Aviyoga-vrata

(‘religious vow for non-separation’)

Hinduism considers the ties of marriage to be sacred and inviolable. A married Hindu woman shudders at the least prospect of separation from her husband. ‘Aviyoga-vrata’ (also called ‘Aviyoga-tṛtīyā’) is a religious vow specially prescribed for a married woman and is supposed to bring about non-separation from her husband. It begins on the 3rd day of the bright half of Mārgaśira (November-December) and continues for one year. The women who undertake this vrata start it on this day by partaking rice boiled in milk and sugar. They worship Gaurī (Pārvatī) and Śambhu (Śiva) in images made of rice flour, under different names (in each of the twelve months) with different flowers.

See also VRATAS.