Sheetala Ashtami is a holy one-day event. Sheetala also spelled as Sheetla or Sitala refers to the divine mother Goddess Sheetala, a deity from the ancient times, and also mentioned in the Skanda Purana. Ashtami is the auspicious day.
The Sanskrit number ‘Asta’ means 8. The Sanskrit word ‘Astama’ means the 8th. Ashtami refers to the 8th moon day that comes in twice. The holy event of Sheetala Ashtami is observed on the 8th day of Krishna Paksha moon phase in the fortnight of the month. Krishna Paksha refers to the waning-decreasing phase of the moon. Sheetala Ashtami falls a week after the Festival of Colors, Holi.
Goddess Sheetala is said to cure diseases, ailments, fever, blood infection, skin diseases, problems related to the eyes, particularly chicken pox, smallpox etc. In a sense, Goddess Sheetala is the Goddess of Health to cure such certain health-related problems. A popular name Sheetal means cool. Goddess Sheetala refers to the Goddess who cools.
Many idols and images of Goddess Sheetala depict her carrying in her 4 hands, one with a bowl, the 2nd hand with a fan, the 3rd hand with Kalash- Ganga river water, and 4th hand with a short broom. Goddess Sheetala pictures show her seated on a donkey that is regarded as her transport. The fan means collecting or cleaning the dusk thus enabling purity, the bowl is for the collection of the dirt and germs, the Ganges water is for purification, and the short broom is for cleaning off the viruses, germs etc. Besides these, Goddess Sheetala is also believed to carry a bunch of Neem tree leaves, medicinal herbs etc for the cure of diseases, ailments.
Sheetla Mata Mandir in Gurugram (Gurgaon), India is one of the most famous temples dedicated to Goddess Sheetla. Many natives visit the several Goddess Sheetala Temples to worship her and seek her blessings for overall wellbeing, good health and also prosperity, happiness etc.
A Mantra for Goddess Sheetala is—
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(Updated Date & Time :- 2019-03-23 12:56:59 )
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