Measles is a communicable disease we all know that. It is caused due to infection caused by the measles virus. Red flat rashes are the symbols of this disease. These rashes start from the face and then spreads to the rest of the body. But in India, people relate this disease as a blessing from the Goddess. Among different traditions, the infected individual is likewise called to have had 'Mataji'. And surprisingly medication believes that it is an offence to the Goddess.
Do you ever wonder why? What is the reason behind this? Well, this is what we have for you.
In many of the societies, it is believed that diseases are a punishment from God. People still assume that God is the one who has control over the body of a human. People often relate this to Sitala Mata. She is worshipped as an incarnation of Supreme Goddess Durga and is known for curing poxes, sores, ghouls, pustules, etc.
Sitala Mata carries a silver broomstick in right hand which symbolizes spreading disease, while water pot in the left hand depicts recovering victims with cold water.
According to ancient texts or Devi Mahatmya...
There is a legend that says when a demon named Jvarasura gave bacterial fever to children, it was Goddess Katyayani who came in the form of Sitala Mata and purified children's blood and destroyed the bacteria that caused fever. In the Sanskrit language, 'Jwar' means fever and 'Shital' means coolness.
According to some old beliefs, measles is allegedly affected by the anger of Sitala Mata. It is said that when someone suffers measles, it is actually Goddess herself within her victims, burning them. And with the presence of Goddess within them, they resemble Godlike. The infection is suggested not to be treated by any medication as it is believed that the Goddess will herself leave the body in 6-10 days.
It is said that Sitala Mata is among the seven sisters who live in the neem tree. They are also known for bringing epidemic diseases. And this is why often the shrines to Sitala Mata are found near neem trees. Neem is also known for eradicating chicken pox and measles.