- To achieve a happy and peaceful married life.
- For the long lives of their husbands and husbands-to-be.
- To find a life partner as great as Shiva.
- To strengthen the bond & increase love between couples.
- To fulfill all your innermost desires.
Teej is a vital Hindu celebration, for both married and unmarried women. Women start preparing for the celebration in advance as Teej Puja is a part of Teej Vrat (fasting). Their joy, enthusiasm and devotion are clear on their faces as they sing, pray and dance. The Teej Puja celebrates the marriage and union of Goddess Parvati with God Shiva.
Women wear new and beautiful saris and lehenga, deck out in ornaments for the puja. They read the Teej Katha aloud and offer their prayers to Goddess Parvati. Married women pray to have a union as beautiful and long- lasting as Shiva- Parvati, and unmarried women pray to get a husband as great as Shiva and for marital bliss.
There are many rituals in the puja, so the women dress in their traditional attire, and form a group to worship Goddess Parvati because she took 108 births to reunite with Shiva. On this day, idols of Parvati are furnished with rich silk garments and heavy gold jewelry so that she can look her best. Married women also pray for the long and healthy lives of their husbands by observing a fast for the whole day.
Women gather around the idol in a semi- circle and listen to the online pujari narrating the auspicious Teej Katha. Young girls are also encouraged to sit in and listen to the narrative. While they’re listening to the Teej Katha, their minds should be calm and relaxed with positive thoughts of their partners. Once the puja is over, fruits, flowers and other items are given as offerings to the Goddess to seek her blessings.
An oil lamp is lighted for the puja and kept alight all through the night (Akhand Deepak). It is considered a bad omen if the lamp dies during the night. Once the puja is over, women express their joy by singing traditional songs and dancing in praise of the union of Shiva- Parvati.
Legend Behind the Teej Puja
The Teej Katha is narrated by Shiva himself as he reminds Parvati about all the hardships she had faced in order to achieve him as her husband, including taking 108 births. Parvati had forgotten it all in her new birth. He reminds her of her incarnation as Shailputri, at the home of king Himalayaraj.
Goddess Shailputri started her penance to please Shiva since her childhood. She prayed for twelve years, which was followed by another 64 years of austerity and penance. Soon, king Himalayaraj got worried about the future of his daughter. When Narad Rishi came to meet him, he lied and said that he has brought a marriage proposal for his daughter on the behalf of God Vishnu.
Upon knowing this, Himalayaraj became happy and accepted the proposal. On the request of Narad Rishi, Vishnu accepted the proposal to marry Shailputri as well. However, when Shailputri came to know about this situation, she was deeply saddened. Hence, she left her home with her friend and went into the thicket parts of the forest to live in a cave near the river.
She continued her penance to please Shiva. Finally, Shiva got pleased and promised to marry her. The next day Shailputri and her friend observed fast for Shiva which was the day of Shukla Paksh Tritiya during Bhadrapada month.
Meanwhile, king Himalayaraj was worried that his daughter had been abducted. Taking his troops along with himself, he searched every part of the forest until he lastly found her and her friend. Upon requesting her to return home, Shailputri negotiated that her marriage can be held only with Shiva. The king agreed, and when she returned home, he got her married to Shiva.
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