narrated in the preceding instance. In the same manner, a man becomes free of the evil influences cast by malignant planets, by worshipping the Venus and the Saturn, on seven Fridays and Saturdays, respectively marked by the asterism Jestha and Mula, and by breaking his fast in the night as laid down before.

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