Sheetla Ashtami 2023: Know Importance And Observance

 Sheetla Ashtami 2023: Know Importance And Observance

Basoda is also known as Sheetla Ashtami and is a popular Hindu festival dedicated to and is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Sheetla. It is celebrated on the 'Ashtami' (8th day) of Krishna Paksha during the Hindu month of 'Chaitra'. Also according to the Gregorian calendar, it falls in the month of mid-March to April. This festival is usually celebrated eight days after Holi. According to scriptures and Hindu mythology, by worshiping Goddess Sheetla, devotees (especially children) can be protected from various diseases. 

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When is Sheetla Ashtami? 

According to the Hindu calendar, Sheetla Ashtami falls on the Ashtami (eighth day) of Krishna Paksha in the month of Chaitra. As per the Gregorian calendar, this day falls in the month of April or March. The celebration of Sheetla Ashtami usually comes 8 days after the joyous festival of Holi.

Sheetla Ashtami Date, Shubh Muhurat, and Timings of Puja  

Here are the details about Sheetla Ashtami Shubh Mahurat's observance in 2023 

Sheetla Ashtami date 15 March 2023, Wednesday

Sheetla Ashtami Puja Muhurta 15 March 2023 from 06:31 to 18:29

Sheetla Saptami 14 March 2023, Tuesday

Sheetla Ashtami Tithi starts on March 14, 2023, at 20:22

Sheetla Ashtami Tithi ends on March 15, 2023, at 18:45

What is the significance of Sheetla Ashtami?

In Hindu mythology, Sheetla Mata has an important significance as she is believed to be the goddess and controller of various diseases including smallpox, measles, and Chhoti Mata. Figuratively, the goddess rides a donkey as it is the vehicle of the deity. She holds a broom, a Kalash (vessel) of holy water, some neem leaves, and a dustpan with her four hands. As per the beliefs, it is believed that Goddess Sheetla removes all the germs and then uses a dustbin to collect them. The primary significance of Sheetla Ashtami is that the goddess heals diseases and brings health and peace to the lives of the devotees.

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What are the rituals of Sheetla Ashtami?

• According to Hindu beliefs, people neither light fire nor cook anything on this day. Rather, they cook food a day before for the purpose of consuming it on the day of Sheetla Ashtami.
• People wake up early in the morning and take a bath in cold water before sunrise. After taking a bath, the devotees are required to visit the deity's shrine and perform various rituals.
• Various types of offerings are made to the goddess like curd, kheer, jaggery, and many other essential items.
• After this, the devotees seek divine blessings from the elderly people.
• The food left over after offering(Bhog) to the goddess is consumed by the devotees as sacred food (prasad) throughout the day. In different regional areas, it is popularly called 'Basoda'.
• Food is also donated to the poor and needy people to get a good groom.
• Devotees also observe a fast on this day for good health and to get rid of any negative energy.
• Devotees also recite 'Shitalashtak' on the day of Sheetla Ashtami, in order to receive the divine blessings of the deity.

How to offer Worship to Sheetla Maa on Sheetla Ashtami 2023? 

• Wake up in the morning and take a bath by mixing a few drops of Ganga water in ordinary water.
• After the bath, wear clean clothes of orange color and decorate two plates for worship.
• Then keep curd, millet, roti, sweet rice made on Saptami, salt pare, mathri, etc. on a plate. Keep flour lamp, roll, piece of cloth, akshat, coin, henna, etc. in the second plate. Also, keep a small round metal utensil filled with cold water.
• Keep a lamp in front of Sheetla Mata's idol without lighting it and offer the items on the plate as Bhog.
• After this, offer water to the neem plant and go to the temple of Sheetla Mata in the afternoon and worship again. Offer water to the goddess and also apply turmeric tilak.
• Apart from this, apply henna to the goddess and wear new clothes. Also, enjoy stale food. Afterward, consider performing aarti by lighting camphor.
• If at all possible, visit the site of Holika Dahan on Sheetla Ashtami 2023 and offer adoration there.
• Finally, feed the cow and give alms to Brahmins.

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