Mothers observe Ahoi Ashtami, a Hindu festival, for the well-being and longevity of their children, especially sons. It is typically celebrated in the North Indian states, and the core tradition involves fasting and narrating the Ahoi Ashtami Vrat Katha, a traditional story associated with the festival.
The Ahoi Ashtami Katha goes as follows:
Once upon a time, in a small village, there lived a woman named Ahoi. She had seven sons, but they were quite young. One day, as the winter season approached, Ahoi decided to renovate her house. While digging the soil near her house, she accidentally killed a young cub. Feeling remorseful for her action, she prayed for forgiveness.
Ahoi soon realized that after the incident, her sons fell ill, and their condition worsened with each passing day. She consulted the village priest, who revealed that her actions might have angered the divine beings. The priest advised her to observe a strict fast on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Kartik, which is known as Ahoi Ashtami.
Ahoi followed the priest’s advice and observed the fast diligently, refraining from eating or drinking throughout the day. She also painted an image of the cub she had inadvertently killed and kept it on her puja altar. With deep devotion and sincere prayers, she sought forgiveness from the divine.
Her heartfelt penance was sincere, and her devotion was unwavering. As a result, her sons’ illnesses were miraculously cured, and they regained their health. The divine beings forgave her and blessed her with not just her sons’ well-being but also a long and prosperous life.
Since that day, Ahoi Ashtami has become a significant tradition among Hindu mothers. They fast on this day and recite the Ahoi Ashtami Katha, seeking the welfare and longevity of their children, just as Ahoi did for her sons.
This story underlines the importance of devotion, repentance, and the power of prayers in Hindu culture, and the festival of Ahoi Ashtami continues to be a heartfelt celebration of a mother’s love and care for her children.