Sheetala Ashtami is a distinguished Hindu festival celebrated right eight days after Holi. It remarks its arrival specifically on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha or in the waning moon period of Chaitra month. Sheetala Ashtami is also prominently known as Basoda puja and is celebrated widely across India.
Significance of Sheetala Ashtami
Goddess Sheetala is prominent in mythology as the goddess who takes away all the discomforts and problems of her devotees. She carries a Kalash in one hand and a broom in the other hand. The legend says that the pot or Kalash in Devi’s hand is known to comprehend and eliminate all the sufferings from devotees life. The Kalash of Goddess is very impactful, and as per the popular sayings, 33 crore deities reside in that Kalash. Goddess Sheetala is the prominent Hindu godhead who safeguards the health of people. She curbs diseases such as measles, chickenpox and smallpox. During the vicious outbreak of these diseases, too, Goddess Sheetala was worshipped immensely. She was idolized to protect humankind from the brutality of these diseases.
Rituals of Sheetala Ashtami
Begin the auspicious day of Sheetala Ashtami by taking a bath early in the morning. Prepare a thali composing things including- curd, pua or a sweetened dish prepared using sugar and whole grain batter, bajra, salt, sweet rice etc. Prepare one more thali comprising a lamp made of flour, kumkum, turmeric, some coins, Heena and a particular badkulla mala prepared on Holi. Then start the puja of Goddess Sheetala using all this material.
Begin the worship by doing teeka of the goddess using turmeric paste. Devote all the preparations to the goddess. It is good to do all these pujas at the temple rather than at home. Although, one can do the worship at home too. Light the lamp and offer prayers to the goddess. Devote a jug of cold water to the goddess, sparing a tiny amount in a jar only. Use that excess amount of water to put on the eyes of family members. Sprinkle the rest in the corners of your home. If any of the preparation is remaining, then you can donate it to a brahmin.
Women also observe fast on Sheetala Ashtami. During the fast, they can consume fruits and milk items during the day and open their fast in the evening. Keeping a dedicated fast on Sheetala Ashtami attracts the pious bliss of Goddess Sheetala. One of the main rituals of Sheetala Ashtami is to consume food prepared a day or two days before. No fresh food is prepared on this day. It is considered inauspicious to light a fire and cook meals on Sheetala Ashtami. Foods like sweet rice and khichdi are devoted to goddesses. An integral point to remember during this puja is to maintain cleanliness and hygiene at a top-notch level. Clean your home and puja thoroughly on this day.
Boons of Sheetala Ashtami
Sheetala Ashtami brings in a plethora of advantages for people. It helps in attracting wealth and prosperity. The festival also enlightens the fortune in devotee’s lives. Worshipping Goddess Sheetala helps in keeping diseases like smallpox at a safe distance. She is known to take away all the pains and problems of her devotees. Goddess Sheetala protects her devotees from the wrath of fatal chronic diseases. She glorifies their life by granting them good health and a positive mindset. Devotees can also get rid of skin issues by devoting committed prayers to Goddess Sheetala on this day.
Ascertain all these benefits by commemorating the grand occasion of Sheetala Ashtami with utmost happiness and ecstasy.
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