Difference between revisions of "Śītalā"

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Sitalā
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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
Almost every village in India houses a folk-goddess, generally at the entrance to it. This goddess will be a protectress if appeased and a scourge if displeased.
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One such is Śītalā (a minor form of Devī) who is common in North India, especially in Bengal. She is the deity of smallpox. She is generally worshipped in a crude stone with a painted human face. She can cure smallpox if pleased or bring it on if displeased.
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[[File:sitala.jpg]]
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==Origin of Śītalā Goddess==
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Almost every village in India houses has a folk-goddess, generally at the entrance to it. This goddess will be a protectress if appeased and a scourge if displeased. One such goddess commonly worshiped in the country is Śītalā.<ref>Sitalā is a minor form of Devī.</ref> who is common in North India, especially in Bengal. She is the deity of smallpox. She is generally worshiped in a crude stone with a painted human face. She can cure smallpox if pleased or bring it on if displeased.
  
Tāntrik works describe her as black- complexioned, two-armed and naked, rid¬ing on a donkey. She wears a winnowing basket on her head and holds in her two hands a broom and a pot of water.
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[[File:sitala.jpg|thumb|Sitalā]]
A variant form of hers is described as red-complexioned, three-eyed and four¬armed. In these four arms, she carries a skull-cup, hand-drum, spear and sword. Her hair resembles a blazing fire and she is seated on a lotus.
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In South India, she is worshipped as Māriyamma. Other forms are Ā-i of Assam and Thākurānī in Orissa.
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==Iconographic Representation==
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Tāntrik works describe her as black- complexioned, two-armed and naked, riding on a donkey. She wears a winnowing basket on her head and holds in her two hands a broom and a pot of water. A variant form of hers is described as red-complexioned, three-eyed and four armed. In these four arms, she carries a skull-cup, hand-drum, spear and sword. Her hair resembles a blazing fire and she is seated on a lotus.  
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==Vivid Manifestations==
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In South India, she is worshiped as Māriyamma. Other forms are Ā-i of Assam and Thākurānī in Orissa.
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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[[Category:Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism]]

Revision as of 11:29, 20 April 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sitala, ZItalA, shitalaa


Origin of Śītalā Goddess

Almost every village in India houses has a folk-goddess, generally at the entrance to it. This goddess will be a protectress if appeased and a scourge if displeased. One such goddess commonly worshiped in the country is Śītalā.[1] who is common in North India, especially in Bengal. She is the deity of smallpox. She is generally worshiped in a crude stone with a painted human face. She can cure smallpox if pleased or bring it on if displeased.

Sitalā

Iconographic Representation

Tāntrik works describe her as black- complexioned, two-armed and naked, riding on a donkey. She wears a winnowing basket on her head and holds in her two hands a broom and a pot of water. A variant form of hers is described as red-complexioned, three-eyed and four armed. In these four arms, she carries a skull-cup, hand-drum, spear and sword. Her hair resembles a blazing fire and she is seated on a lotus.

Vivid Manifestations

In South India, she is worshiped as Māriyamma. Other forms are Ā-i of Assam and Thākurānī in Orissa.


References

  1. Sitalā is a minor form of Devī.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore