Haritalika Teej Puja is a fasting festival for Hindu women. It is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva, the festival is celebrated for marital bliss, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul.
According to Hindu mythology Parvati was in love with lord Shiva. Being an ascetic Lord shiva was not aware of her. Parvati performed penance on the Himalayas for many years and finally Shiva took notice of her. Then Lord shiva came to know about her love and devotion towards him and agreed to marry her. Since then Parvati has been worshipped as Haritalika.
Unmarried girls keep the fast and pray to Goddesses Parvati in hope to get good husbands. Hartalika Teej Vrat is observed by both married and unmarried women. Married women keep the Vrat in order to achieve happy and peaceful married life. Married ladies come back to their parent’s home to celebrate the festival. Some even maintain nirjala vrata (without water) on these three days and refrain from sleep all the three days. This is symbolic of the penance which Goddesses Parvati undertook to get Shiva as her husband. During the Vrat food is being offered to Brahmins and young girls.
Hartalika Vrat Puja Vidhi
The morning time is considered good to perform Hartalika Puja. If morning Puja is not possible due to some reason then Pradosh time is also considered good to perform Shiva-Parvati Puja. Teej Puja should be done after taking early bath and getting dressed up with fine clothes. Sand made Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati should be worshipped and legend of Hartalika should be narrated during the Puja.
1.Early morning bath with Sesame and Amalak (आमलक) powder
2.Dressing up with fine clothes
3.Sankalp to perform Hartalika Vrat to please Uma-Maheshwar
4.Worship Lord Ganesh before worshipping Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati
5.Shodashopachara Pooja of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati
6.Anga Puja for Goddess Parvati
7.Hartalika Teej Vrat Katha
8.The legend of Hartalika Teej was narrated by Lord Shiva itself while reminding Goddess Parvati about Her incarnation as Shailputri at the home of king Himalayaraj.
Devi Shailputri started penance to please Lord Shiva since her childhood. She prayed for twelve years, which was followed by another 64 years austerity and penance to please Lord Shiva.
The king Himalayaraj got worried about the future of her daughter. When Narada Muni came to see Shailputri, he lied and told that he has brought the marriage proposal for his daughter on behalf of Lord Vishnu. Himalayaraj promised Lord Narada that he would marry his daughter to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu also accepted to marry Goddess Shailputri on the request of Narada Muni.
When Shailputri came to know about the promise of her father to get her married with Lord Vishnu, she left the home with her friend. She went to thick forest and lived in a cave near the river while penancing to please Lord Shiva. At last Lord Shiva got pleased and promised that He would marry her. The next day Shailputri and her friend observed fast for Lord Shiva which was the day of Shukla Paksha Tritiya during Bhadrapada month.
King Himalayaraj was worried for her daughter as he thought that someone has abducted his daughter. King Himalayaraj with his troop started searching for Shailputri everywhere. Finally he found his daughter and her friend in thick forest. He requested her daughter to return to home. Shailputri asked that she would return to home only if he promises to get her married with Lord Shiva. Himalayaraj agreed to her wishes later married her with Lord Shiva.
Due to this legend, this day is known as Hartalika as the friend of Goddess Parvati took her to the thick forest which Himalayaraj considered as abduction of his daughter. Hartalika word is combination of "Harat" and "Aalika" which means "abduction" and "female friend" respectively.