How is Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat Observed?•
Posted on June 17 2022
Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat is observed by devotees of Lord Ganesha in His honour. This vrat is considered to be the ultimate vrat for the lord. It is performed on the fourth day of the Krishna Paksha every month. This is essentially the fourth day after the Poornima or full moon night of each month.
The word Sankashti is a Sanskrit term that means deliverance during times of difficulty. The term Chaturthi refers to the day of Lord Ganesha or the fourth day. Hence, this day is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and His worshippers render their heartfelt prayers to Him to emerge victorious in the challenges that they encounter and overcome obstacles in their path.
Sankashti Chaturthi is practised every month. There are totally 13 vrats, one for the Chaturthi in each month. The final Chaturthi is observed for the additional month that occurs once in four years according to the Hindu calendar. On each Chaturthi, the god is worshipped with a different name and lotus petals. Each vrat is associated with a unique story and purpose.
Rituals observed for Sankashti Chaturthi
Like with almost any other Hindu occasion or festival, devotees begin the day by waking up early in the morning. They take a bath and wear fresh clothes. After this, they clean the house, especially the pooja room and light a lamp in front of a photo or idol of the lord. This is followed by saying mantras of Ganesha with utmost devotion.
Worshippers offer either a stringent fast or a partial fast based on their ability. Irrespective of the option chosen, the fast is broken only after seeing the moon in the evening hours. There are some aspects to be followed when observing a partial fast. Not all kinds of food can be eaten when this kind of fast is observed. Eating only vegetables, fruits and roots of plants is allowed. Only sabudana and potatoes can be consumed in cooked form.
One of the most important rituals followed along with the vrat for Sankashti Chaturthi is the Sankashti pooja that is done in the evening. The photo or idol of Lord Ganesha is once again decorated with fresh flowers and His favourite Durva grass and a lamp is lit in front of Him. This is followed by the recitation of the Ganesha Chalisa and various Vedic mantras in dedication to the deity. It is believed to be auspicious to recite the Ganesha Ashtotra and Vakrathunda Mahakaya on this day.
After the various chants, devotees read the vrat katha for the specific month. If this is not possible, elders narrate the story and others listen to the narration. The narration is followed by the Ganesh aarti.
The lord is treated to His favourite delicacies like ladoos and modaks as neivedya or prasad. The prasad is shared among the devotees and friends after the aarti.
Interestingly, it is not just Lord Ganesha that is worshipped on Sankashti Chaturthi. Chandra or the Moon God is also offered prayers on this day. Flowers, consecrated rice, sandalwood paste and water are sprinkled in the direction of the moon.
Observing Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat Benefits
The benefits of observing a vrat on Sankashti Chaturthi are multifold. The vrat observed on Sankashti Chaturthi can bring happiness to His devotees, relieve them of the sins committed and help them in attaining salvation. It helps to get rid of the negative energies in their lives. Followers are also blessed with fulfilment of their wishes, wealth and prosperity. Childless couples are also bestowed with a progeny.
The vrat is also referred to by several other names such as Sankasthahara Chaturthi or Sankat Hara Chaturthi. If the Sankashti Chaturthi falls on a Tuesday, it is referred to as Angkari Chaturthi. A Sankashti Chaturthi that falls on this day is said to be the most auspicious of all the Sankashti Chaturthis. Although Sankashti Chaturthi and its vrat are observed nationwide, they are performed on a grand scale in Maharashtra.
Written by - Deepthi K