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Sankatahara Chaturthi is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is celebrated every month [lunar], on the fourth day of the waning phase of the moon [Krishna Paksham]. It is the fourth day after the full moon day.
If the chaturthi falls on a tuesday, it is considered even more auspicious.
Fasting on Sankatahara Chaturthi
Fasting on Sankatahara Chaturthi is considered auspicious and beneficial. It is believed that if we take up this vratam and continue it for one year, fasting on all the Sankatahara Chaturthi days, culminating the vratam by performing the "Maha Ganapathi Homam", all difficult tasks in life will be completed and all obstacles removed from our life.
Even though any day could be a good day to pray to Lord Ganesha, sankatahara chaturthi is supposed to be the best day for the sankatahara chaturthi vratham. Sankatahara literally means breaking or removing of sorrow. So, it is believed that fasting on sankatahara chaturthi will bring a speedy end to your sorrows.
Also, it is believed that if one looks at the moon on a waxing phase moon on a chathurti, he will fall from grace and that performing the chaturthi vratham will help him regain his status.
It is also believed that performing the vratham every month on the chaturthi day will bring all happiness and wealth ani the family and remove all obstacles.
There are various other good things attributed to the chaturthi vratham or fasting, such as getting relief from long standing sickness, improvement in education, sharp intelligence, long life, relief from sani dosha and so on. Every month puja on the Sankatahara Chaturthi is performed and Lord Ganesha is worshipped under different forms every month.
On Sankatahara Chaturthi, Lord Ganesha blesses his devotees with his presence on Earth at the time of the celebrations.
Worship lord Ganesha on Chaturdashi for prosperity and happiness
There are thousands of deities according to Hindu mythology and there are specific days to worship them. Lord Ganesha is one of the deities who is worshiped with great dedication all over India. It is believed that he is the god for prosperity, happiness and knowledge. Another name of the lord Ganesha is Vighaneshwara which means the remover of the obstacles. Thus, before starting any work, the name of lord Ganesha is enchanted and prayer is offered to make all the work successful and free from the obstacles.
Significance of Sankatahara Chaturthi
According to the Hindu calendar, each lunar month has two Chaturthi Tithi which is dedicated to lord Ganesha. The Chaturdashi which falls after the poornima or full moon in the month of the Krishna paksha is celebrated as the Sankatahara Chaturthi. Sankatahara Chaturthi is one of the most auspicious days to worship lord Ganesha.
Sankatahara Chaturthi is the day on which strict fast is observed which is broken after sighting the Lord moon. It is expected that Lord Ganesha relived you from pains of the life, kuja and manglik dosha in your horoscope. He also saves you from the effects of the sins which you have committed in your human life to make all your births happy and prosperous after the death of the immortal human body.
Perform Sankashti pujan
Prayers are offered to lord Ganesha after taking bath in the morning. Earthen lamp is lit and the arti of Lord Ganesha is sung with love. On this auspicious day you can fast by drinking water and no food at all for the day. Those who find it difficult to fast for the whole day on Sankatahara Chaturthi may go for partial fast and can eat fresh fruits and sabudana khichdi but salt must be avoided in any form. You are supposed to chant the names of lord Ganesha with fill devotion. Several lord Ganesha mantras are also needed to be enchanted while fasting on Sankatahara Chaturthi. Some of the mantras are Ganesha Ashtothara Sankashtnashana sthothra or Vakrathunda mahakaya.
In the evening, pujan of lord Ganesha starts after sighting the moon. In case the moon is not visible to you then you can perform pujan according to the moonrise time on that day according to the Hindu Panchang. After seeing the moon, you have to decorate the idol or poster of the lord Ganesha with durva grass and yellow or red flowers. Banana, coconut and sweets are offered to lord Ganesha, arti is performed and then Prasad is distributed among the people.
Benefits of Sankatahara Chaturthi
Lord Ganesha is worshipped before starting any work; the benefit of Sankatahara Chaturthi is that none of your work will ever face the hurdles till the blessings of lord Ganesha are with you. If you want to know the benefits of fasting and worshipping lord Ganesha on Sankatahara Chaturthi, then you should read Ganesha puran. To save from the slavery, cure of leprosy, escape of the unexpected death, blessing for true knowledge and many more reasons Sankatahara Chaturthi is celebrated in Hindu religion.