Sankat Chaturthi, also know as ganesh chaturthi, maghi chaturthi, tilkuta chaturthi and sankat chaturthi is observed by women for long and happy life of their children. This is a fast observed mainly in north india and ganesha and goddess sakat are worshiped on this day and it is believed that when the god is pleased, the god provides, health, wealth and prosperity for children of those observing fast. Benefits and significance of observing fast on sakat chauth is also mentione in puranas.
SIGNIFICANCE OF SAKAT CHAUTH
Celebrated on the day of Krishna paksha chaturthi, which is dear to lord ganesha, it is also said that lord ganesha was made from clay and brought to life by shiva on the day of chaturthi. The fast is therefore observed by mothers for long life of their children. Prayers are offered to lode ganesh and he is requested to shower his blessings on the children and the women observing the fast. Benefits of fast was told to parvati by lord shiva in padma puran. It is not a rule that only women may observe the fast. It is believed that Pandav king yudhishtra was the first person to keep the fast on the advise of lord Krishna. There Is a very famous temple dedicated to sakat in rajasthan. It is said that visiting the temple on fast day is very beneficial for children.
HOW TO KEEP THE FAST
The fast is observed without taking any food or water all day long. Opened in the evening, after puja to moon. Women observing the fast should get up early, take a bath, wear clean clothes. Idol of lord ganesha should cleaned, bathed and established in the temple. Flowers, fruits and sweets are offered to lord ganesha and he is worshiped by reciting mantras, chalisa and sankat chauth vrat katha. Til, gur and modak are some favourite food of lord ganesh that should be offered. In the evening women should bathe again and offer prayers to lord ganesha and goddess sakat. Sakat chauth vrst katha should be recited at evening puja as well.
Fruits, laddoos and til be kept in basket and offered to lord ganesha and goddess sakat. After evening puja, devotees need to continue prayers till moon is sighted. One moon is sighted argh shoud be offered and fast can be opened after that.
Basket of Prasad should then be opened and distributed among family members.
Happy Sakat Chauth.
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