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More Details about Festival - Halshashti (Balarama Jayanti)

This festival is celebrated on Bhadropad Krishna Shukl Shsshti. Balarama, the elder brother of Lord Krishna, was born on this auspicious day. The main weapon of this great soul was a “plough” or a spigot. Therefore this festival is also called Hal Shashti (Plough means Hal); as also called “Har Chhat” or “Lalhi Chhat”. India, being an agricultural country, there is a great importance of the plough. This festival and the fast are observed all over India. Moreover this is the only occasion to remember and remind others, of the part played by Balarama in Krishna episodes.

On this day, no food, grown in the fields or milk and curd from cows, should be consumed. However buffalo milk can be consumed. The plough and the corn from the fields, are worshipped, along with sticks from berry, Plas trees.

The importance of this fast is glorified by a legend, that once on this auspicious occasion, two women named Tara and Saloni undertook the fast. As an oblation, the two cooked food and put that in wide utensils to cool down. Meanwhile two dogs entered the house and started eating the food. The two women saw that and rushed in. Tara gave such a beating to the dog, that it narrowly escaped death; but Saloni allowed the dog to eat away the total food. After a while when the two dogs met each other, they narrated one other’s story. The second one was all praise for Saloni and wished that in his next birth, he should be born as Saloni’s son, so that by utmost service to her, he should show his gratitude. The other dog cursed Tara in all possible words and wished that he should be born as Tara’s son, in next birth, so that he could take his revenge. When the second dog died, it took birth as Tara’s son. On the day of “Har Chhat”, it died. Thereafter so many sons were born to Tara, but every time they died on this day. Tara was disappointed. Then in a dream, she heard a heavenly voice that all her misery was the result of her treatment meted out by her to the dog. That as you are now repentant, you should undertake fast on Har Chhat day and avoid food from ploughed fields and cow’s milk and curd, then only her sins would be pardoned and her sons would be saved.

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