The article speaks about the significance of Chapra Shashti in the lives of Hindus in different part of the world. It is celebrated on the 6th day of the month, on the waxing phase of the moon.
The puja relating to mother Shashti is carried on 6th day of the Shukla paksha or the bright phase of the moon. Chapra Shashti is practiced mainly in Bengal and entire South India including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and other neighbouring countries. On that day mother Shashti the Goddess of fertility is worshipped for better health and prosperity in everyone’s lives.
The legend of chapra shashti goes as follows. At once upon a time there was a rich farmer who had seven sons. He got them married to prosperous girls. But out of the seven wives, the smallest one (choto bou) was very greedy.
She used to steal the milk from the kitchen and drink it and used to eat other’s share of food. She also used to eat the fish that was caught in the ponds of the rich farmer.
One day the mother-in –law called up all the wives. She asked them did anyone know how the milk in the kitchen reduced in quantity and how the fishes were stolen. None of the other daughters – in –law replied but the youngest daughter- in – law or the choto bou replied that I had seen the black cat running out with milk overflowing from her body and also with the fishes.
So everyone caught hold of the black cat and gave her a beating. When the same thing happened again, the poor cat again got a beating. Finally the black cat went to mother shashti and complained before her. Mother Shashti said wait. She will teach the choto bou lesson for telling lies, stealing the food and putting the blame on the poor black cat.
Then when the choto bou gave birth to a baby boy, the black cat stole the child and took it to Mother Shashti. The choto bou followed the path taken by the black cat and went to the house of mother Shashti. She saw the child in the lap of Mother Shashti. Mother Shashti said that she will give the child back subject to the choto bou confessing about her lies, stealing and also false allegation on the black cat. She also the black cat was her vahana. The choto bou started crying and agreed to do the needful.
From that day onwards Mother Shashti asked married woman to celebrate shasti on the 6th day of the waxing phase of moon. All the shashtis had significance including chapra shashti, neel shashti, ashok shashti, durga shashti, jamai shasti, aranya shashti to name a few. A white thread immersed in haldi the sign of purity is tied in the hands of the children on the day of Chapra Shashti. Mother Shasti gave a message to everyone saying that the evil that parents do have huge role to play in the lives of the children. So if the parents want better health and prosperity of the children not only they should perform the shasti but also follow the path of truth and honesty.
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