Santoshi Maa is a newly introduced goddess in the pantheon of Hindu God and Goddess, who came to be known as a Goddess around the 1960s. She has this image of having a lovely heart that fulfills everyone’s wishes and provides them satisfaction. She is mostly worshiped in parts of North India and Nepal. A ritual fast, better known as vrata, is performed by women to win the Goddess’s favor; this whole vrata lasts long for 16 consecutive Fridays or more as the devotee determines. In the 16 days of vrata, the devotee should perform a pooja wherein one should offer her flowers, incense, and a bowl of jaggery and roasted chickpeas.
The devotee on the day of vrata should start its day by getting up early in the morning and remembering the goddess. Devotees take only one meal at any time of the day and avoid eating sour, chilly, or bitter food and neither serve it to others, as these foods hinder satisfaction and contentment, for which the whole fast is being done. Once the wish is granted, the devotee organizes the ceremony of the conclusion that is better known as udyapan where 8 boys are to be served a festive meal.
Not this only while doing and performing this Vrata, it has to follow the rules and regulations also. One of this includes avoiding hurting people and unnecessary quarrels. This is said to be done because the main motive of the vrata is to remain in peace with harmony and avoid the bad habits of the human. The main purpose of the vrata is to teach her devotees about love, sympathy, and happiness.
They said that Santoshi Maa is a mother figure of calmness, sanity, and purity. She is determined of saving all her devotees from the hurdles that they face. The Sword and Trishulshe bears are only for saving her devotees and killing the ill powers that dawn them. It is also said that she has four hands, but purposely only two of the hands are visible to devotees, but the other two hands that bear the Sword and Trishul are visible only to whom who have bad in their head.
Om shri santoshi maha maye gajanan damdayinishukravarpriyedevinarayaninamostute
Jai maa santoshye devin amo narayani
Shri santoshye devyye namah
Om shri gajodevo putriyay namah
Om sarv nivarnaay devi bhuta
Om santoshi maha devvye namah
Om sarv kaam falpradaaye namah
Om laliltaaye namah
There goes the vrata Katha with an old woman who had 7 sons; the youngest of whom was very irresponsible, so he was always served with the leftovers of his brothers. The wife of the youngest son gets to know this one day and becomes very angry; she tells this to her husband that makes him sad, and he leaves the house to make his fortune. He goes on and on, and finally, finds the work with a merchant and becomes very wealthy and rich, but eventually forgets about his wife.
Back home, his wife was being tortured by her in-laws in the absence of his husband, which was very sad. One day, she comes to know about Santoshi Maa’s 16-week vrata Katha, and she determines herself to perform the vrata wholeheartedly. She performs the vrata with all the steps, and as the result, Santoshi Maa appears in his husband dream, reminding him about his wife and her problem. The husband comes back and sets a separate household for his wife.
In the udyapan ceremony of the vrata, her in-laws plot against his wife and serves sour food to 8 boys that eventually offends Santoshi Maa. As the result, her husband gets arrested. The wife re-performs the vrata and the udyapan ceremony. This time, everything is handled carefully, and vrata is successful. By virtue of the vrata fortune, her husband is released by the police and soon she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a beautiful child.
Santoshi Maa is seen sitting on a lotus in the sea filled with milk, which means if devotees have purity in their heart, mata will reside in it. Also, this means that even if there are corruption and selfishness around the world, Santoshi Maa will always remain in their worshipers’ heart.
She is the symbol of satisfaction and purity; on her birth, Narada has said that she would always take away the pains of her worshippers.
The story behind the emergence of Santoshi Mata
The story behind her birth is very interesting and also signifies RakshaBandhan, a Hindu festival, where every sister ties a thread on her brothers’ hand and takes the pledge that her brothers will always save her from the evil. This legend starts when the sons of Lord Ganesha, Labha & Kshema, see Jyoti (their father’s sister) tying a thread on their father’s hand. Seeing all the rituals being performed, they become curious about what the function is all about which is being performed.
Seeing their curiosity, their mothers, Ridhi and Sidhi explain to them that this festival is called as RakhsaBandan where every sister ties a thread on their brother’s hand. Impressed with what this festival is all about, they are now desirous of having a sister too. They become so impatient that Lord Ganesha could not console them and had to provide them with a sister.
In the process, a light emerges from the bodies of Lord Ganesha and his wives and combines to form a young girl, who is there to satisfy the deed of Kshema and Labha. With this note, Lord Ganesha explains her name, Santoshi mata, and the purpose of her emergence. And then, all Gods and Goddesses of Heaven shower flowers on her and welcome her.
Items required for Santoshi Maa pooja
- Betel leaves
- Dry whole channa and jaggery for Prasad
- Camphor for aarti
- Photo of Santoshi Maa
- Coconut for Kalash
Temples and places of worship
There are many temples all over India and abroad where Maa Santoshi is worshiped sincerely by her devotees.
- In the North of India, Santoshi Maa is worshiped in Harinagar, which is located in Delhi NCR.
- In the South of India, Mata Santoshi is the principal deity at Jai Nagar, which is situated in the state of Tamil Nadu.
- If you want to find Santoshi Maa’s worship place in the East of India, then directly go to Chakradharpur in Jharkhand.
- In the West of India, one of the most famous Santoshi Maa’s temples is in Lal Sagar in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.