Sankashti Chaturthi is also known as the Sankata Hara Chaturthis and is observed in deference to Lord Ganesha.
The Sankashti Chaturthi is considered to be extremely auspicious, and it if coincides with a Tuesday then it becomes doubly so and that is called the Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi. The Sankashti Chaturthi happens on the fourth day of every lunar month of Krishna Paksha or the waning phase of the moon.
Why is Chaturthi Important?
Lord Ganesha, according to legends was born on the Chaturthi or the fourth day in the month of Magha. He was born out of the sandalwood paste being used by Goddess Parvati. She later gave life to the figure she created, and thus Ganesha was born out of the great Adya shakti herself.
How should one observe the Sankashti Chaturthi puja?
As Sankashti Chaturthi is the day devoted to the Lord Ganesha devotees pray to him for prosperity, wisdom and the success of all their ventures. Devotees take a bath before the sunrise to prepare them for the puja, light a lamp in front of the Ganesha idol and keep a fast for the whole day as Lord Ganesha is known to be the remover of all obstacles. In the evening the Ganesha idol must be decorated with flowers and garlands and the worshipping should start with an arati and burning of incense sticks. The Ganapati Atharvasheersha should be recited to invoke the God. An offering of coconut and banana should be made to the Lord Ganesha. Ganesha Arati such as – “Jai ganesh jai ganesh Jai ganesh deva Mata jaki parwati Pita maha deva” should be sang to please the God and seek his blessings.
It is firmly believed that Lord Ganesha the remover of all obstacles and the giver of supreme intelligence bestows his benign presence on those in earth who worship him on this day. It is this day when Lord Shiva had declared that his son Ganesha should be invoked before the start of any puja and that he should be deemed superior than all Gods barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Himself and Parvati.