Aarti Natarajan Sharma
Teej is a popular festival especially in the northern states of India. The festival coincides with the monsoon season in the months of July, August and September and is celebrated by married women. Apart from giving thanks to the rains for their abundance which enables crops to flourish, Teej is also a way to pray to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and seek their blessings for a happy and long married life.
There are three types of Teej celebrated in India and each one has an interesting story behind it.
Haryali Teej is said to be the day Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his wife. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati went through 108 cycles of rebirths and deaths before Lord Shiva finally noticed her dedication and accepted her love. Goddess Parvati is also referred to as Teej Mata. This year Haryali Teej is falling on 11 August.
Kajari Teej is also called Kajli Teej. There is a Kajali forest in central India where a King died an untimely death. In sorrow, his queen committed sati (the ancient ritual where women used to self-immolate themselves at their husband’s funeral pyre). The people of the forest were saddened by these events but impressed with the depth of devotion and love shared by the King and Queen. To honour this, they started singing Kajli songs. It is believed that the tradition of Kajari Teej started from here. Women fast on this day to pray for the long and healthy life of their husbands. In 2021 Kajari Teej is on 25 August.
Hartalika Teej is celebrated to ensure continuity of marital life. Unmarried women also fast to get a desired husband. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati did intense penance for several years in order to gain Lord Shiva as a husband. Seeing his daughter going through such suffering, Parvati’s father decided to garner Lord Vishnu’s proposal for his daughter. But Parvati had her heart set on only marrying Lord Shiva. She asked one of her friends to hide her in a thick forest so that she could continue her penance uninterrupted. She made a Shivling of sand and worshipped it, because of which Lord Shiva was pleased and appeared in front of her. This year it’s on 9 September.
Teej is a wonderful occasion for gifting. Not only do daughters-in-law receive gifts from family members, women friends also exchange friends. Let’s take a look at some unique gifting options.
Shree Shiv Nitya Aradhana
Since Lord Shiva is worshipped during Teej, this makes for a perfect gift to devotees. It is a collection of devotional hymns addressed to Lord Shiva and comprises of
- Shree Shiv Mantra
- Shree Shiv Tandav Stotra
- Shree Shiv Ashtak
- Shree Shiv Shatnamavali
- Shree Shiv Chalisa
- Shree Shiv Aarti
The Shree Shiv Nitya Aradhana comes in a beautiful vibrant blue box with silver metal foiling. The font is large and printed with a special UV ink on premium quality paper. This is available in both Hindi and English. You can also choose to personalize this gift with a name, a special message or a photograph, adding that extra special dimension to your gift.
Pink Asht Chalisa
The Asht chalisa comprises of 8 of the best chalisas or prayer books devoted to the following Gods- Ganesh, Lakshmi, Shiv, Hanuman, Shani, Durga Krishna and Sai. This gift set comes with each chalisa in neat compartments and in a beautiful baby pink box. Each prayer book is in large font, printed on high quality paper and is available in both Hindi and English. The box has a velvet lining and a silk matte finish, giving it a luxurious look. You can personalize this with a name, a special message or a photograph. The Asht Chalisa is a great addition to any home and perfect for gifting.