Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Sankashti Chaturti vrat is an auspicious monthly ritual in a traditional Hindu calendar. Observed every month, the vrat falls on the 4th day after Purnima, that is, the appearance of the full moon. In case the Sankashti Chaturthi vrat occurs on a Tuesday, it is considered to be highly fortunate and is known as Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi. The observers of this fast believe that it would bring happiness, fulfillment of desires and material progress to the family. Some also consider that the observance of the fast will assist in eradicating difficulties and obstacles faced by one. Though Sankashti Vrat demands complete fasting from morning to the sighting of the moon, some people prefer observing a partial fast. Read on further to know more about Angarak Sankashti Chaturti Vrat and how to observe it.
How To Observe Angaraki Ganesh Chaturthi Vrat
People rise up early in the morning of the fast and take a ritualistic bath. They then light a lamp and perform an Aarti to honor Lord Ganesha. Prayers dedicated to Ganesha are chanted and the vrat begins immediately thereafter until evening puja is performed. Devotees observing a partial fast are allowed to eat only Sabudana Khichdi, fruits or curd rice. On sighting the moon in the evening, the ritual puja is carried out. However, if the moon is not visible due to varied circumstances, the puja is performed according to the moonrise time mentioned in the Panchang, or calendar.
After the moon is sighted, an idol, painting or photo of Lord Ganesha is adorned with flowers and Durva grass. A lamp is lit and coconut, banana and flowers are offered to the Lord. Prasad (Modak or any other sweet) is prepared and served to the idol. Devotees perform the Aarti and carry out other Hindu rituals, such as chanting mantras and lighting incense sticks (agarbatis). On completion of the puja, Prasad is distributed amongst family members and fast is broken. While puja is performed to Ganesha, people offer puja to Chandra (moon god) as well. To perform the puja, water is sprinkled, and sandalwood paste, flowers and holy rice are thrown in the direction of the moon. In Maharashtra, one can find massive public traffic in Ganesha temples on this day.