Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(5,332 words)

Listen carefully, devotees, while I tell the story of Mother Śītalā’s birth. King Nahuṣa was performing a sacrifice to obtain a son. Who could count all the sages and seers who came! They performed the sacrifice with the offerings, unimpeded, and the whole ceremony came off peacefully. At the end of the sacrifice, they put out the fire. In it they found a radiant young woman. She emerged with a winnowing tray on her head. When Brahmā caught sight of her, he politely asked, “Who are you, lovely girl, whose wife? Why were you in the fire? Tell us the story!”

“A goddess! I was born in the fire pi…

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Manring, Rebecca J., “Śītalādevī”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 29 May 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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