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The Vrata (“vow”) tradition is sometimes described as a form of ‘folk’ worship that developed in parallel to the mainstream sacrificial and ascetic practices, and which has, historically, been primarily an oral tradition. According to Pupul Jayakar in her book The Earth Mother the vrata tradition has its roots in the Arthava Veda, although many vratas have been influenced by Brahmanic orthodoxy – particularly those that relate to the duties and obligations of women. Jakayar believes that the vrata kathas are a later addition to what was originally a magical tradition involving mantra, ritual, and yantra. Dr. Robert Svoboda, in an article entitled Family Vows notes that vrata katha (“vow stories”) can take the form of traditional tales from the Vedas or the Puranas, or folktales handed down by families. According to Svoboda, most vratas have tales attached to them, and part of the vrata worship is that the tale is told with devotion and sincerity, and that a vow tales’ content is less important to its effect than is the sincerity and fervour with which it is told. Vratas can take many forms, such as fasting, only eating certain foodstuffs, or avoiding particular substances.