Sheetla Ashtami or Basoda is a great festival celebrated at northern India with great pride and devotion.

Sheetla Ashtami
Sheetla Mata temple at Gurgaon

Namaste!

Welcome to the world of divine readings at www.onindianpath.com. Today, we are going to explore the meaning, significance and dates of Sheetla Ashtami 2024.

Introduction

Basoda or Sheetla Ashtami is a festival celebrated mainly in Northern India i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. However, this festival is also called Basoda festival.

Date and time

In 2024, we are going to have Sheetla Ashtami on March 2, 2024. As per Hindu Panchang, it is observed on Ashtami of Krishna Paksha of Falgun mas. The titthi will start at 9:09 pm on April 1, 2024 and will end at 8:08 pm on April 2, 2024.

Why is it called Basoda?

Generally, Basoda means worshipping with basa. Basa means stale food. Moreover, no food is cooked on this day. As name suggests, Sheetla mata is goddess of sheet aka cold. Thus, most of the family cooks food a day before Ashtami and consume stale food on this day.

Significance of Sheetla Ashtami

As per Durga purana, Sheetla mata is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. Apparently, in ancient times, people used to believed that Goddess Sheetla controls the shepherpox, smallpox, measles etc. and people worship them to remove the outbreaks of these diseases. Not only this Sheetla mata always blesses devotees with prosperity, good health and wealth.

Rituals of Sheetla Ashtami

Infact, devotees commemorate this festival either on monday or friday just after Holi. And, they do have bathing rituals with cold water. Also, on the day of Basoda or Sheeta Ashtami, the devotees observe fast and goes to the temple of Goddess Sheetla and worshiped Goddess with turmeric and Bajra. Infact, they offer bhog to the deity that is made up of rice, curd and jaggery.

Additionally, after the Basoda Puja, they listen to Basoda Vrat Katha. Although, there is a ritual to worship at the Holika Dahan place, where Holi Pyre was burnt. Lastly, devotees touch the feets of their elders and take blessings of the elders of their house. In the end, they themselves take the same food as offerings as prasad.

Physical appearance of Sheetla Mata

Although, as per holy text, goddess Sheetla sits on donkey and holds broom in one hand, while holds pot filled with cold water in another hand. In addition to She has a winnowing fan over her head. Also she is wearing garland of neem leaves.

All of these elements holds relevance to natural elements of cosmic creation and value in our lives explained as follow:

  1. Broom
  2. Winnowing fan
  3. Pot
  4. neem leaves
  5. Donkey

Firstly, Broom symbolises cleaning up the germs and eradicating all diseases. Secondly, winnowing fan is ancient tool used for cleaning up the straw from the grains and used in households. It symbolises the purification process by which sick people are taken care of and isolate from rest of the people.

Next is pot filled with water, represents that recovering from fever, people will need this healing water. Additionally, neem leaves represents natural treatment with herbs and Ayurveda. Apparently, the goddess rides her vehicle as donkey repsents being humble, calm and focused in own work.

Conclusion

Hence, we can conclude that it is just not the observance of Hindu festival, but Sheetla Ashtami also recognise the importance of supreme power in our life. It is the utmost faith of people on Goddess and her divine energy that entrust the positivity around us. Also, it induces a strong feeling of protection that kills our fear of being failed. Certainly, all created by the prayers of people to the almighty. Thus, Goddess Sheetla blesses us by eradicating all the negativities and bacterial diseases.

Have a blessed day ahead. Keep growing with us.

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