Hariyal Teej: Reunion of Shiva & Adi-Shakti
As a diverse nation, India is blessed with a rich cultural heritage. This heritage lends one many opportunities to celebrate and participate in various festivities and celebrations. The current month, Shravan is associated with piety as it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. We are set to welcome various celebrations; the first being Hariyali Teej.
Hariyal Teej & Shravan
Although, the entire month is dedicated to worshiping of Lord Shiva, particularly Mondays (Shravan Somwar Vrat) followed by Tuesdays (Mangala Gauri Vrat), the third day after the lunar half-moon is widely celebrated as Teej, a festivity that marks the holy union of Lord Shiva and his chief consort Goddess Parvati.
Difference between Teej & Shivratri
However, do not confuse it with Shivratri, the marital union of Lord Shiva and Parvati, which generally falls in the month of Phalguna (February/March). Teej is different and has a significant purpose. The story behind it is explained in Puranas and Upanishads
It is said that after Lord Shiva’s wife Sati immolated herself, the former was unable to bear his grief for the loss of his beloved wife. And, in this grief-stricken phase, he lost interest in the worldly affairs and withdrew himself to the mountains; taking solace in meditation and austerity.
108 Births of Adi Shakti
Adi-shakti (Sati) took 107 births in order to pull out Shiva from his remorse phase and accept her as his wife but failed. In her 108 birth, she was born as Parvati, daughter of Himavat, King of Mountains and his wife Minavati. This is also the reason why 108 holds devout value in Hinduism.
Parvati’s penance for Shiva
In this birth, she was successful in drawing out Lord Shiva from his extreme meditation and making him aware of her existence and manifestation. She herself went through strict penance to break Shiva’s meditation. And, then he accepted her. His acceptance of Parvati is marked as the celebration of Teej in Hinduism.
Hindu women and Shiv-Parvati devotees around the world, celebrate this day by worshiping Goddess Parvati, for the long life and endless love of their husbands, just as she got for herself. The festivity might sound similar to Karwa Chauth, however, it’s not. Hariyali Teej has different Vrat Katha and puja rituals. Keep reading to know more….
On this day, women observe stringent fast (avoiding water too) praying for the long life of their husbands. From jewelry to clothes, they wear everything new and apply ‘alta’ on their feet. Throughout the day, they enjoy in merriment, and in evening they perform the puja after sunrise next morning. Confused about this. Please check.
Hariyali Teej Vrat vidhi
Women who observe the fast come together to worship the idol of Goddess Parvati, with items of ‘solah sringar for Parvati’; they, then take 7 rounds around the idol and sing bhajans and recite Vrat Katha for the entire night. In the case of unavailability of the Goddess Parvati’s idol, you can also worship ‘Gaur’ prepared from clay.
Teej festival in India
Women take turns to read the Vrat Katha as the others listen while silently chanting their desires in their heart. After sunrise, women take bath with red sindoor, as a symbol of purification and blessing from Goddess Parvati.
Teej blessings from Shiva
This is followed by distribution of Prasad to young girls and other family members. The prayers and worship performed on this day help couples rid themselves of marital differences and lead a life of bliss. This will ensure that both will prosper and be with each other in good and bad times.