SAKAT / GANESH CHAUTH

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Sakat Chauth is also known as ‘Mahi Chauth’ or ‘Ganesh Chauth’ or ‘Tilkuta Chauth’. Each lu­nar month in Hindu cal­en­dar has two Chaturthi Tithis. The Tithi af­ter full moon dur­ing Kr­ishna Pak­sha is known as ‘Kr­ishna Pak­sha Chaturthi’ and devo­tees ob­serve ‘Sankashti Chaturthi’ fast­ing on each Kr­ishna Pak­sha Chaturthi. The most sig­nif­i­cant Sankashti Chaturthi falls in month of ‘Magh’. It is ob­served as ‘Sakat Chauth’. Lord Gane­sha and the Moon God are the fun­da­men­tal high­lights of this day. If Sankashti Chaturthi falls on Tues­day, it is known as ‘An­garki Chaturthi’ and it is con­sid­ered highly aus­pi­cious. Sankashti Chaturthi fast­ing is mainly ob­served in Ma­ha­rash­tra and Tamil Nadu.

Fast­ing and Puja Pro­ce­dure:

On this day, mar­ried women ob­serve a full day fast. They wake-up early in the morn­ing, take a bath, wear new clothes and dec­o­rate their place of wor­ship. The name of ‘Lord Ganesh’ is usu­ally chanted 108 times.

Dur­ing the day-time, fast­ing is prac­tised. Peo­ple ob­serv­ing strict fast do not eat any­thing through­out the day. Wa­ter is how­ever per­mit­ted. Par­tial fast ob­servers on the other hand, con­sume milk, fruits, nuts and curd. Fast­ing is done for the well-be­ing, health and wealth of their chil­dren. It is be­lieved that

‘Lord Gane­sha’ who is the re­mover of all ob­sta­cles from life blesses his devo­tees with health, for­tune and good chil­dren. In the evening, Lord Gane­sha idol is dec­o­rated with flow­ers and ‘Doorva’ (grass). The of­fer­ings to the God in­clude desserts pre­pared with black sesame seeds and jag­gery. At the end of the puja, arti is sung and cam­phor light is waved be­fore the God. At night, a mix­ture of wa­ter and milk is of­fered to the moon.

Sakat Chauth is the day to please the Moon God in or­der to over­come the neg­a­tive ef­fects caused by Him. Af­ter the recita­tion of the Sakat Chauth Story, the fast is bro­ken.

Sakat Chauth Vrat Story: Once, a pot­ter who lived in a vil­lage made beau­ti­ful pots. He used to harden them in fur­nace. One yr., fire in the fur­nace was un­able to harden the pots even af­ter re­peated at­tempts. Hear­ing this, the king con­sulted royal priest, who sug­gested sac­ri­fic­ing a child each time the fur­nace was pre­pared. Ev­ery fam­ily in the vil­lage started giv­ing one of their chil­dren to obey or­der of the King. Af­ter a while, an old woman's turn came. She had only one son and his turn was on the day of Sakat Chauth. The old woman who was an ar­dent devo­tee of ‘Sakat Maataa’ of­fered him a be­tel nut and a be­tel leaf and prayed to ‘God­dess Sakat’. The fur­nace which usu­ally took sev­eral days to cook pots, cooked in one day. The child was thus saved by 'God­dess Sakat'.

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