Sitala is the goddess of Epidemics, usually found in the North Indian states and there the whole country side prays to her when there is an epidemic. She is the North Indian version of the village Goddess Mari and is usually portrayed as a woman sitting on a donkey holding a broom in one hand and a winnowing fan in the other. She might be naked or wearing a red dress. This prayer is very popular in Kerala where in olden times people used to consider it as an effective antidote against all diseases. To the old Keralite, she is Sitala because she brings down fever.
Asya sri Sitala stotrasya Mahadeva rishi, Anushtup Chanda, Sitala devatha, Lakshmir Bheejam, Bhavani Shakthi, sarva visphotaka nivruthaye jape Viniyoga:
For the prayer to the Goddess who cools, The sage(author) is Maha deva,
The meter is Anushtup, the goddess is “She who cools”, the root is
Goddess Lakshmi, the strength is Goddess Bhavani and chant is initiated,
For curing all diseases with eruptions.
Lord Shiva said:
Vandeham Sitalam devim rasabhastham digambaraam, Marjani kalaso petham soorpalankrutha masthakam., 1
I pray that “Goddess who cools” who rides on a donkey,
Who is nude, who holds broomstick and pot in her hand,
And who holds the winnowing fan over her head.
Vandeham Sitalam devim, sarva roga bhayapaham, Yamasadhya nivarthatha visphotaka bhayam mahath., 2
Sitale Sitale chethi yo brooyath daha peeditha,
Visphotaka bhayam goram kshipram thasya pranasyathi., 3
I salute the “Goddess who cools” who cures all diseases, And prayer to whom removes the great fear of eruptive diseases.
The one who is afflicted by thirst who calls,
“Oh Goddess who cools, Oh Goddess who cools”,
Would get rid of his fear for diseases of eruption within no time.
Yasthwa udhaka madhyethu druthwa poojayathe nara, Vishphotaka bhayam goram gruhe thasya na jayathe., 4
He who stands in the middle of water and worships you,
Would completely abolish the fear of the terrible eruption,
And such diseases would never visit his house ever.
Sitale jwara dagdasya poothi gandha yuthasya cha, Pranashta chakshusha pumsasthwa mahur jeevanaoushadam., 5
Oh Goddess who is cool, to the one who is affected by high fever,
And to the one who has bad smelling wounds and,
Also to the one who has lost his eye,
It is told that you are the only living medicine.
Sitale, thanujan rogan nrunam harasi dusthyajan, Visphotaka vigeernanam thwam ekamrutha varshini., 6
Oh Goddess who is cool, you help us to get rid of,
Sicknesses that refused to get cured and
To the one, whose body has burst to eruptions,
You are like a rain of nectar.
Gala ganda gruha roga, yea chanye daruno nrunam, THwadanu dhyana mathrena sitale yanthisamkshayam., 7
Even serious terrible diseases like mumps,
Are destroyed just by thinking about you.
Na manthro na oushadam thasya papa rogasya vidhyathe, Thwam yekam Sitale dathrem nanyam pasyami devatham., 8
To the diseases caused by sin, no medicines have been suggested,
And I do not see anyone who is like a mother to them, except you.
Mrunala thanthu sadruseem nabhi hrun Madhya samsthidham, Yasthwam sanchinthayeth devithasya mruthyurna jayathe., 9
You look like a thread of lotus stem and live between belly and heart,
And he who meditates on you. would never ever face death.
Ashtakam Sitala devya yo nara prapate sthadha, Visphotaka bhaam goram gruhe thasya na jayathe., 10
The man who reads this octet on the cool goddess always,
Will never face the fead of eruptions in his house.