Today on the occasion of Sheetalashtami, the Bhojpuri folk goddess Sheetala was born. As per folk belief, Sheetala is the goddess of disease. Holding a broom to sweep diseases either towards or away from humankind, she was a goddess that communities worshiped on grand scale to ensure disease never plagued their land. After becoming a scriptural goddess within mainstream Hinduism, she retained that position as the relocater/remover/destroyer of sickness.
Today, this occasion means more than just the veneration of the goddess, but rather a plea to her, asking her to remove and destroy this pandemic that has taken manifest in almost every country so far.
Although she is the ruling force over disease, she represents cleanliness and hygiene. Therefore it is important that in order for Mother Sheetala to perform her duty, we must be the ones who practice hygiene.
Please do not wait for a pandemic in order to wash your hands often, bathe, source clean foods, and maintain overall cleanliness within your homes and where you live your daily lives.
Whether you all believe in her or not, I hope that this ancestral Goddess of mine shows her mercy and sweeps her broom away from us all.
Stay safe everyone.
Jai Seetala Mai!!