Kokila Vrat is a unique vrat or ritual observed by the married women as well as the unmarried women in India. It is mostly observed in Northern part of India and in some nooks of the southern and western parts of the country.
This is a ritual which is dedicated to Goddess Sati and to Lord Shiva. This unique vrat is observed for a period of one month. As per north Indian calendar, it happens in the Adhika Mas based on Ashada.
In the other parts of India this vrat is celebrated on the Ashada Purnima. Kokila Vrat is observed from Ashada Shukla Purnima till Shravan Shukla Purnima. In 2017, Kokila Vrat will begin on the Saturday, 8th of July. Kokila or the bird Cuckoo is associated with Goddess Sati and it is believed that she had to serve a penance by taking birth on Earth as the Kokila bird for a wrong she had committed before she regained her lost glory.
- Legend of Kokila Vrat
There is a legend which associated Goddess Sati with the Cuckoo or Kokila. When Sati’s father Daksha was having a great Yajna (fire sacrifice ritual), Lord Shiva and Sati were excluded from the invitee list. Sati appeared at the ceremony site and after getting into a heated argument as to why Shiva was not invited, enraged jumped into the sacrificial fire and killed herself. Suicide or killing by self is considered to be a sin and thus had to return to life and take a birth as a kokila or a cuckoo and had to spend almost a 1000 celestial years before she could get back into her shape. Thus on this auspicious day, Goddess Sati along with Lord Shiva is worshipped.
- Religious observances
The main observance in this vrat is waking up early and having a cleansing and religious bath. Then the devotee should ideally make an idol out of clay or get a picture of cuckoo and worship it. The devotees should also eat one meal during this one month of the vrat.
It is widely believed that women who observe Kokila Vrat, has their husband’s welfare secured and unmarried women observing this vrat gets a handsome husband by religiously observing this vrat for a period of one month.