Swasthani Brata Katha, a story narrated by Lord Kumar (Kartikay), elder son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati, to Saint Agasthi about the formation of the universe.
Swasthani Brata Katha is a Hindu tale recited every day for a month, it is a month-long storytelling practice practiced in Nepal which mostly falls in January and February. The book has 31 chapters that tell the story of the life of various gods and goddesses.
Swasthani Brata Katha is basically a story narrated by Lord Kumar (Kartikay), elder son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, to Saint Agasthi about the formation of the universe. When Agasthi Muni wanted to know how this universe was formed, Kumar starts the storytelling him about the formation of the universe. Each chapter commences with "Kumarji Aagya Garnu Huncha hey Agisti Muni" meaning “Lord Kumar states hey Saint Agasthi.”. The stories in the book are mainly about the devotees who performed sins due to their ignorance and were rescued by goddess Swasthani after they performed the month-long fast and puja to please her. Some of the chapters are focused on goddess Parvati and some about Sati Devi, Lord Shiva’s first wife, and goddess Swasthani rescuing her from her troubles and sufferings.
As per the stories, Goddess Swasthani remains as an unrecognized power in the heavenly world. There are stories where different devotees were ignorant of the Goddess Swasthani’s power and therefore ended up committing some sins. Later, they followed the ritual of Swasthani Brata Katha and were blessed by Goddess Swasthani fulfilling all their wishes. There are stories of Lord Shiva, Goddesses Sati and Parvati, and many other gods and goddesses including Chandrawati and Navaraj, Goma Brahmani.
Some women fast for the whole month and take only one meal a day and read the story of Swosthani Mata in midafternoon. People who do not fast also narrate the story either early in the morning or in the evening before the meal. Before reciting the story, they worship the Swosthani Barta Story Book with Abir, Kesari, and Jau Til and flowers, Dhup Batti, and Diyo. They cook special offerings to goddess Swasthani. Especially Sesame Laddu is seen in every household. The fasting women offer Dhup Batti, Laddu, and flowers in 108 counts each.
It is believed that if you take the fasting of Goddess Swasthani, she fulfills all your good wishes.