What is Basoda?
Basoda is one of the most significant and popular festivals which is celebrated usually eight days after the festival of Holi.
Certain communities celebrate the festival on the coming Thursday or Monday just after the Holi festival. It’s primarily celebrated in the regions of Northern India like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.
When is Basoda Celebrated?
Basoda is celebrated during the change in weather and thus this particular time period is also regarded as the beginning of the summer season. A number of changes take place during this period and there are a lot of diseases and infections which can be arise due to such weather change.
Goddess Sheetala blesses the devotees and gives protection from such contagious diseases.
On this day, devotees worship Sheetala Mata and pray for good health and protection from the epidemic diseases. As per the beliefs, she is the Goddess of smallpox and worshipping her on this day protects the devotees from getting inflicted with such miseries.
Rituals of Basoda Puja?
The term Basoda in the literal sense means ‘Basi’ or ‘Stale’. As per the Hindu rituals, the lighting of the fire in the kitchen is strictly prohibited on the day of Sheetala Ashtami. People prepare complete food one day prior to this day and consume the same on the next day i.e. on Basoda. All the meals of that day comprise of the stale food only and nothing freshly cooked or baked can be consumed in any form. Some special savories are prepared for celebrating Basoda such as Sweet Chilla, Gulgule, etc.
Basoda Vrat Katha
On the auspicious day of Basoda, devotees worship Goddess Sheetala by reciting her Katha (story). Special Mantras are also chanted to please Sheetala Mata and attain her divine blessings.
As per the Skanda Purana, Goddess Sheetala is regarded as both the solution as well as the cause. She is the Goddess of epidemics like smallpox. The legend associated with the festival of Basoda and Goddess Sheetala states that Sheetala Mata came from a sacrificial fire. She got a boon from Lord Brahma that she would always be worshipped by the human beings till the time she carry the seeds of particular lentils (Urad Dal) with her. Once she was visiting various other deities and there all the seeds changed into the harmful germs of smallpox. And then whoever the Goddess visited was inflicted with smallpox and fever.
The deities asked her to visit Earth with these germs. Goddess Sheetala went to Earth where she first arrived at the kingdom of King Birat. As the King was a firm devotee of God Shiva, he offered a place where she could be worshipped but denied to give Sheetala Mata a supreme place over God Shiva. Sheetala Mata got furious and annoyed and thus released around seventy-five different kind of poxes. Because of this, a huge number of people got inflicted and many of them died too. On this, King Birat realized his mistake and ask for forgiveness from the Goddess. After which, the goddess cured all the people. Therefore it is believed that a fast of Basoda must be observed and stale food must be consumed on the day of Basoda to please Sheetala Mata.
So, let’s worship Goddess Mata Sheetala on the pious day of Basoda festival and follow all the rituals of the day. Get bestowed with the divine blessings of the deity to remain healthy and fit.