At the request of my readers, I am devoting this post to describing a Sankashti Puja proceedure. As with other ritual, there are many ways to perform this puja as well, but the procedure I am describing is something I have followed for several years and is relatively simple. I will try to be as precise as I possibly can as I describe it.
Lord Ganesha is the God of knowledge. We worship him first before starting any work. The name “Vigneshwara” is an apt name for Lord Ganesha as he is known to remove the hardest of all obstacles [Vigna] and allow streamlined success in whatever endeavors we set ourselves upon. It is the same Lord Ganesha who was the only one capable of writing Maharshi Ved Vyas’s dictation of the Mahabharat. Sankashti Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of the second fortnight of every month on the Hindu Calendar. (See dates for 2008) Devotees fast for a whole day and break their fast after having the darshan of Lord Moon and worshiping Lord Ganesh. This vow is observed to get rid of problems in life.
To start with as soon as you get up have your head bath. Clean the sacred place/temple at your house. Do your morning prayers. Always hum Om Ganeshaya namaha 108 times daily. I always hum the 108 names of Vinayaka. They are called the Ganesha Ashtothara (see below) of Lord Ganesh which is put up in the next paragraph. On the Sankashti day one can hum the 108 names and bow to the lord 21 times either in the morning or at night just before the moon rise however convenient. During the fasting period, Sabudana kitchadi (which I earlier put up here), fruits /curds with Beaten rice are permitted. If one cannot utter the 108 names due to shortage of time or any reason, he/she can byheart this song which is Sankashta Nashana Sthothra and is written underneath.
Om Pranamya shirasa devam Gowriputhram vinayakam
Bhakthavasam smarenithyam ayuh kamarthasidhaye
Prathamam vakrathundam cha ekadhantham dwithiyakam
Thratheeyam krishnapingaksham gajavakram chathurthakam
Lambodharam panchamancha shashtam vikatamevacha
Sapthamam vighnarajendram cha dhoomravarnam thathashtamam
Navamam balachandram cha dashamam tu Vinayakam
Ekadhasham ganapathim dwadasham tu gajananam
Dwadashithani namani thrisandhyam yaha patennaraha
Na cha vighnabhayam thasya sarvasidhikaram prabho
Vidhyarthi labhathe vidhyam dhanarthi labhathe dhanam
Puthrarthi labhathe puthran moksharthi labhathe gathim
Japedh ganapathi sthothram shadbhir masam phalam labheth
Samvathsarena siddhim cha labhathe nathra samshayaha
Ashtebhyo brahmanebhyashcha likithvayaha samarpayeth
Thasya vidya bhaveth sarva ganeshasya prasadathaha
Ithi sri narada purane
Sankashta nashana ganapathi sthothram samaptham
Decorate the photo of Lord Ganesh with available flowers. The red Hibiscus is the favorite flower of the Lord. The five petalled flower placed on the photo of the lord is usually prefered. The doorva is a must if it is available. Doorva is a 3 bladed grass (creeper). The fern in one’s garden is not Doorva. One can keep this in a bunch of 21 with a Hybiscus flower tied with it as shown in the image below. One can even make a long garland (mala) with doorva and decorate the photo along with flowers. It’s one’s option depending upon the availability & convinience.
Dhurva & the bunch with a flower
The dhurva garland
Photo of Lord Ganesh
Om Vinayakaya namaha, Om Vighnarajaya namaha, Om Gowri puthraya namaha, Om Ganeshwaraya namaha, Om Skhandagrajaya namaha, Om Awyayaya namaha, Om Puthaya namaha, Om Dhakshadhkshaya namaha, Om Dwijapriyaya namaha, Om Agnigarvachidhe namaha, Om Indrashri pradaya namaha, Om Vanibala pradaya namaha, Om Sarva Siddi pradayakaya namaha, Om Sharvathanayaya namaha, Om Sharvapriyaya namaha, Om Sarvathmakaya namaha, Om Srashtikarthre namaha, Om Devanikarchitaya namaha, Om Shivaya namaha, Om Shudhaya namaha, Om Budhipriyaya namaha, Om Shanthaya namaha, Om Dwaimathuraya namaha, Om Munisthuthyaya namaha, Om Bhakthavighna vinashakaya namaha, Om Ekadanthaya namaha, Om Chathurbahave namaha, Om Shakthisamyuthaya namaha, Om Chathuraya namaha, Om Lambodaraya namaha, Om Shoorpakarnaya namaha, Om Herambhaya namaha, Om Brahmaviththamaya namaha, Om Kalaya namaha, Om Grahapathaye namaha, Om Kamine namaha, Om Somasuryagni lochanaya namaha, Om Pashankushadharaya namaha, Om Chandaya namaha, Om Gunatheeshaya namaha, Om Niranjanaya namaha, Om Akalmashaya namaha, Om Swayam Sidharchitha padaya namaha, Om Beeja Poorakaya namaha, Om Avyakthya namaha, Om Gadhine namaha, Om Varadaya namaha, Om Shashwathaya namaha, Om Krathine namaha, Om Vidvathpriyaya namaha, Om Veethabhayaya namaha, Om Chakrine namaha, Om Ikshuchapadhruthe namaha, Om Achochalakaraya namaha, Om Sridaya namaha, Om Sripathaye namaha, Om Sthuthiharshithaya namaha, Om Kuladribrathe namaha, Om Jatine namaha, Om Chandrachoodaya namaha, Om Amareshwaraya namaha, Om Nagayajhnopaveethine namaha, Om Srikantaya namaha, Om Ramarjithapadaya namaha, Om Vrathine namaha, Om Sthulathundaya namaha, Om Thrayikarthre namaha, Om Samaghosha priyaya namaha, Om Purushothamaya namaha, Om Sthulathundaya namaha, Om Agraganyaya namaha, Om Gramanye namaha, Om Ganapaya namaha, Om Sthiraya namaha, Om Vradhidaya namaha, Om Subhagaya namaha, Om Shooraya namaha, Om Vageeshaya namaha, Om Sidhidayakaya namaha, Om Dhoorvabilwapriyaya namaha, Om Kanthaya namaha, Om Papaharine namaha, Om Krathagamaya namaha, Om Samahithaya namaha, Om Vakrathundaya namaha, Om Sripradaya namaha, Om Sowmyaya namaha, Om Bhakthakankshithadaya namaha, Om Achuthaya namaha, oam kevalaya namaha, Om Sidhaya namaha, Om Sachidanandavigrahaya namaha, Om Jhnanine namaha, Om Mayayukthaya namaha, Om Dhanthaya namaha, Om Bramhishtaya namaha, Om Bhayavarjithaya namaha, Om Pramathadwaithyabhayadaya namaha, Om Vyakthamurthaye namaha, Om Amurthakaya namaha, Om Parvathishankarothsunga-khelanothsavalalanaya namaha, Om Samasthajagadadharaya namaha, Om Varamooshakavahanaya namaha, Om Hrashtasthuthaya namaha, Om Prasannathmane namaha, Om Sarvasidhipradayakaya namaha. Sri Ganesha ashtothara namavali samapthi.
At night just before moon rise finish cooking and hum the Ashtothra , the sankashta nashana sthothra. (either both or only the Sankashta nashana sthothra however convinient) offer 2 coconuts, banana, flowers to the Lord, also offer some fragrance sticks, offer the prasad prepared and then Aarathi also. Sing the song Jaya dev jaya dev or switch on the C.D. for the song and ask for his blessings.
I don’t consume any food other than Sabudana kitchadi. More over I also don’t consume garlic and onion in any dish on Sankashti . However regarding moon rise, sometimes due to the clouds etc., moon may not be visible at the specified time. In that case after the moon rise timings one may perform the puja and enjoy dinner with your family. Modaks can also be prepared. I will post the recipe soon.
Sankashti can be followed through out life. One can also follow only the Angarika sankashti.(Sankashti which falls on Tuesday is called Angarika sankashti) It is as per one’s convinience.
Note:One can start his/her day with this prayer. It is as follows.
Vakrathunda mahakaya Suryakoti samaprabha
Nirvignam kurumedeva Sarvakaryeshu sarvada.
See all my Sankashti related posts here.