What is Sankashti Chaturthi
About Sankashti Chaturthi
The Hindus observe fast on various days in a month which has a religious association. Sankashti Chaturthi is one such day that comes every month when a fast or Vrat is observed by the devotees and the day is dedicated to the popular, revered, and loved Lord Ganesha. The literal translation of the Sanskrit word Sankashti means, to be liberated from all obstacles and troubles. Chaturthi means the fourth day of each fortnight of the Lunar cycle (Hindu calendar) in each month. Each month Sankashti Chaturthi falls on the 4th day of the waning Moon or Krishna Paksha phase. Sankashti Chaturthi is also known as Sankata Hara Chaturthi.
Lord Ganesha is one of the most auspicious deities and is known as the God who eliminates obstacles from the path of His devotees, blesses them with knowledge, wisdom, intellect, good fortune, success, and abundance. It is said, when the devotee sincerely observes the extremely Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat each month, he/she is blessed with ease in life, struggles, miseries, obstacles are cleared and enjoy all worldly pleasures. It is said that Lord Ganesha visits His devotees on Earth on this day and grants them their wishes and desires.
A special Sankashti Chaturthi, called Angaraki Chaturthi, takes place when Sankashti Chaturthi falls on a Tuesday. It is considered a highly auspicious and spiritually high energy day. Worshipping Lord Ganesha on this day fulfills all desires of the devotee. Tuesday is also considered Lord Ganesha’s day or His power day in many states of India, like, in Maharashtra.
There are 12 Shankashti Chaturthis each year, with an extra one for the Hindu year with Adhik Masa. Like all Hindu Gods, Lord Ganesha too has many names. On each Sankashti Chaturthi, the Puja is done in a different name of the Lord and His Peeta or seat is also different every month. For example, in Sankashti Chaturdashi of Chaitra Masa, Vikata Maha Ganapati is worshipped, Peeta/seat is Vinayak Peeta and in Vaishakha Masa, the Lord’s name is Chanakra Raja Ekadanta Ganapathi, Peeta(seat) is Srichakra.
The most significant of the Sankashti Chaturthi, is the one which falls in the Hindu month of Magha, i.e. February-March, in the Northern part of India. In the South of India, the Sankashti in Paush month (Jan-Feb) is most significant. Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat has been observed all over India but in Maharashtra, it is widely prevalent.
Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat
Observing Sankashti Chaturthi means observing a fast, the Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat from early in the morning, from Sunrise till the Moon is sighted. Devotees worship Lord Ganesha by performing a special Puja on this day and the Moon in the evening after it rises. The fast is meticulously followed for an optimum beneficial outcome. Each Sankashti has a Vrat Katha, specific to the Lord Ganesha name which is being worshipped on that particular Sankashti Chaturthi. The objective of observing the fast is to keep all troubles and hindrances away from self and family members.
Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat Vidhi
Generally, the Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat Vidhi that is followed is given below.
- After having a bath early in the morning, offer water to the Sun.
- Clean your Altar and purify by sprinkling Gangaajal or alternately you can also set up a Puja Chawki(a raised platform/pedestal) and cover it with Yellow Cloth.
- Draw a Swastika symbol on the Altar. Chawki and place the clean Lord Ganesha idol/Image on it.
- Put Tilak of Kumkum on Lord Ganesha’s forehead in idol or image and put a flower garland.
- Now light a Ghee Diya (Oil Lamp)
- Take some flowers and whole Rice grains in hand and with folded hands take the Sankalpa of fasting. Now offer the flowers at the feet of Lord Ganesha’s idol/image.
- Offer Lord Ganesha’s favorite Durva grass, flowers, Akshat, Incense, Coconut, Betel Leaf, and Nut.
- Offer Yellow color sweets and other sweets and Fruit which are said to be favorite of Lord Ganesha
- Chant Lord Ganesha Mantra for Ganesha Chalisa or Stuti.
- Finish Puja by performing Aarti of Lord Ganesha.
- In the evening, after the Moon rises, offer Akshat, Water, and Honey.
- Chant Chandra (Moon) Mantra. Fold and bow down to Moon God.
The Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat Vidhi steps may vary from state to state.
If abstaining from food is not possible due to some reason, then the devotee can eat a fruit-based diet. The food items which are allowed to have are Sbudana (Tapioca), Peanuts, and dishes made of the only potato.
Benefits of observing Sankashti Chaturthi
Observing Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat is meritorious because of which it is observed by people across India. Lord Ganesha effectively removes all obstacles, miseries, problems from the path of a devotee, making life easier. For those who are facing problems in conceiving or for problems in childbirth, people who are facing obstructions in getting married, the Sankshti Chaturthi Vrat may give the desired outcome. By observing the Sankashti Vrat every month, the devotee is blessed by Lord Ganesha with protection, knowledge, wisdom, prosperity, happiness, success.