Millions of devotees observe Sankashti Chaturthi vrat today, the 4th day after the full moon day or Purnima. Sankashti Chaturthi vrat is observed in honor of Lord Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati, the lord of ganas and the God of learning, wisdom and knowledge. Devotees believe that Lord Ganesh would bless them by removing all obstacles and difficulties in life.
Devotees wake up early in the morning, take bath and offer prayers to Lord Ganesh by lighting an Aarti or a lamp. They then fast for the whole day. People who cannot observe a complete fast due to various reasons observe a partial fast by eating curd rice or fruits. Puja is performed in the evening after seeing the moon or after the moonrise time as mentioned in the panchang (in case the moon cannot be sighted due to cloudy conditions). Devotees worship Lord Ganesh by offering flowers, Prasad, bananas, coconut and Druva grass and the following mantra is chanted asking the benevolent Lord to remove all obstacles in life and endeavors.
Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥
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