Katyayini Vrata

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Today marks the beginning of the Month of Margashirsha, which is the first month of the winter season after Chaturmaas and is famous in Vraja as Katyayini Vrata. During this month the young unmarried Gopis of Vraja would perform austerities to please Goddess Katyayini, so that with her blessings they could get Nanda Gopa suta, the son of Nanda Maharaj, Sri Krishna, as their husband. Every morning they would go to the banks of the River Yamuna and bathe in her cold waters, after which they would worship the deity of Katyayini devi with various articles of worship. Only eating unspiced Khichadi once a day, they would constantly pray to the Goddess to obtain the Lord of their hearts, Sri Krishna, as their husband. While doing this Vrata, they would everyday chant the following verse:
Katyayani Mahamaye Mahayoginyadheeshwari
Nandgopsutam Devi patim Me Kuru te Namah

At the end of the month, Sri Krishna came and stole the clothes of the Gopis, while they were bathing in the river, thus forcing them to come in front of him without their clothes and in this way he fulfilled their hearts desire to have him as their husband. Thereafter, on Sharad Purnima in the next year, he attracted the minds of all the Gopis with the song of his flute, making them leave their homes and families and come running to him in the forest to perform Rasa lila. He them performed many intimate pastimes with the Vraja ramanis in the forest groves of Vraja and in the waters of the river Yamuna, thus fulfilling all their amorous desires.
Following in the footsteps of the Gopis, devotees perform various austerities during this month of Katyayini Vrata to obtain pure love of Godhead. Following tradition, some women also perform austerities to obtain a qualified husband. Remembering the pastimes of Vrajendranandan Sri Krishna and the Vraja Gopis, we pray to Katyayini devi to bless us with unalloyed pure love for the divine fair and dark complexioned couple of Vraja, Sri Radha Shyamsundar, who perform various beautiful pastimes in the forests of Vraja along with their dear Gopi friends.