Heramba Sankashti Chathurthi Vrat is observed by invoking Bhagwan Ganesha. This Sankashti Chathurthi Vrat occurs in the Krishna Paksha Chathurthi of Shravan month as per Amantha and Bhadrapadha month as per Purnimantha calendars.
The festival is also called as Bahula Chathurthi and Maha Sankashti Chathurthi.
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.
Heramba Sankashti Chathurthi is on Monday, 15th August 2022 for the Year 2022. The exact duration of the Chathurthi Tithi and the time of the moon rise are to be ascertained from the respective regional calendar.
The form of Sri Vinayaka for worshipping in this Vrat is Sri Heramba Ganapathi. The Peeta is Sri Ganapathi.
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Sri Heramba Ganapathi
The term ‘’Heramba’’ means “big headed”. It usually denotes Sri Ganapathi in five headed form. In Heramba form, Sri Ganesh is called as Pancha-mukha Ganapathi. This form of Ganapthi is worshipped before taking up mighty tasks.
There are a few legends pertaining to Sri Heramba Ganapathi as mentioned in Sri Vinayak Puran.
Sri Heramba Ganapathi was invoked by Sri Maha Vishnu for diminishing the demons named Madhu and Kaidaba.
Sri Vishnu sayanam
Once Sri Vishnu was sleeping on His snake bed for long years. From His right ear emerged the asura Madhu. From His left ear came the demon Kaidaba.
They both grew very big in size. They were huge, tall, dark and had two protruding teeth. They were fierce. They roamed around the earth and tortured everyone.
They went to Devalok. The Devas were tensed. Their leader Indra ran away from Amaravathi, the Deva’s Capital. The Devaloka was smashed.
The demons reached Satyalok. Sri Brahma did not want any war. He prayed to Sri Vinayak. Due to Sri Vinayak’s blessings, Sri Brahma had understood that only Sri Vishnu could control the demons.
Sri Brahma went to Sri Vaikunt. Sri Govind was sleeping. Sri Brahma had invoked Nithra Devi and asked her to wake up Vishnu. Nithra Devi had left Sri Vishnu and He woke up.
At the same time the absconding Indra also came with Devas to Sri Vaikunt. They all had darshan of Sri Vishnu and pleaded help from Him to diminish the demons.
All were talking at once. Sri Brahma asked them to be silent. He told Sri Vishnu about Madhu Kaidaba. He asked for His interference.
Sri Achyutha’s action
Sri Vishnu immediately took his Panchajanya (conch) and blew it. It was a war siren. Instantly Madhu and Kaidaba came to Sri Vaikunt.
Sri Vishnu had chakra, konch, bow and sword. He instantly went into action. The fight was severe. There was no relenting on either side. Sri Vishnu became tired.
Sri Vishnu then went to Kailash and told Bhagwan Shiva everything. Bhagwan Shiva told “pray to Heramba Ganapathi and then re-start the war”.
Sri Vinayak blesses
Sri Vishnu chanted Sri Vinayak’s shatakshar manthra. Sri Vinayak appeared before Him.
Sri Vishnu said “I did the mistake of not invoking you before starting the war. Now I know why the result is like this. Please forgive me. Give me strength to defeat them”.
Sri Vinayak immediately granted Him the boons. Soon Sri Maha Vishnu diminished the demons Madhu and Kaidaba with His Chakrayudha.
Heramba 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. The Neivedyam mostly consists on modhakam, sundal, payasam and other related rice preparations.
Giving daan of food (Annadanam) to the poor and needy is of utmost importance.
The ardent devotees of Bhagwan 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 particulars of Sankashti Vrats in general, Vikata Sankashti Chathuthi, Eka dhantha Sankashti Chathurthi, Krishna Pingala Sankashti Chathurthi and Gajanan Sankashti Chathurthi are narrated in the previous articles.