Sheetala Ashtami, also known as Basoda, is a festival dedicated to Goddess Sheetala and celebrated in the month of Chaitra, i.e., in March-April, as per the Hindu Calendar. The Sheetala Ashtami Pooja date falls on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha during Chaitra and is a Hindu festival. Sheetla Ashtami, in 2023, shall fall in March. It is said that observing this fast helps in healing various illnesses.
Before we learn about the other details of the Basoda Puja, let us know what is the meaning of Basoda. The term Basoda is derived from the word ‘Basi’ or ‘Stale’. As per the traditions adhered to for a long time now, it is prohibited for the Hindus to light up the kitchen and make any food on Sheetala Ashtami, the story of this celebration is mentioned below.
About Goddess Sheetala
As per the Skanda Purana, Goddess Sheetala is acknowledged for curing sickness and epidemics. Whenever life-threatening diseases or epidemics occur on Earth, devotees look upon Sheetala Mata to protect the world. As a result, she holds a pot of medicinal fluid in one hand and neem twigs or a broom in the other, depicting her power to cleanse the environment.
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Sheetala Ashtami Puja Date and Time
The Sheetala Ashtami 2023 or Basoda 2023 will fall on March 15, 2023. Sheetala Saptami, the day when food is prepared for Ashtami is on March 14, 2023. The Basoda Puja can be performed as per the below-mentioned date and time:
Date and Time
Sunrise on Sheetala Ashtami
March 15, 2023 6:39 am
Sunset on Sheetala Ashtami
March 15, 2023 6:31 pm
Sheetala Ashtami Puja Muhurat
March 15, 2023, from 06:31 am to 06:29 pm
Sheetla Ashtami Tithi Begins
March 14, 2023, 08:22 pm
Sheetla Ashtami Tithi Concludes
March 15, 2023, 06:45 pm
Significance of Sheetla Ashtami
The Sheetala Ashtami story talks about the demon Jwarasura, who represents a human form of plague and contagious diseases. People get fatal diseases when the deeds of Jwarasura intensify. The diseases, thus unleashed by the devil, were not treatable. Hence, everybody worshiped the High Priestess, Shakti, who emerged as Sheetala Mata. The Goddess protected her followers and cleared the water, surroundings as well as atmosphere. The Goddess defeated the devil and turned him into a donkey, for which he expressed regret.
After this event, the significance of Sheetla Ashtami came to notice and devotees from many parts of India started praying to Goddess Sheetla for her power to cure various illnesses. For the Sheetala Ashtami pooja, stale food or, say, the food made the previous day on Saptami, is offered to the Goddess as a part of the ritual. Apart from food, devotees also offer food to the elderly and seek their blessings.
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Sheetla Ashtami Vrat: Mythological Story
A Brahmin had 7 sons, all married, but none had offspring even after their many years in marriage. The Brahmin was upset by this, and once when an elderly woman who was passing by that area learned about it, advised him to follow Sheetla Ashtami Vrat. She also gave him the details on how to do it. After the daughters-in-law fasted, each got pregnant within a year.
On Sheetala Ashtami, one of the years the Brahmin woman forgot to fast and shockingly the following night, she discovered the bodies of her sons. When she woke her husband, she found him dead too. The neighbors, when they saw this, pointed out that it was due to the anger of the Goddess Sheetla Mata that things turned upside down. Depressed, the Brahmin fled to the woods, where she met an elderly woman and narrated the whole story when asked. She was indeed Sheetla Devi.
The woman asked the Brahmin to apply curd on her skin to lessen the burning. At this, the Brahmin woman discovered what happened and begged for the survival of her family by falling at her feet. Suddenly, a wonder brought to life her husband, sons, and daughters-in-law after she applied curd to their bodies.
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Bhog for Basoda 2023
Devotees will have to prepare for the Sheetala Ashtami puja by preparing bhog after taking into account the following:
- Use pure oil to prepare food
- Use Jaggery in Basoda 2023
- Make roti, potato puris, besan, sweetened rice, black gram, Keri ki launji, etc.
- Offer sweets using milk or milk products.
- Curd or butter on sweetened roti can be served
- Raw lassi can also be served as bhog.
- Avoid hot or freshly cooked meals
Sheetala Ashtami Puja Vidhi
On Basoda 2023, one should follow the below-mentioned rituals -
- Prepare food a day ahead, and do not light up stoves to cook on Sheetala Ashtami 2023.
- Take a bath early in the morning, before sunrise.
- Offer the stale food to Sheetala Mata.
- Offer Devi Haldi & Bajra to Goddess Sheetala.
- Listen to the Sheetla Ashtami Vrat Katha without fail after the puja.
- Present other necessary offerings like curd, rabbi, etc
- Seek blessings from elders.
- After offering the food to the Goddess, devour the remaining food.
- Also, offer food to the poor and underprivileged.
- To get favorable results, read Sheetalashtak.
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Sheetala Ashtami 2023: Celebration in Different States
The significance of Sheetla Ashtami is widespread and is celebrated differently in different states. In the major parts of the country, devotees will celebrate Basoda pooja. It is believed that Sheetala Mata is the goddess of smallpox, and by honoring her on Basoda 2023, one can protect themselves from such diseases.
Let us now have a look at what is the meaning of Basoda for different states -
- In Rajasthan, many fairs are organized to celebrate this day. Individuals attend this fair with much enthusiasm and worship the Goddess.
- In bhog, they make ker sangri, malpua, gulgule, puri and roti.
- In Madhya Pradesh, many tourists and devotees attend the grand fair organized at the Basoda festival in Sheetla Mata Shakti Dham.
- In Gujarat, devotees worship Goddess Sheetala and celebrate the Basoda 2023 festival by preparing special food items.
As you are now aware of the Sheetala Ashtami Date, make sure you participate in its fasting to keep yourself free from the illnesses. For other issues related to your life, feel free to talk to expert astrologer on call and seek guidance to make your life going well.
Happy Sheetala Ashtami 2023!
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