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  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  


Sheetla Saptami

Dear Children,

On Friday the 12th of August 2005 falls ‘Sheetla Saptam’i.

During this festival Mother Sheetladevi is worshipped. The Pandit informed me that most people pray to Mother Sheetladevi to ward off measles, chicken pox, small pox…for a happy marriage and to perform 'mundan' cutting of the hair,(tonsure) of the children.

 There are various legends connected with the Sheetla Devi Temple.

     A poor carpenter had a beautiful daughter. A Mughal Emperor wanted to marry her. The poor carpenter was upset as he did not wish that his daughter should marry, someone from a different religion. The carpenter asked the prince of Bharatpur to help. The prince started his journey, but on the way, the horses refused to move. An elaborate worship of the goddess was arranged. The horses moved. The prince promised to build a temple of the goddess, if he returned victorious. The prince won and a proper temple was built.


     As two queens proceeded to a pilgrimage to Pushkar, they got into an argument as to who would take the first dip. The kings entered into the quarrel. King of Bharatpur attacked the king of Ajmer. King of Bharatpur won the fight, and built the temple.


     A Brahmin woman broke the rules of ritual worship, and her family died. Frantic, she ran. In a forest, she saw an old woman in flames. The Brahmin woman got some curds and extinguished the fire, on the old woman (Sheetla Devi). Sheetla Devi asked the Brahmin woman to apply the curd to her husband and children. The Brahmin woman did as she was told. All of them were brought back to life.


These stories have moral value. Maybe they instill faith.On Sheetla Saptami, food(cooked the previous day) is not reheated 

Maybe eating cold food and not lighting the kitchen fire, is not done for a day, to give the housewife a good reason to rest. Maybe eating cool food,9for a day) is good for the digestive system. Maybe not lighting the kitchen fire is cooling for the ailing child (suffering from measles, chicken pox). We are asked not to give antibiotics to a child suffering from chicken pox, measles…Today we know that these are viral infections. And I marvel at the Elder Hindus, making every facet of life, even an illness, into a spiritual experience.

Do you agree?

With love,

Dadi Ma Nani Ma



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