Among the rituals of Bengalis, one of the secular rituals is tomorrow Jamai Shashti. This day is known as Aranya Shashti. On this day Goddess Shasthi is worshiped according to Laukikachar. Although there is no mention of it in the Vedic scriptures, Shashti puja is performed in every house in Bengal on the Shashti tithi of Shuklapaksha of Jaishtha month. This sixth is known as Aranya Shashthi or Jamaishashthi.
There are many rituals and stories behind the celebration of Aranya Shashti. On this day, on the one hand, the son-in-law is welcomed. Similarly, those who do not have a son-in-law also do not refrain from observing this Shashti. At Ma Shasthi’s Thane, everyone performs puja for the well-being of their children.
The materials required in Aranya Shasthi are palm leaf fan, durba, paddy, sweets, betel nut, karam tea which is specially required for puja, flowers, bel pata, mango pallab, thread dyed with turmeric etc.
Each of these materials has its own significance. When mothers-in-law tie the thread dyed with betel leaves and turmeric to their son-in-law’s hands, they pray in their hearts that the bond of my family with your family may remain unbroken, that the bond of your relationship with my daughter may be forever bound by the bond of love. Blowing the son-in-law with a fan means that danger should be kept away from him. The fan is blown three times sixty sixty sixty. Saying 60 60 60 these three times means to wish him long life. Paddy is a symbol of happiness and prosperity and many children. Durba is a symbol of evergreen and eternal freshness. These customs are followed so that the girl can live happily and peacefully in her in-laws’ house. He is accompanied by a prayer to mother Shashti for a child for her daughter.
On this day, five, seven or nine kinds of fruits are kept on jackfruit leaves in the puja dali. One of the fruits must be Karamcha. And there are 108 trees. On the occasion of Shashti Puja, the mother-in-law takes a bath and fills it with water and places the mango pallab on it. He kept a palm leaf fan with him. Puja materials are decorated with dough tied with 108 durbas. The mother-in-law has to cut 5 or 7 to 9 kinds of fruits and arrange them on jackfruit leaves. Then the thread is dyed yellow and tied with flower bell leaves. After that Ma Shasthi puja is performed. If there is a thana of mother Shashti near the house, the mother-in-laws go there and perform this puja. Then the mothers-in-law broke the fast by reciting the vows, fanning the children and son-in-law and tying the thread of mother shashti on everyone’s hands. Fanning of palm leaves soaked in water is done. So that all dangers go away.
Vrata Katha: A family had two wives. The little wife was very greedy. When fish or any other good food was cooked at home, she would eat it secretly and complain to her mother-in-law that the black cat had eaten it all. The cat is the vehicle of Mother Shasti. So the cat fish complained to Sasthi, Ma Shasthi got angry. Then his seven sons and one daughter were taken away one by one by Ma Sasthi. As a result, her husband, mother-in-law and others abused her and kicked her out of the house. Meanwhile, the elder wife started living happily with her husband and children.
The little wife goes to the forest in sorrow and cries alone. Seeing him, Ma Sasthi felt pity. Finally Ma Shashti comes to him in the guise of an old woman and asks to know the reason for his crying. When he talks about his grief, Ma Shasthi asks him to apologize to Ma Shasthi for his past misbehaviour. Mother Shasti will forgive him. He then said that if he performed the Shashti Puja with devotion, then he would get back the lives of his seven sons and one daughter. The younger wife returns to the family with hope. After that, he worshiped Ma Shasthi with devotion. One by one the younger wife gets back seven sons and one daughter. Since then, Ma Shasthi’s greatness spread around. This is the vow of Jamaishashti or Aranya Shashti.
This time the son-in-law has fallen on 10th Jaishth 1430 (Bangla) 25th May (English) Thursday. Shasthi Thithi starts on 10 Jaishtha 1430 PM at 3:28 PM. Sasthi Thithi ends on 11th Jaishtha 1430, 5:26 PM.