Sankashti Vrat is a fast taken by the devotees of Lord Ganesha in the honor of their deity. It is one of the most important vrats in a year dedicated to Lord Ganapati. Every month, in the lunar calendar followed by the Hindu community there are 2 Chaturthi dates that appear - one in each fortnight.
The Chaturthi that comes after the full moon or the Pournami is known as Sankashti Chaturthi and the one that comes after the Amavasya is called the Vinayaka Chaturthi.
In case a Chaturthi comes on a Tuesday, it is known as Angarki Chaturthi. The Sankashti Chaturthi that is upcoming on the 3rd of April is on a Tuesday and is an Angarki Chaturthi. Therefore, it is all the more important for the bhaktas of Lord Ganesha to observe this day. This Sankashti Chaturthi will also be the day on which Vikata Sankashti Chaturthi vrat will be observed.
Muhurat Of The Angarki Sankashti Chaturthi:
• The Chaturthi day begins on 16.43 hours on the 3rd of April, 2018, and ends on 17.32 of the 4th of April, 2018.
• The moon rises on the Angarki Sankashti Chaturthi and it will be at 21.12 hours.
• The name of the Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat - Vikata Sankashti Chaturthi
• The form of Lord Ganesha which is worshipped - Vikata Maha Ganapati
• The peetha - Vinayaka Peetha
How To Perform The Vikata Sankashti Vrat
Like all Sankashti vrats, the devotees pray to Lord Ganesha and observe fasts through the day. They break the fast once they see the moon.
• In the evening of Vikata Sankashti Chaturthi, you must take a holy bath. This can be done in a holy source of water, like a river or pond. If you are taking the ritualistic bath in your home, take a bucket of water and pray that all the holy rivers of the Indian sub-continent be present in the water and then take bath in it.
• Set a clean area for the worship of Lord Ganesha. If you have a pooja room, clean it thoroughly. Place an image or an idol of Lord Ganesh in the cleaned area.
• Offer Lord Ganesha new clothes and decorate the image with flower garlands.
• Light a lamp and worship Lord Ganesha.
• Offer 21 blades of the Dhruva grass to Lord Ganesha while chanting the Lord's name.
• Next, offer arati to Lord Ganesha.
• If you have prepared any naivedya for the pooja, you may offer it next.
• Once you see the Moon or Chandra dev, you can offer the naivedya to the moon too.
• Feed a poor person or a Brahmin and then you may break the fast.
• Read the Angarika Chaturthi vrat Katha.
• Distribute the prasad among all participants, friends and family.
Angaraki Sankashti Vrat At The Temple
Some devotees prefer to visit a temple and observe the vrat there. In such cases, you may perform or request the priest to perform special poojas, homas and abhishekas on the Angaraki Sankashti day. It is considered very auspicious to chant the Arthava Sheersha and Ganesha Ashtottam during the Sankashti day. You may do the same while seated in the temple. These mantras are considered to be some of Lord Ganesha's favourite and are a surefire way of pleasing the Lord.
The Significance Of Performing The Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi (Vikata Sankashti Chaturthi)
• It is a very rare occurrence.
Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi is a rare occasion and it happens only once or twice in a year. In the year 2018, the Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi comes thrice. Therefore, this year is considered to be an auspicious year.
• Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi is considered exceptionally auspicious.
No matter which year, Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi is considered to be the most auspicious among all the Sankashti Chaturthis. It is believed that observing an Angaraki Sankashti gives you the benefits of observing all the other Sankashti Chaturthi in a year.