Hartalika Teej is a festival of fasting during Shukla Paksha Tritiya of Bhadrapada month.On this day, makeshift statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are made with sand and worshipped for marital bliss and progeny.

Hartalika Teej is known by this name due to the legend associated with it. The word Hartalika is a combination of ‘Harat’ and ‘Aalika’ which mean ‘abduction’ and ‘female friend’ respectively.

Legend has it

The legend of Hartalika Teej was narrated by Lord Shiva while reminding Goddess Parvati about her incarnation as Shailputri at the home of king Himalayaraj. He narrated that Devi Shailputri started a penance to please Lord Shiva since her childhood. She prayed for twelve years, which was followed by another 64 years’ austerity and penance to please Lord Shiva.

Upon learning of his daughter’s immense devotion, king Himalayaraj got worried about the future of his daughter. When Narada Muni came to visit Shailputri, he lied and told the king that he had brought a marriage proposal for his daughter on behalf of Lord Vishnu. Himalayaraj promised Lord Narada that he would marry his daughter to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu also accepted to marry Goddess Shailputri at Narada Muni’s request.

When Shailputri came to know that her father had given his word to have her betrothed to Lord Vishnu, she fled with the help of a friend. She went to a thick forest and lived in a cave near the river while keeping a penance to please Lord Shiva. At last, Lord Shiva was pleased and promised that he would marry her. The next day, Shailputri and her friend observed a fast for Lord Shiva, which was the day of Shukla PakshaTritiya during the Bhadrapada month.

King Himalayaraj soon found out that his daughter was missing, he got worried and thought that someone had abducted her. The king with his troop started searching for Shailputri everywhere. One day, he found his daughter and her friend in the thick forest. He requested his daughter to return home. Shailputri consented to return home on the condition that the king would promise to get her married to  Lord Shiva. Himalayaraj agreed to her wishes, took her back homeand married her off to Lord Shiva.

Due to the legend associated with it, this day came to be known as Hartalika, as the friend of Goddess Parvati took her to the thick forest but King Himalayaraj assumed it to be the abduction of his daughter.

 Common Rituals

During this festival, married women return to their parent’s house to celebrate, and it is considered auspicious to give gifts to women on the occasion of Teej. They receive gifts from their parents-in-law, while women who are engaged, receive gifts from the parents-in-law to be.

Prospective in-laws of engaged girls usually offer gifts in the form of ‘shrinjhara’ (a gift pack) that consists of henna, lac bangles, a special laheria dress and ghewar (a sweetmeat). Women also receive gifts from other relatives.

Also, oil lamps form a very important part of the Hartalika Teej festival. As per the ritual of Teej fasting, women should keep an oil lamp lit all night. It is considered to be bad omen if the flame of the oil lamp goes out.

Puja Vidhi

Preparation

The morning hours are most favourable to perform Hartalika puja. If morning puja is not possible due to any reason, then the hour of Pradosh is also considered good to perform Shiva-Parvati Puja.

Teej Puja should be done after taking a bath early in the morning and getting dressed in fine clothes. Idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, made with sand, should be worshipped and the legend of Hartalika should be narrated during the puja.

Religious text Vratraj provides the detailed Vidhi or ritual about how to perform Hartalika Puja. Generally, Hartalika Teej is considered to be a festival for women only. However, nowhere in Vratraj is it mentioned that the puja is for women alone.

 Method

The main puja steps given in Vratraj are as follows:

Take an early morning bath with sesame and amalak powder

Dress in fine clothes

Take asankalp or vow to perform Hartalika Vrat to please Uma-Maheshwar

Worship Lord Ganesha before worshipping Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati

Perform Shodashopachara Pooja of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati

Shodashopachara Pooja

Shodashopachara is a way of performing daily Hindu puja when worshipping Hindu deities. This involves 16 steps, and is performed by some Hindus on a daily basis,while others perform it only on special occasions.

Method

Aavaahan – Welcoming the deity

Aasan – Seating of the deity

Padya – Washing feet

Arghya – Offering water to wash hands

Achman – Offering water to sip and wash mouth

Snan – Bathing of deity

Vastra – Offering fresh clothes and decorations

Changing Janeu – Fresh scared thread

Gandha – Offering aromatic substances

Pushpa – Offering flowers

Dhoop – Lighting incense

Deep – Lighting lamps

Naivadya – Offering food

Tambool – Offering betel leaves, betel nuts, camphor etc.

Pradakshina – Prostrating before the deity and circumambulating the deity

Pushpanjali – Offering flowers and final prayers

 

Aarti/Katha in Hindi

कथानुसार मां पार्वती ने अपने पूर्वजन्म में भगवान शंकर को पति रूप  में प्राप्त करने के

लिए पर्वतराज हिमालय पर गंगा के तट पर अपनी बाल्यावस्था में अधोमुखी होकर घोर तप

किया. इस दौरान उन्होंने अन्न का सेवन नहीं किया.

कई अवधि तक शूखे पत्ते चबाकर काटी और फिर कई वर्षों तक उन्होंने केवल हवा पीकर ही व्यतीत किया.

माता पार्वती के इस अवस्था को देखकर उनके पिताअत्यंत दुखी थे.

इसी दौरान एक दिन महर्षि नारद भगवान विष्णु की ओर से पार्वती के विवाह का प्रस्ताव लेकर मां पार्वती

के पिता के पास पहुंचे,

जिसे उन्होंने सहर्ष ही स्वीकार कर लिया. पिता ने जब मां पार्वती को उनके विवाह की बात बतलाई तो

वह बहुत दुखी हो गई और जोर-जोर से विलाप करने लगी.

फिर एक सखी के पूछने पर माता ने उसे बताया कि वह यह कठोर व्रत भगवान शिव को पति रूप में प्राप्त करने के लिए कर रही हैं जबकि उनके पिता उनका विवाह विष्णु से कराना चाहते हैं.

तब सहेली की सलाह पर माता पार्वती घने वन में चली गई और वहां एक गुफा में जाकर भगवान शिव कीअराधना  में लीन हो गई.

भाद्रपद तृतीया शुक्ल के हस्त नक्षत्र को माता पार्वती ने रेत से शिवलिंग का निर्माण किया औरभोलेनाथ की स्तुति

में लीन होकर रात्रिजागरण किया. तब माता के इस कठोर तपस्या से प्रसन्न होकर भगवान शिव ने उन्हें दर्शन दिया और फिर माता के इच्छानुसार उनकोअपनीपत्नीकेरूपमें स्वीकार कर लिया.

मान्यता है कि इस दिन जो महिलाएं विधि-विधानपूर्वक औरपूर्ण निष्ठा से इस व्रत को करती हैं, वहअपने मन केअनुरूप पति को प्राप्त करती हैं.

Aarti/Katha in English

This is the katha that was narrated by Lord Shiva to his consort goddess Parvati.

Devi Shailputri started penance to please Lord Shiva since her childhood to get married to him. She prayed for twelve years, which was followed by another 64 years of austerity and penance to please the Lord.

Upon learning this, king Himalayaraj got worried about the future of her daughter. When Narada Muni came to see Shailputri, he lied and told the king that he had brought a marriage proposal for his daughter on behalf of Lord Vishnu. Himalayaraj promised Lord Narada that he would marry his daughter to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu also accepted to marry Goddess Shailputri at the request of Narada Muni.

When Shailputri came to know that her father had given his word to have her married to Lord Vishnu, she fled with the help of a friend. She went to a thick forest and lived in a cave near the river while keeping a penance to please Lord Shiva. At last, Lord Shiva was pleased and promised that he would marry her. The next day, Shailputri and her friend observed a fast for Lord Shiva, which was the day of Shukla Paksha Tritiya during the Bhadrapada month.

On finding his daughter missing, King Himalayaraj got worried and thought that someone had abducted her. The king with his troop started searching for Shailputri everywhere. One day, he found his daughter and her friend in the thick forest. He requested her daughter to return home. Shailputri consented to return only if the king promised to have her married to Lord Shiva. Himalayaraj agreed to her wishes and married her to Lord Shiva.

Due to the legend associated with it, this day came to be known as Hartalika, as the friend of Goddess Parvati took her to the thick forest but King Himalayaraj assumed it to be the abduction of his daughter.

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