Shitala Satam 2023: The Significance of Observing Vrat and Puja Vidhi
Shitala Satam 2023: The Significance of Observing Vrat and Puja Vidhi

Shitala Satam 2023: Shitala Satam is a significant Hindu festival celebrated on the 7th day of the Shravan month, which falls just before Krishna Janmashtami and a day after Randhan Chhath. This auspicious day is also known as Shitla Saptami or Sheetala Satam. It holds immense importance for devotees who worship Mata Sheetala, and its significance is beautifully elucidated in the Skanda Puranam, which contains the Shitala Mata Strotra, also known as 'Sheetalaashtak,' written by Lord Shiva.

Date and Time for Shitala Satam 2023

Shitala Satam: Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Shitala Satam Puja Muhurat: 15:46 to 18:28
Saptami Tithi Begins: On Sep 05, 2023, at 15:46
Saptami Tithi End: On Sep 06, 2023, at 15:37
The Significance of Worshipping Maa Shitala

Shitala Satam is dedicated to Goddess Shitala, a divine entity often depicted carrying a voyage and a dustpan. Hindu mythology tells us that Mata Sheetla presides over a heavenly realm populated by approximately 33 crore Gods and Goddesses. Communities, particularly in Gujarat, observe Shitala Satam to seek the fulfillment of their wishes. Devotees believe that worshipping Maa Shitala offers protection from illnesses like measles and chickenpox, and it may also facilitate recovery from poor health.

Shitala Satam Puja Vidhi
Devotees follow a specific ritual on Shitala Satam to honor Goddess Shitala:

Devotees start their day early, taking a purifying bath before commencing the rituals.
Some visit riverbanks, where they place the idol of Sheetala Mata on a red cloth after immersing it in the holy waters.
On this day, devotees recite Sheetla Ashtakam and other scriptures. Shodashopachara, involving sixteen forms of offerings, is an essential part of the puja.
Interestingly, fresh food is not prepared on this day; instead, meals are cooked on the preceding day, Randhan Chhath. Cooked food and ghee are commonly consumed, and in some regions, untreated wheat combined with molasses (gur) is used to light lamps (diya).
Devotees light diyas and incense sticks in front of Goddess Shitala.
Elders in the household recite Vrat Katha to seek the blessings of Goddess Shitala.
Shitala Satam Vrat Katha
Legend has it that King Indradyumna and his wife Pramila observed Shitala Satam vrat with great devotion. Their granddaughter Shubhakari, married to Prince Gunvan from a neighboring kingdom, returned to visit her parents' palace on this auspicious day. She and her friends went to a lake to witness the Shitala Satam Vrat but got separated. A kind lady helped them reunite but asked them to observe the Shitala Satam Vrat. Impressed by their devotion, Shitala Mata blessed Shubhakari with a boon.

On their way back, Shubhakari encountered a poor Brahmin family in distress due to a snakebite. Using her newfound boon, she miraculously revived the deceased Brahmin, demonstrating the significance of observing the Shitala Satam Vrat.

Shitala Satam Vrat Ritual
Observing a day-long fast on Sheetla Saptami is a common practice in households. Women, especially, refrain from cooking fresh food and focus on invoking Sheetala Mata's blessings. Here are the key steps to follow while observing the Shitala Satam Vrat:

Prepare food items the day before.
Perform a puja in front of the Goddess's idol on Shitala Satam.
Commence your fast after completing the puja.
Consume only previously cooked food.
Do not reheat the food.

Those observing the Vrat should avoid lighting fires, except for diyas.

 Shitala Satam is a revered Hindu festival with deep spiritual significance. Devotees believe that by observing the rituals and fasting on this day, they can seek protection from illnesses and receive the blessings of Goddess Shitala. It is a time for reflection, devotion, and the strengthening of one's spiritual connection.

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