Lambodara Sankashti Chathurthi Vrat is observed by invoking Bhagwan Ganesha. This Sankashti Chathurthi Vrat occurs in the Krishna Paksha Chathurthi of Pausha month as per Amantha and Karthika month as per Purnimantha calendars.
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.
The word ‘’Lambodara” means “the one with the huge tummy”. As Bhagwan Ganesha has the huge stomach He is worshipped as Lambodara.
For the Year 2023, Lambodara Sankashti Chathurthi occurs on Tuesday, 10th January 2023. As it occurs on Tuesday, it is also called as Angaraka Sankashti Chathurthi.
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 Lambodara Maha Ganapathi. The Peeta is Sri Saura.
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Lambodhara Ganapathy – Legend
As per the legend and beliefs, Bhagwan Shiva once wanted to test His sons Sri Ganesh and Sri Subramanya as to their readiness in coming to the rescue of Devas.
When Devas once came to Bhagwan Shiva seeking redressal for their troubles, He told them that His sons would take up the job of redressal. To decide as to which one of them was the quickest, He had conducted a test.
He told His sons to quickly go around the universe and be back. He also told them that whoever returned first would be given the chance to help the Devas.
Sri Karthikeya, being very agile, had taken the tour on His mayura vahan instantly. However, Sri Ganesh had surmised that His parents Bhagwan Shiv and Parvathi Devi constitute the entire universe. Musing thus, He simply did a perambulation of His parents. Naturally, He was declared as the winner.
The concept behind this story is not to show the steadfastness of Sri Muruga in lesser degree. The moral of the story is that the parents are the ultimate guide in learning the universe and Sri Vinayak is the most unassuming and easy God to approach.
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.
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.
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, Gajanan Sankashti Chathurthi, Heramba Sankashti Chathurthi, Vigna Raja Sankashti Chathurthi, Vakra Thunda Sankashti Chathurthi, Ganadhipa Sankashti Chathurthi and Akrutha Sankashti Chathurthi are narrated in the previous articles.