The 7th day of Chaitra month or the Seven days after Holi is celebrated as Sheetala Saptami, an auspicious day to worship Goddess Sheetala, the Goddess of coolness, calmness and healing diseases. Not switching on the gas burner or lightning fire is a way to pay homage to the Goddess; the Devi who represents coolness is presented with the day before prepared food as blessed food.
The Day of Significance :
People worship Goddess Sheetala to protect their children against illness, the Devi teaches her devotees the importance of natural elements through various objects in her hand.
The broom is to dust off the germs, bacteria and negative energy, cleanliness is essential to eliminate the disease from its roots; the day promotes sanitation and neatness. The day marks the change in the weather; the change that generates bacteria in the atmosphere can be eliminated with hygiene.
The Winnowing Fan depicts purification of soul and body, a diseased body needs to be purified from the ailment for a healthy physical and sanctified soul, the previous day food eating on the Saptami/Ashtami refers that it is unhealthy to eat stale food during summers.
The pot full of water in Devi’s hand emphasises the importance of water. water is the most essential element for survival, it is soothing and enlivening and it must be conserved. The Neem is the Ayurvedic medicinal leaves with healing remedy for skin problems and protection from fever, both the matter and spirit referred to as body and soul must be kept together as it is easier to achieve a spiritual path through a healthy body.
The divine vehicle donkey represents modesty and calmness, both are required in oneself during the state of crisis and disease, a focused mind can fight with any problem and can keep the body free from disease or can adopt an appropriate cure to fight from the disease.
Sheetal Saptami Puja 2023:
Samvat 2079, Chaitra Krishna 7, Tuesday, 14th March 2023.
Ashtami (Basoda) Puja:
Samvat 2079, Chaitra Krishna 8, Wednesday , 15th March 2023.
Significance: The change in weather emphasises eating of previous day food and cold water bath and prohibits outside and fresh food.