According to Hindu calendar, each lunar month has two Chathurthi Tithis. It is celebrated every month during Krishna Pakhsha, on Chathurthi day. When Sankashti Chathurthi is on Tuesday it is known as Angaraki Sankatahara Chathurthi, and this day is considered highly auspicious for the Hindus. Sankatahara Chathurthi or Sankashti Chathurthi is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is believed that Lord Ganesha can eradicate all the obstacles, and difficulties. This puja is considered very auspicious day for the Hindus. They observe fast from sunrise, worship the sculpted figure of Ganesha, and finish it after observing the moon rise.
- One can initiate the puja after talking bath, and keep the environment clean. Place a clean plate or betel leaf before the Lord. Place kumkum on it, and decorate it with flowers, place fresh fruits as prasad.
- Fasting on Sankatahara Chathurthi is believed very fortunate, and extremely beneficial.
- By having a complete fast Sankatahara will be broken after observing the moon rise, followed by a puja to Lord Ganesha.
- Lord Ganeshamurti, Plantain leaf (if available or a plate), and rice for enunciating Lord’s Turmeric Vigraha.
- One plate (preferably a metallic one), and some rice (2-3 cups).
- Ghantaa (bell), Haldi, kumkum, akshata, flowers, garlands.
- Two coconuts, bananas.
- Betel leaves, betel nuts (supari), Druva Grass blades.
- Panchaamrita (honey, milk, ghee, curds, sugar – all in one cup).
- Two small lamps/Diyas.
- Agarbatti/Incense Sticks
Vidhi or the Process:
- Put the vibhuti mixed with water on your forehead.
- Offer 21 blades of Druva Grass, 21 modakas, red flowers.
- You can apply a tilak using red Sandalwood paste.
- You can keep the coconut or break it in front of the idol.
- Fold your hands in Namashkaar form, sit comfortably, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and start chanting ‘Om’.
- Chant the following mantras: “Vakratunda mahaakaaya sooryakoti samaprabha / nirvighnam kurume devasarva kaarye Shusarvadaa’’.
- In the evening, light a lamp with Ghee/Coconut oil, start reciting the 108 names of Ganesha or slokas. Offer the coconut, banana, milk as prasad/naivedya along with flowers to the Lord Ganesha.
The strict rituals of this puja are meant for Vedic priests/temples. While you are performing Ganesha Puja at home, you can always be flexible. All you need to be careful is to perform the pujas with a clean body and clean mind.