Kapila Shashti

Kapila Shashti

August-September; every 60 years during the Hindu month of Bhadrapada
According to Hindu astronomers, Kapila Shashti takes place about every 60 years, when several astronomical events coincide during the day.
There is a myth that explains why Kapila Shashti occurs so rarely. It is said that when the sage Narada, who had always been celibate, decided he wanted to have female companionship, he asked the god Krishna, who had 16,008 wives, if he could marry one of them. Krishna asked only that Narada choose a wife who was not in anyone else's company. Since all of them were busy enjoying the company of others, Narada went to bathe in the Ganges River. When he walked out of the river, he discovered that he had been transformed into a woman. He (now "she") married a hermit and had 60 sons, which left her so exhausted that she begged Vishnu to return her to a man. This Krishna granted, but after Narada was a man again, the sons wailed for their mother to feed them. To quiet the turmoil Vishnu granted each son dominion over one year. Each year of the cycle is named after one of Narada's sons. Thus, the cycle is 60 years long. The last day of the cycle is Kapila Shashti, the day when Krishna turned Narada back into a man.
SOURCES:
HinduRelCustManners-1960, p. 145
HinduRelYr-1921, p. 36
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