Vikata Sankashti Chaturthi is one of the most important days for devotees of Lord Ganesha. It is second in terms of significance to Chaturthi of the Bhadrapada month (popular as Ganesh Chaturthi) in the Hindu calendar. And when it falls on Tuesday, it is referred to as Angarki Chaturthi.
In Hinduism, each day is dedicated to a God and Tuesday is often associated with Vighnaharta / Vinayaka / Ganapati /Ganesha. Hence, the fourth day of the waning lunar phase (Krishna Paksha) after the full moon (Purnima) which falls on Tuesday in the month of Chaitra is extremely auspicious.
There are 13 Chaturthi this Gregorian calendar. On April 3, devotees will celebrate the first Angaraki Chaturthi of this year. The previous Chaturthis (Sankashti) were observed on January 5, February 3 and March 5 this year.
According to drikpanchang.com, the Tithi for Angaraki Chaturthi begins at 4:43 pm on April 3 and will end at 5:32 pm on April 4. Moonrise timing on Sankashti Day is at 9:27 pm.
What does Angarki mean?
According to legend, Angarak, the son of Rishi Bhardwaj and Mother Earth was a great Rishi and a devotee of Lord Ganesha. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Ganesha decided to grant one of Angarak’s wishes on the fourth day of the month of Magha. It was a Tuesday. Angarik, for whom, the devotion of Lord Ganesha was supreme, wanted his name to be associated with his idol forever. Hence the Chaturthi that falls on Tuesday is referred to as Angarki Chaturthi.
How is Angarki Chaturthi celebrated?
On this day, the devotees fast from morning till the end of the day. The fast is broken at night after worshipping Lord Ganesha and sighting the moon.
How to perform Puja:
Take bath and wear fresh clothes.
Light an oil lamp and incense stick.
Put a chandan ka tika on Ganesha's idol.
Chant the Ganapati Moola Mantra -
गजाननं भूतगणादि सेवितं
कपित्थ जम्बूफलसार भक्षितम्
उमासुतं शोक विनाशकारणं
नमामि विघ्नेश्वर पादपङ्कजम् ॥
Offer flowers, laddu or modak, bananas, coconut, paan and supari to the Lord.
Sit and meditate for a while and seek his blessings.
Distribute the offerings as Prasad to family, friends and neighbours.
The literal meaning of Angarki is red or burning coal and hence red coloured clothes are often worn by devotees on Tuesdays. They take bath early in the morning and fast all day. Some devotees consume Vrata recipes like Sabudana Khichdi or thrive on fruits and milk until evening.
Since Lord Ganesha removes obstacles, he is the first recipient of devotees’ prayers. Praying to Lord Ganesha with utmost devotion on Angarki Chaturthi will help in realising many dreams and unfulfilled desires.