Hartalika Teej 2018: Celebrated mostly by married women in India, Teej is a major Hindu festival. Among the four primary Teej – Akha Teej, Hariyali Teej, Kajari Teej, and Hartalika Teej, Hartalika Teej falls on Shukla Paksha Tritiya Tithi of Bhadrapada month (third day of bright half of the North Indian Lunar month), a month after Hariyali Teej. This year Hartalika Teej will be celebrated on September 12, Wednesday – with married women observing fast for marital bliss and single women observing fast to fulfil their desire of getting an ideal husband.
It is important for women to hear Hartalika Teej Vrat Katha in Hindi, chant shlokas and mantras to please Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Vrat Katha: According to legend, Goddess Parvati was incarnated as Goddess Shailaputri, the daughter of Himalaya, and accepted Lord Shiva as her husband as a child. She prayed for twelve years for marriage with Shiva. When that didn’t bear any fruit, she did not give up – she prayed for another 64 long years to please Lord Shiva. The condition of his daughter had Himalaya worried.
He, therefore, went to sage Narada for help. On the latter’s advice, Shailputri’s father made a promise to get her married to Lord Vishnu instead. When she came to know about her father’s decision, she was shocked and disturbed and asked her friend for help. Her friend took her to a forest so that she could escape marrying Lord Vishnu. It was in this forest Parvati underwent penance for years to marry Shiva.
On the third day of the month of Bhadrapada, Parvati made a Shiva lingam using her hair and prayed to Shiva. This impressed Lord Shiva and he decided to get married to her. Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva got married with her father’s blessings. Since then, the day is known as ‘Hartalika Teej’. The legend of Hartalika Teej was narrated by Lord Shiva himself while reminding Goddess Parvati about her incarnation as Shailputri. Apart from listening to and reading the katha, women also participate in other cultural events organized during the day.
Puja Vidhi and Procedure: Hartalika Teej puja is held to mark the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is believed Goddess Parvati observed a very rigorous fast for many years to please Lord Shiva, and, finally, in her 108th birth, Lord Shiva took Goddess Parvati as his wife.
Fasting is an integral part of Hartalika Teej Puja. Women observe Nishivasar Nirjala Vrat — meaning the women not only abstain from food but also do not drink a drop of water a whole day.
The auspicious timings of Hartalika Teej Puja is in the morning – women get up early, bathe and wear new clothes. They visit templea to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who is also called Teej Mata, while observing Nirjala fast. Upon returning from temples, they touch their husbands’ feet.
In the evening, the women take a bath again before the sunset and dress up as newlywed – to recreate their wedding day. They make idols of Shiva and Parvati out of clay or sand to perform the puja. Bilwa leaves, flowers, incense sticks, and lamps are offered to Gods.
The Hartalika Teej Vrat Katha narrates the famous story of Lord Shiva reminding Parvati being incarnated as Goddess Shailaputri, the daughter of Himalaya. The devotees recite mantras like Shanti Mantra and Shama Mantra to conclude Haryali Teej. And the fast is broken the next day.