The general form of Sri Sankashti Ganapathi as the destroyer of troubles is of golden hue, attired in blue dress sitting on red lotus. He is in varadha mudra bestowing abundance and is holding a goad, a noose and a bowl of payasam.
Gajanan Sankashti Chathurthi is on Tuesday, 27th July 2021 for the Year 2021. The exact duration of the Chathurthi Tithi and the time of the moon rise are to be ascertained from the respective regional calendar. As it occurs on Tuesday, it is also called as Angaraka Sankashti Chathurthi.
The form of Sri Vinayaka for worshipping in this Vrat is Sri Gajana Ganapathi. The Peeta is Sri Vishnu.
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Sri Gajana Ganapathi
Sri Ganesh is called as Gajanan as He has the head of the elephant (Gaja). The reason for having the elephant head is described in the article pertaining to Sri Vikata Ganapathi.
Angaraka Sankashti Chathurthi
There are a few legends pertaining to the Sankashti Chathurthi Vrat falling on Tuesday. One of them is described below.
Sage Bharadwaj was near the banks of Narmada. He went to the river to have bath. There he saw a beautiful lady coming out of bath. He was mesmerized with her beauty. He got ashamed of his own reaction. He took bath and went back to Ashram.
The desire of the Sage Bharadwaj had become a male child. Bhu Devi, the earth was pleased with the child. She reared the child. The child was of reddish hue. So, she called him Angaraka.
Angaraka one day asked his mom “who is my father? Why he is not coming to see me?”. She told him “Son, your father is Sage Bharadwaj. I will take you to him. You know about him yourself”.
She took him there. The Sage was sleeping. When he woke up both of them greeted him. She told him about his son. Sage Bharadwaj was happy to receive his son.
Sage Bharadwaj taught his son all sastras and vedas. He did upanayanam also. He taught him Vinayak mantra as well.
Angaraka had set up a separate ashram for himself and kept chanting Vinayaka mantra. This was going on for 1000 years.
Sri Vinayak appeared before him. Angarak worshipped Him ardently. Vinayak said “ask whatever boon you want”.
Angaraka said “I always want to remember you. I want to eat the nectar with you. I am blessed to see you today. I want to be one of the planets. If any chathurthi falls on Tuesday, the worries of those worshipping you on that day should go away”. Sri Ganesh had granted his wish.
Hence Angaraka Sankashti Chathurthi is significant.
Gajanan Sankashti Chathurthi – rituals
The devotees wake up early in the morning. After bathing, the puja place at home is cleaned. The vigraha or the picture of Sri Ganapathi is decorated with flowers. Chandan and Kumkum are applied. Lamps and Dhup are lit.
Slokams / Stotrams invoking Sri Ganapathi are recited. The story concerned with the Sankashti Chathurthi Vrat is read and recited.
Some people observe fasting for the day. By the evening, special abhishekams and archanas are done at Ganapathi temples.
After having the darshan of Chandra, the moon, they partake the prasadam which was offered to God as Neivedyam.
Giving daan of food (Annadanam) to the poor and needy is of utmost importance.
The ardent devotees of Lord Ganesha consider the Sankashti Chathurthi festivals as highly auspicious.
Sankashti Chathurthi Vrats – benefits
It is believed that sincere observation of all the Sankata Hara Chathurthi Vrats shall
-result in fulfillment of the wishes;
-alleviate all problems in life;
-bring in prosperity;
-assure no re-birth; and
-ensure attainment of salvation in Ganesh Loka.
The rest of the Sankashti Vrats shall be narrated in the subsequent articles of the series.