Shwethe vrusha samaarudha shwetambara dharaa shuchih !!
Mahagauri shubham Dadyaan mahadeva pramodadaa !!
Kokila vrat is dedicated to Goddess Sati/ Parvati. The vrat is mainly observed by women. Women worship her in the form of cuckoo (kokila) which she endured for thousands of years to get back Shiva as her divine consort.
It is believed that women who observe Kokila vrat get happiness, good luck, and riches. It helps them to protect their marital pleasure for a long time. With the effect of the vrat, they get good looks and good offspring.
It is mentioned in Sri Varaha Purana that any lady who is either married or widow can protect her good luck for hundreds of years if she observe Kokila vrat. According to the Purana, devotees undertaking Kokila vrat earn the virtue equal to the virtue of all kinds of donations (dana). Hence, ladies must observe Kokila vrat with utmost devotion.
Legend has it that when Daksha Prajapati became the king of the world, he organized Ashmedha Yagnya (the horse sacrifice). In the ceremony, he invited all the Gods; Brahma, Vishnu, Indra and all others including all the sages except the Lord Shiva because he didn’t like him because his daughter, Sati married Shiva against his wishes.
When Sati learnt that her father is performing Ashwmegha Yangya and he has not invited her and Lord Shiva. She became unhappy at her father’s behavior but she became curious to go there to meet her family members. She thought that there is no problem in going there uninvited because that is her mother’s house.
Shiva knew that Daksha had intentionally not invited him to show him down. He tried to dissuade Sati from going there, but she was adamant. Finally, Shiva allowed her to go. When Sati reached there, nobody welcomes her; her mother, sisters were not paying attention to her. It pained her, but she remained calm and tried to get involved with the rituals.
During the ceremony, Daksha too mocked the powers of Shiva to show her daughter that she has not married a worthy man. At her father’s act, Sati felt so insulted and aggrieved that she jumped in the fire of Yagya and burnt herself to death.
Separation from Sati who was the embodiment of pleasure aroused the anger of Shiva. He became uncontrollably with his anger. With his spark numerous Ganas, ferocious warriors, emerged at once; they all attacked the Yangya at his orders, killed some of the gods and injured many. Nobody was able to escape the wrath of Shiva. Daksha too was beheaded by Birbhadra.
When Shiva’s anger subsided, he visited the place of Yangya and got moved by the scene of the bloodbath that his anger had created. He too realized that his kama (pleasure) and krodha (anger) coming in the way of sansara (world).
He restored the life of all the dead there. All the injured Gods and Sages were made well and healthy. Daksha too, by the time, had recognized the powers of Shiva. He fell at the feet of Shiva, accepted his folly, and asked for his mercy. Shiva advised him not to insult any God of the Trinity (Trideva). No Yangya can be performed without invoking all the three Gods, he suggested.
For causing obstruction in the holy ritual of Yagya, Shiva cursed Sati to become a cuckoo for 10,000 years and roam around the forest. Due to the curse, Sati lived in the form of cuckoo for ages. After the expiry of the period, she got her human body back. In the next life, she born as the daughter of the Himalayas and was named Parvati.
Parvati did severe penance again to get Shiva as her husband. Since then, the vrat of Kokila became prevalent to mark the devotion of Sati towards Shiva. It is believed that Shiva blessed Sati that whoever observes Kokila vrat will never lose her marital pleasure.
Customs and Traditions
Kokila vrat is observed for one month in continuation. It starts from the full moon day of May-June (Ashadh Purnima) and goes to the full moon day of July-Aug (Shravan Purnima). The main ritual includes waking up early, taking bath, making a cuckoo-idol from clay and worshipping it.
Before the day of Ashadh Purnima, women take bath in the evening and take a resolve (sankalp) that they will live for one month in a pious manner and observe Kokila vrat. On the next day morning, after taking bath, they take resolve again with the following Mantra:
"Mama dhan-dhanyadi sahita saubhagya prapte shiv tushTye cha kokila vratmanha karishye”
After taking the resolve, from Ashadh Purnima to Shravan Purnima, they get fresh regularly in the mornings; apply oil of Indian gooseberry (Aanwala), take bath, offer Arghya to the Sun, and worship Gauri in the form cuckoo as per the customs and rituals. In the evening, they take pure food, observe celibacy, behave kindly with everybody, and sleep on the ground.
During the first eight days, women apply gooseberry oil over their body and on rest of the days they apply the paste of turmeric, sandalwood and Rose water (Ubatana). After the completion of vrat, they do finishing ceremony of the puja (Udyapana).
If somebody cannot perform the vrat for one month regularly, she can observe it on the day of Ashadh Purnima only.
Pooja items: the idol of Cuckoo, the image of Ganesha, rice (Akshat), lamp (diya), incense sticks (agarbatti), flowers (pushpa), and naivedya (fruit/ sweet/ any preparation of rice and milk)
Wash the place of pooja with water and gangajal (the water from the river the Gages). Place some grains of wheat on a beetle leaf, put on the ground and place water-filled on kalash (pot) on it. Insert five joined mango leaves in the kalash and, then, place a coconut on it. Tie moli (coloured thread representing cloth) in the kalash-neck. Light up a Deepak (lamp) there and keep it lit till the pooja lasts. Light up some dhoop (fragrant wood/material) too there.
Place the Kokila-idol and the image of Ganesha on two beetle-leaves in front of you and concentrate on Maa Mahagauri. Now worship Maa Gauri step by step with the following method:
Perform self-purification rituals: take a little water in your hand and sprinkle over your body after chanting the following mantra:
"Om Apavitrah Pavitro VA Sarvavastham Gatoapi VA, Yah Smrait Pundarika Aksham SA Vahy Abhyantarah Shuchih”
Pray to the Lord Ganesha for the successful completion of puja
Fold your hand and pray to Lord Ganesh with the following mantra:
"Om vakratunda mahakaya kotisurya samaprabham abighna karu mama deva sarv karyeshu saravada”
Light a lamp and pray to Maa Gauri.
Fold your hand and pray to invite Maa Gauri with the following mantra and touch the idol and take her blessings:
Aagachha Tvam Mahadevi ! Sthane Chatra Sthira Bhav. Yavata Pujaam Karisyami Tavata Tvam Snidho Bhav.
"Shri Jagadambaye Mahagauri Devye Namha. Mahagauri devimaawahayami. Aawahanartheye Pushpaanjali Samarpayami”
Offer flowers and incense sticks or dhoop to the Maa Gauri
Offer flowers to Maa Gauri with the following mantra:
"Shri Jagadambaye Mahagauri Devye Namha Pushpamalam Samarpayami”
Offer fruits to the Devi
Offer rituphal to Maa Gauri with the following mantra:
"Shri Jagadambaye Mahagauri Devye Namha Rituphalani Samarpayami”
Meditate for sometime on Maa Gauri
Meditate on Maa Gauri and chant the following mantra:
"Shwethe vrusha samaarudha shwetambara dharaa shuchih, Mahagauri shubham Dadyaan mahadeva pramodadaa”
Offer flowers or rice mixed with turmeric to idol
Offer pushpamala with the following mantra:
"Shri Jagadambaye Mahagauri Devye Namha Pushpamalam Samarpayami”
Apply the paste of sandalwood or kumkum on the body of idol.
Apply the paste of sandalwood to the Devi with the following mantra:
"Shri Jagadambaye Mahagauri Devye Namha Chandanam Samarpayami”
Take the fruit back and share with the persons present in the puja.
According to religious scriptures, many ladies in the ancient times earned unmatched benefits by performing the Kokila vrat. Ahilya, the wife of Sage Gautam, undertook the Kokila vrat before getting rid of her curse. Mother Sita too with the hope of completing all the work successfully and getting riches took bath in the river Godavari and observe it as per all the prevalent customs. Her desire was fulfilled.
Legend has it that Arundhati and Rukmini too observed the Kokila vrat to get Sri Krishna as their husbands. Daymanti, the wife King Nal, also performed the vrat before starting the search operation for the king; she succeeded. Kokila vrat is so powerful that it helps the devotees escape the effect of all the committed sins and to fulfill their desires.
You must observe it to get good looks, good offspring and for the well-being of your family. Young girls are recommended to observe Kokila vrat to get good and handsome husbands. There is popular belief that ladies observing Kokila vrat regularly will able to enjoy marital pleasure for a long time, as Shiva and Sati lived forever happily. In some regions of India, men too perform the vrat with the hope of getting beautiful and good wives.
Kokila vrat is a unique festival. It is observed from the full moon day of May-June (Ashadh Purnima) and goes to the full moon day of July-Aug (Shravan Purnima).