Introduction to Sankatahara Chaturthi
Problems are referred to as “Sankat” or “Sankata,” while “Hara” refers to removing or reducing. The fourth day after the New Moon or the Full Moon is Chaturthi. As a result, Sankatahara Chaturthi is a day dedicated to overcoming difficulties. This day is additionally called Sankashti Chaturthi. It occurs every month on the fourth lunar day (Chaturthi), following the Full Moon, during Krishna Paksha, the moon’s waning phase. Lord Ganesha, who is praised for overcoming difficulties, is worshipped on this auspicious day.
Devotees observe a strict fast on this day. After praying to Ganesha and having darshan, or the good sight of the moon, they break the fast at night. The planet Mars, for which Tuesday is named, is the subject of the Angaraki Chaturthi (angarak in Sanskrit means red like coal embers). If they pray on this day, followers believe that their wishes will be granted. Because Ganesha is the supreme lord of intelligence and the remover of all obstacles, it is believed that keeping this fast will reduce problems. In order to invoke Lord Ganesha’s blessings, the Ganapati Atharvasheersha is recited before the moonlight. The god of all gods is Ganesha. Sakat Chauth is another name for Krishna Paksha Chaturthi, which falls during the Magha month.
Ganesha is worshiped under a different name and seat each month. The “Sankashta Ganapathi Pooja” prayer is carried out each month on the Sakashta Chaturthi day. The Vratha Katha is a story that explains the purpose of each Vratha (strict fast). This prayer offering consists of 13 Vratha Kathas, one for each month, and the thirteenth story is dedicated to adhika (the Hindu calendar adds approximately one month every three years). The fact that only the story about that month needs to be recited makes this Vratha unique.
Significance of Sankatahara Chaturthi
As indicated by folklore, Master Ganapati or Ganesha is viewed as the child of Ruler Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is adored and revered because he is credited with removing obstacles and foretelling success. He has a face resembling that of an elephant as well as a primordial form with a human head. He is hailed as a hero of strength, a joyful dancer, a kind child, and many other things. It is considered a good custom to ask for his blessing before beginning any project or undertaking.
Mythology behind Sankatahara Chaturthi
Legend has it that Goddess Parvati created Lord Ganesha because she needed someone to help her take a bath. She made a boy out of sandalwood paste, gave him life, and told him that no one could enter her house. The young boy, unaware that the Supreme Lord is his father, restricted Lord Shiva when he came to visit the Goddess. They got into a big fight, and Shiva cut off Ganesha’s head. Out of rage, Parvati assumed a terrible form when she returned to find her son dead. In an effort to right his wrong, Lord Shiva put an elephant head on the boy’s body and brought him to life. On Sankatahara Chaturthi, it is believed that both this event and the honor of calling Ganesha the “Lord of the Ganas” and “remover of obstacles” took place.
Rituals of Sankatahara Chaturthi
The fourth Melting away Moon is an event of otherworldly importance when the energies accessible will considerably intensify the impact of any love done. As a result, Ganesha’s worship on Sankatahara Chaturthi is specifically chosen to provide effective obstacles relief. The significance of the day is also discussed in ancient texts, which tell stories of its significance. Clay Ganapati idols are worshipped at homes as well as in temples for the purpose of making offerings to the Lord.
The main part of Sankatahara Chaturthi worship is smashing coconuts. As a form of ritualistic worship, large and varying numbers of coconuts are smashed on stone or the ground in front of the idol or in specific locations. Very much like Master Shiva having three eyes representing the three essential exercises of making, protecting and obliterating, the coconut also has three eyes that represent inner self, deception, and karma that structure the actual premise of any snag. We can quickly advance in both the material and spiritual realms by smashing the three-eyed coconut, which will remove all obstacles and karmic influences.
On this day, devotees also observe Sankatahara Chaturthi Vrat, which is a form of fasting that lasts until the Moon is visible in the evening.