Sheetala Ashtami, observed on the Ashtami Tithi (Day 8) during Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Lunar cycle) in the Hindu month of Chaitra (Purnimant)/Phalguna (Amavasyant) calendar, is a festival dedicated to Goddess Sheetala, an incarnation of the feminine power or Shakti.
However, some devotees worship Goddess Sheetala on the Saptami Tithi (i.e. a day before Ashtami). And today, devotees observe the Sheetala Ashtami vrat. Read on to know the vrat rules and puja vidhi.
Sheetala Ashtami Vrat Rules
- Devotees observing a vrat must maintain celibacy.
- The fire must not be lit in the kitchen, especially to cook on the day of vrat.
- Do not consume freshly cooked food on puja day.
Sheetala Ashtami or Basoda Puja Vidhi
The puja vidhi may vary from region to region, but here’s one of the simplest ways of performing the rituals:
- Take a bath and visit the temple with all the offerings/Bhog (curd, rice, halwa, puri, a kheer or rabdi etc.) to the Goddess. You can also do the puja at home. Besides the bhog, you must also offer water in a Kalash, haldi, kumkum, akshat, flowers, sindoor, Mehendi, kajal, red chunri, kalava, banana, coconut etc.
- Light a lamp made with wheat dough and use mustard oil/ghee to ignite the lamp.
- Seek the blessings of Goddess Sheetala while offering these items in this order – Haldi, Kumkum, akshat, kalava, chunri, kajal, Mehendi, flowers, banana, coconut etc.
- Then offer some water from the Kalash and the bhog.
- Pray to the Goddess and seek her blessings for good health.
- Conclude the puja by performing the aarti.
- Then sprinkle some water from the Kalash on yourself and other family members. You may also use it to cleanse your home.