Legend of Sitala Mataji – Thadri or Shitala Saatam Significance
Once there was a joint family in a village and and the old mother in law had three daughter in laws ,as she had three sons all were happy and wealthy.
The daughter in law of the younger son was from poor family so she was always targeted by all the member s of the family.now the holy month of shravaan came and it was the 6th day-saptami when mother in law asked the younger daughter in law to prepare all the food,sweets for the day of Sitala Satam celebrations. Since the daughter in law had a small child she was also weak and through out the day she made all types of sweets,snacks etc and was above to make pulav but she went to feed her child as infant was crying since long time, it was around 11 o clock at night and she sung lorries and fed him but since she too was weak she feel asleep.
Exactly at night 12 o clock Sitala Mataji came to take a round in every villagers house specially the kitchen where stove-(Chulla) will be there where Goddess Sitala Mataji would like to reside but it was on and she got burnt ,and she became very angry and cursed you stupid lady as I got burnt let your child get burnt and sadly she went next day morning when this younger daughter in law woke she found the Stove to be on and then she saw her child got burnt and all the people of the house became angry saying you stupid lady, how dare you to fight with Goddess Sitala Mataji by not put off the stove ( Chulla meh Pani kyu nahi dala before night 12 yesterday ) its because of your fault that your child got burnt due to the pain of Goddess Sitala Mataji.
She took permission from her mother in law and took her child and went to wander into Jungle –Forets. As it is said Goddess specially resides in jungle or in the outskirts of the village she started to search her but found one pond where nobody would drink water she went to drink but the villager who were washing clothers said this pond is not holy its having curse please do not drink from this pond, then on the way she found buffoles females fighting with their horns, they said lady where are you going, she said I am searching Sitala Mataji.
Female buffoloes said please help us if you find Sitala Mataji please ask her highness why we fight always, lady said ok sure with a feel of mercy then she went further into the forest and found old women sick and scratching her hairs as she had dandruff in her hair and also some tiny microbes and she said lady where are you going and lady said I m searching Sitala Mataji, she said please clean my hairs and remove the insects from it please, I am a old lady single in this jungle nobody to help me so young lady please do this small favor to me, as this young lady was a kind person she gave her child in the lap of old women and started to clean and remove the insects from her hair and within an hour she cleaned the hairs of that old women and in the mean time the child in her lap started to cry .
Seeing this the young lady understood that the old women was a disguise of Sri Sitala Mataji and fell into her holy lotus legs asking for forgiving her unknown mistake and Sri Sitala Mataji became very happy and said I m pleased by your devotion and grace you the boon that now on I shall be always happy on you but please do not forget to cool the Stoves every year as I Goddess once in a year come to your kitchen and reside their and if its hot or burning even I get burnt so please as a mark of devotion please do follow this and then she asked the ponds problem she said that pond was a very cruel one never allow any birds or animals to come into it and if they come there to drink water it would attract it In and not let them come out and kill them so its cursed but today you go and pray god and also remember me and chant my name and then have a sip of water after filtering with your clothe and then on all can drink that water, then again she asked the problem of lady buffoloes, the Goddess Sitala Mataji said they both were very cruel ladies in their last birth never give milk to any members or even to any needy even though they had 10 cows each and add double water in milk and sell it and never give butter milk even in plenty and add water and sell it to even poor so due to that sin they both always fight with each other now you go and stop them and touch their horns ,recite my holy name and they will become calm .
This way she did to pond and also to the lady buffoloes and saved them and also made them all free from the curse and came to village and said the whole incident to all. the family and the villagers were happy but her other two daughter in laws were jealous and envious and next year they did same thing and purposely did not off the stove and later at night Sitala Mataji came to kitchen and sat on the stove and got burnt and cursed how I got burnt, may your child get burnt .
The elder daughter in law went to forest and found pond and then buffloes and then old lady but answered them all wickedly and said you all useless have no work and ask me to help, I m in search of Goddess Sitala Mataji and all you are crying with your problems don’t have any shame, you fools and wandered through out the day but did not find Goddess Sitala Mataji anywhere .
She came back with her dead child and cried and cried and ask for forgiveness to the younger daughter in law and asked and plead to grace her and younger daughter in law with true devotion prayed to Goddess Sitala Mataji and asked to make the dead child alive and there the mother goddess blessed the child and later this elder daughter in law told the truth and asked for forgiveness.
From then onwards this festival of Mother Goddess is celebrate d with great devotion in most of the parts of india – Punjab, Gujrat, Bengal, South everywhere and also in abroad too .
A day before saptami all the food is prepared and before 12 in the night stoves are cleaned and cooled with sprinkling of water and next day worshipping the Goddess and not at all touching the stove and have the holy offering of sweets made before day by the devotees .
As the Goddess is Sit means cool, devotees have cold items only and food made day before. Have cold water bath in the morning and worship Goddess Sitala Mataji. Thus let’s all specially women and small children worship to Goddess mostly and ask for the blessings of the Mother Goddess Sitala Mataji to one and all.