(Last Updated on : 21/04/2010)
The great Purana that is the Agni Purana has also discussed in detail some of the Dwasadhi Vrata. One of the Dwadashi Vrata which has discussed prominently in the Agni Purana is the Shravana Dwadashi Vrata. It has been said that the Shravana Dwadashi Vrata should be performed on the day of the twelfth phase of the moon's increase in the month of Bhadra. By observing a fast on the occasion of such a Dwadashi, marked by the asterism Shravana, a man performs the greatest of all the Vratas. The full merit of the observance of such a Vrata, would be derived, by bathing at the confluence of running streams.
It has been said that by making gifts on the occasion of the conjunction of the Mercury and the asterism Shravana, a man acquires the greatest merit that can be derived from gifts. Though otherwise forbidden, a man should observe a fast on the occasion of the Shravana Dwadashi, and take his meals on the morrow (Trayodashi), by reciting a small prayer. Performance of the Homa
ceremony is a part of the Shravana Dwadashi Vrata.
Agni Purana narrates that after performing of the Homa ceremony all body parts of the God should be worshipped and should be offered obeisance. In the next step articles fried in clarified butter, as well as pitchers, full of curd, should be offered to the deity. A vigil should be kept up in the night, and the performer of the Vrata should bathe at a confluence of the rivers, on the day following. The god should be worshipped with flowers and perfumes, and the observer of the vow should recite the following prayer, by offering a handful of flowers to the deity.
The Mantra which is used in the performance of the Vrata says, "I make obeisance to thee, oh thou protector of the universe (Govinda), who art but another manifestation of the Mercury and the asterism Shravana in conjunction. Destroy all my sins, and bless me with the enjoyment of all sorts of comforts. Be pleased with me, oh janardana, every moment of my existence. The dwarf-manifestation of Vishhu is the counsellor and the giver of all articles of gift; it is the dwarf manifestation of Vishnu that takes gifts at my hands, and makes me the happy possessor of all things. Again and again I make obeisance to him."
Finally the adhyaya ends saying that the Brahmanas should be feasted and remunerations should be given to them, whereupon the observer of the vow would break his fast.