Ever Wondered Why Measles Is Called 'Mata' In India? 

Various myths are associated with it.

Ever Wondered Why Measles Is Called 'Mata' In India? 
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You all must be aware that measles is a communicable infection caused by the measles virus. A red flat rash normally starts on the face which later spreads to the rest of the body. 

But Indians believe that measles is a blessing from the Goddess. Among different traditions, the infected individual is likewise called to have had 'Mataji'. And you will be amazed to know that even medication is believed as an offense to the Goddess. 

Have you ever wondered why is this so? By what means can a skin contamination be a blessing from God? What is the reason behind this? Well, this is what I have for you. 

There are various myths and stories related to this tale, and some of them are listed below.

In many of the societies in our country, it is believed that diseases are a punishment from God.

In many of the societies in our country, it is believed that diseases are a punishment from God.

People still assume that God is the one who has control over the body of a human. In the same form, all the diseases are said to be given by the same divine power in form of anger or punishment. 

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Measles is related to Sitala Mata.

Measles is related to Sitala Mata.
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We all have heard about Sitala Mata, right? She is worshipped as an incarnation of Supreme Goddess Durga and is known for curing poxes, sores, ghouls, pustules, etc.

Sitala Mata is considered furious as well as kind-hearted.

Sitala Mata is considered furious as well as kind-hearted.
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She carries a silver broomstick in right hand which symbolizes spreading disease, while water pot in the left hand depicts recovering victims with cold water. 

Sitala literally means 'one who cools' in Sanskrit. 

Sitala literally means 'one who cools' in Sanskrit. 
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As reflected in her name, Sitala Mata appreciates cold and coolness.

The rituals of Sitala Saptami...

The rituals of Sitala Saptami...
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It is believed that on the day of Sitala Saptami people do not prepare hot food but consume food which is prepared on the previous day. It is a belief that eating hot food is strictly prohibited on this day.

According to ancient texts or Devi Mahatmya...

According to ancient texts or Devi Mahatmya...
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There is a legend that says when a demon named Jvarasura gave bacterial fever to children, it was Goddess Katyayani who came in the form of Sitala Mata and purified children's blood and destroyed the bacteria that caused fever. 

In the Sanskrit language, 'Jwar' means fever and 'Shital' means coolness.  

It is Sitala Mata's anger that causes measles.

It is Sitala Mata's anger that causes measles.
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According to some old beliefs, measles is allegedly affected by the anger of Sitala Mata.

Why is it called Mata?

Why is it called Mata?
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It is said that when someone suffers measles, it is actually Goddess herself within her victims, burning them.

With the presence of Goddess within them, they resemble Godlike.

With the presence of Goddess within them, they resemble Godlike.
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The measles victims since having the Goddess within them, are resembled to be in a Godlike state. The infection is suggested not to be treated by any medication as it is believed that the Goddess will herself leave the body in 6-10 days. 

Do you know why Sitala Mata's shrine is mostly near a neem tree?

Do you know why Sitala Mata's shrine is mostly near a neem tree?
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It is said that Sitala Mata is among the seven sisters who live in the neem tree. They are also known for bringing epidemic diseases. And this is why often the shrines to Sitala Mata are found near neem trees. Neem is also known for eradicating chicken pox and measles.

Content source: The Speaking Tree

Were you aware of the story behind measles?