Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi today
Sankashti Chaturthi is an auspicious festival celebrated in honour of Lord Ganesha. This Hindu festival is observed every month on the "Chaturthi" (Fourth Day) of the Krishna Paksha (the waning phase of the moon).
However, the Sankashti Vrat of Ashadha, Krishna Paksha (as per the Purnimant calendar) and Jyeshtha, Krishna Paksha (per the Amavasyant calendar), is known as Krishnapingala Sankashti Chaturthi.
As per the Hindu belief, Lord Ganesha is worshipped before performing any auspicious task. He is considered to be the first worshiper among other deities.
The word "Sankashti" comes from Sanskrit and implies "freedom from difficult times". And since Lord Ganesha is also hailed as Vighnaharta, he is worshipped on the Chaturthi Tithi.
This year, Krishnapingala Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi vrat will be observed on Sunday, June 27.
The Chaturthi tithi begins at 15:54 on June 27, 2021, and ends at 14:16 on June 28, 2021.
Krishnapingala Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi Vrat Katha
This vrat katha was narrated to Pandava King Yudhishthira by none other than Shri Krishna in the Dwaparyuga. And while telling this katha, the Lord explained how an aged King named Mahijit of Mahishmati was blessed with a child when he had lost all hopes of having offspring.
Here's how the katha unfolds.
Mahijit was a benevolent king who took good care of his subjects and treated them like family. He served the learned men, the sages and the rishis and punished those who committed crimes. His subjects were happy with his leadership, but they genuinely wished to have a prince for their kingdom.
The King was equally disheartened about not having a child. Mahijit extended help to those in need and ensured his subjects feel safe and secure. Therefore he wondered why he is deprived of the joy of attaining fatherhood.
Hence, one day, the people of the kingdom visited the King to let them find a solution to his problem. Subsequently, they headed to a forest, where they came across a sage named Lomash. After listening to their appeal, the wise and the learned sage asked them to tell their King to observe a vrat on the Chaturthi Tithi, Krishna Paksha in the month of Ashadha by following the Vidhi.
With hopes aplenty, the people of Mahishmati communicated Sage Lomash's suggestion to Mahijit. Subsequently, the King observed a vrat on the day of Chaturthi, and a few days later, his wife Sudakshina conceived a child. Thus, by keeping the vrat, the King welcomed his successor.
And as Shri Krishna concluded the story, he asked Yudhishthira to keep a vrat to achieve success in his life.
Krishnapingala Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi: Rituals
1. On this day devotees keep a partial or day-long fast and eat only fruits, vegetables and root plants throughout the day. Peanuts, potatoes and sabudana khichdi are prepared especially to mark this day's fasting. The day's fasting is broken only after the main puja is done.
2. The main puja of the day is done in the evening after the moon is visible. The idol of Lord Ganesha is worshipped with Durva grass, fresh flowers and incense sticks. Lamps are lit, and devotees read the "vrat katha" specific to the month in shich the Chaturthi is. The rituals for this day end with the sighting of the moon.
3. Special sweets or naivedya, including modaks, are offered to the deity during the puja. After the katha and aarti, these sweets are distributed as prasad.
4. Apart from worshipping Lod Ganesha, the moon is also worshipped on Sankashti Chaturthi. Reciting the Vedic hymns or mantras devoted to Lord Ganesha garners blessings on this day.
5. Devotees chant the Ganesha Ashtothra, Vakrathunda Mahakaya etc, especially on Sankashti Chaturthi.