Sathurthi Thiruvizha or Sankatahara Chaturthi

Sathurthi Thiruvizha is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesa. It is celebrated every month (Lunar), on the fourth day of the warning phase of the moon (Krisna Paksham). It is the fourth day after the full moon day.

If Sathurthi falls on a Tuesday, it is supposed to be very auspicious and is called Angaraki Sankatahara Chadurthi.

Fasting on Sathurthi

Fasting on Sathurthi is considered auspicious and beneficial. It is believed that if we take up this vratam and continue with it for one year, fasting on all Sathurthi days, culminating the vratam by performing "Maha Ganapathi Homam", all difficult tasks in life will be completed and all obsticales removed from our life.

 

Even though any day could be a good day to worship Lord Ganesa, Sathurthi is supposed to be the best day for the Sankatahara Sathurthi vratam. Sankatahara literally means breaking or removing of sorrow. So, it is believed that fasting on Sathurthi will bring speedy end to your sorrows. It is also believed that if one looks at the moon on a waxing phase on Sathurthi, he will fall from grace and that performing the Sathurthi vratam will help him/her regain their status. It is also believed that performing the vratam every month on Sathurthi day will bring happiness and wealth in the family and all obsticales will be removed. There are various oher positive attributes by performing Sathurthi Vratam such as getting releif from long standing sicknesses, improvement in wisdom, sharp intelligence, long life, relief from Sani dosha and so on. Every month, Sathurthi is performed and Lord Ganesa is worshipped each month with a different form. On Sankatahara Sathurthi, Lord Ganesa blesses his devotees with his presence on Earth at the tie of the celebrations.

The story of how Sankatahara Sathurthi started

The story of how this festival started is that a King, who had no children prayed to many gods and did many pujas to beget a child. He then prayed to Lord Narada to help him. Lord Narada visited hell and found that the King’s ancestors were suffering because the King had no child and after him, their line will end. The King’s father tells Lord Narada to tell the King that he should invoke the blessings of Lord Ganesa and ask the Lord to bless him with a child and this will end the suffering of the ancestors and release them from hell. The King performs Sankatahara Sathurthi and is blessed with a child and his ancestors reach heaven.

Another story behind the festival is that Lord Mangal performed the puja for 1,000 years without food or water to please Lord Ganesa. Lord Ganesa appears before Lord Mangal and blesses him on Maha Krishna Chaturthi. Lord Mangal asks Lord Ganesa to bless anyone who does this puja. Lord Ganesa is also called 'Mangala Murti' because of this.

The rituals for Sankatahara Sathurthi

The Sankatahara Sathurthi vratam is observed for a year usually starting on a Angaraki Sankatahara Sathurthi which will fall on a Tuesday. On the day of the puja, the person undertaking the puja has a head bath and will fast the whole day and worship Lord Ganesa. The idol of Lord Ganesa is decorated with flowers, kolams are drawn and songs about Lord Ganesa are sung. After the full moon rises in the evening an offering of Darbha grass, Kozhukattai and the Shwetaarka flowers is given to the Lord. Coconuts are broken and offered to the Lord. The symbolism behind the breaking of the coconuts is that it breaks any obstacle in the path of the person doing the puja. The fast is broken only after the full moon has risen.

Lord Ganesa holds a special place in the hearts of all Hindu devotees. Not only is he prayed to before the start of anything new but even before starting a puja for other Gods, a devotee will always start the puja by invoking the blessings of Lord Ganesa.

Sathurthi Dates

Apr 15 May 15 Jun 15 Jul 15 Aug 15 Sep 15 Oct 15 Nov15 Dec 15 Jan 16 Feb 16 Mar 16 Apr 16

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