Kevada Teej, a festival celebrated in many states of India, especially Gujarat. It is also called Hartalika Teej. “Teej” means third and this day falls on the third day after the full moon or new moon night in the month of Bhadrapad. Hence, it is called Kevada Teej. This festival marks the union of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
For many years Parvati tried to impress Shiva for his love and offered prayers to a Linga. After realising Parvati’s endless and constant efforts to win his love, Shiva appeared in front of Parvati while she was offering Kevada leaf to the Linga. Shiva is fond of Bilwa leaves but as Parvati offered Kevada to the Linga on the third say of the new moon night, Lord Shiva named this day as Kevada Teej. Thus, Lord Shiva agreed Parvati’s win over him and his love and the universe witnessed the divine wedding of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
This festival is celebrated with great pomp by the Hindu women, both married and unmarried. The unmarried pray for a husband like Lord Shiva whereas the married offer prayers for long life and good health of their children, husband and self.
This festive occasion is also called Hariyali Teej. It is said that Lord Shiva bestows us with greenery and vegetation for the well-being of humanity, that no being of the universe remains without food. Hence, along with Kevada leaves and flowers, leaves of other plants are also offered.
Growing up, I have always seen my mother performing the rituals of this day, which include fasting, chanting Shlokas and Kathas related to Goddess Parvati and her devotion towards Lord Shiva and how she always tried to protect Lord Shiva from Asuras and other bad omen. However, when I grew up I felt that why should there be a need to fast and offer prayers and puja for a husband. I believed that even without such grandeur a wife can simply pray for the health and well-being of her husband. But eventually, when I got married, I could totally connect to what and how my mother felt about my father and that she would not fail to leave any stone unturned if it’s the matter of her partner’s wellness.
These are tough times where you have limited resources and hence festivals are now given some different kind of fervour. Even today, when me and my mother performed the rituals, we had limited things to offer to Lord Shiva’s linga that my father made out of sand for us. However, we managed to still finish the puja with same fun and joy and prayed for the well-being of the world over. It’s such times that teach us how we can find happiness even under limitations.
Let us hope we get over this tough pandemic time soon so that the world can be as beautiful as ever with everybody around us happy and joyous. Let us all try to continue to contribute towards the betterment of this world.
Rise and shine.