Sankashtachaturthi vrat - For fullfillment of wishes
1. Fulfilling of wishes through Sankashtachaturthi vratMany people perform Sankashtachaturthi vrat for the fulfilment of their worldly desires. The Sankashtachaturthi vrat is recognised for providing Adhidaivika solutions to the problems in life. Acquiring solutions to problems in life through the grace of a Deity is known as ‘Adhidaivika-upaya’. Many people feel it is inappropriate to do ritualistic worship like vrat for acquiring something concrete materialistically. One can have a question as to what is appropriate, doing Adhidaivika-upaya or making worldly efforts ?
The difference between making worldly efforts for fulfilment of material desires and performing vrats for the same: While making worldly efforts for the fulfilment of material desires the person gets trapped in vices. He loses his basic sattvik temperament. By performing vrats, that is, by taking the course of Adhidaivika-upaya he is able to fulfil his desires maintaining his sattvik temperament.
Our Sages undertook the vrats and themselves experienced the spiritual science underlying them. They elucidated the vrats to the society so that it derives benefit from the vrats.
In this context, benefits derived by some devotees, from Maharashtra and Goa, after performing Sankashtachaturthi vrat is given below:
“I am fifty four years old. I have been observing Sankashti vrat for the last 30 years. Those days my husband was very ill. At that time, on the day of Sankashti I said, I will observe Sankashti vrat on twenty one Sankashtachaturthis so that my husband's health comes back to normal. After that my husband was fit for 25- 30 years. Even now I observe the vrat.” - One devotee
“We are observing Sankashti vrat for the last five years and benefitting from it. Life has become stable. My son gets good marks. He also got admission for further studies.” - Mr. and Mrs. Verma ji, Navi Mumbai
“When I was studying, my parents told me that by worshipping the Deity one acquires good intellect, one’s studies go well and one remains in good company. They also told me how to perform the Sankashti vrat. With the faith that everything is going on smoothly in life by God’s grace, I took up this vrat.” - Mr. Santosh Gurav, Raigad
“In our class everyone found the Secretarial Practice paper very difficult. On the day of the examination of this subject, I went to Sri Ganeshji’s temple and narrated my concerns. That day I was able to answer the entire paper and scored good marks in the subject. Since then I have been observing this fast. The state of all of us was alike. By praying to Sri Ganeshji, the Secretarial Practice exam becomes easy, that is why we observe a fast too.” - One student
“I was to get admission in Diploma at the Government College at Pen. Instead of that I got admission at the Polytechnic College at Khopoli. The day I began fasting was Sankashtachaturthi. On that day itself I got admission in Government College at Pen. That is why, my faith in the Ballaleshwar’s Ganeshji was augmented. Since then I have been observing the Sankashti vrat regularly."
Through these spiritual experiences one understand that by observing the Sankashtachaturthi vrat the wishes of the devotees are fulfilled.
2. Spiritual science underlying the fulfilment of the wishes by observing the Sankashtachaturthi vratBy ritualistically worshipping Sri Ganeshji, the Ganesh Principle gets activated. Also, Ganeshji’s Riddhi and Siddhi Shakti or Energy get activated. In reality amongst these Principles, the wishes are understood by Riddhi and fulfilled by Siddhi.
Difference between Riddhi and Siddhi:
· The Riddhi Shakti is known as the left Energy channel (Nadi) or the Moon Channel of Sri Ganeshji. Siddhi Shakti is known as the right Energy channel (Nadi) or the Sun Channel of Sri Ganeshji.
· One comes to know about the objective of the desire through the Riddhi Shakti. Through Siddhi Shakti the objective is fulfilled.
· The Riddhi Shakti complements the mission indirectly. Siddhi Shakti directly provides strength to the mission.
· Riddhi Shakti works at a Nirgun level. Siddhi Shakti works at a Sagun level.By ritualistically worshipping Sri Ganeshji, the Ganesh Principle gets activated. Also, Ganeshji’s Riddhi and Siddhi Shakti or get activated. Amongst these Principles, the wishes are understood by Riddhi and completed by Siddhi. By the ritualistic worship of Sri Ganeshji, through the medium of these two Energy Principles, the desired wish of the one observing the vrat is fulfilled. Due to the combined function of the two Energies, the result, that is, wish fulfilment is acquired. That is why the collective noun ‘Riddhi-Siddhi’ is used for these two Energies.
3. Spiritual science underlying the consecration of Sri Ganeshji’s idol by sprinkling water (abhishek) and reciting Sri Ganapati AtharvashirshaOn the day of Sankashtachaturthi, Sri Ganapati Atharvashirsha is recited. Sage Ganaka wrote the Atharvashirsha, that is why it has His resolve. Due to the Energy of the mantra of Atharvashirsha, Divinity is awakened in Sri Ganeshji’s idol.
After consecration of the idol by sprinkling water, various types of leaves are offered to Sri Ganeshji, also known as Patra-puja. In this sacred grass (Durva) is also offered.
The subtle effects of the ritualistic worship with leaves (Patra-puja): Through the Durva and other leaves, the worshipper’s body is touched by Ganeshji’s activated Principle. Also, a protective sheath of this Principle is formed around his body.
The spiritual reasons underlying taking darshan of the moon (Chandradarshan) on the day of Sankashtachaturthi: Moon instigates the mind to work. In Sankashtachaturthi vrat spiritual practice (sadhana) is done the whole day and at night the darshan of the moon is taken. This marks the completion of spiritual practice and in worldly life the commencement of mental activities.
Moon is the symbol of activation of Energy of Desire (Icchha-shakti). The importance of ritualistically worshipping the moon is 70 %.
The effect of ritualistically worshipping an image of the moon: In the ritualistic worship of Sankashtachaturthi vrat, an image of the moon is made with wet sandalwood on the Nagawalli leaf and it is ritualistically worshipped. The ‘Riddhi-Siddhi’ bestowing Energies are created from the two ends of the crescent of the moon by ritualistically worshipping the moon. These Energy Principles are activated on the basis of the strength of the void in the moon and they function in a Nirgun form in the Universe.
Why is arghya offered after Chandrapujan in the Sankashtachaturthi Vratapujan?: By the action of offering arghya after the worship, one becomes conscious of discarding ego. He gains full benefit of this action at spiritual level.
In order to absolve onerself of some mistake in the action of the Deity’s worship or an act of sin that might have happened inadvertently, modak and money are offered to a priest.
By concluding the ritualistic worship, the Deity’s Principle, which has come in the Sagun form due to the worship, takes a Nirgun form. On conclusion of the worship, the Deity’s Principle leaves the place of worship and is again installed at its original place.
According to the Scriptures, ritualistic conclusion of any vrat is an integral part of a vrat. Normally the faithful undertake the vrat for twenty-one Sankashtachaturthis. Whatever be the duration of the vrat, the ritualistic conclusion of the vrat is essential. If the day of the ritualistic conclusion of Sankashtachaturthi is on a Sankashta-chaturthi only, it is more beneficial.
In the ritual of Udyapan of the Sankashtachaturthi vrat, the Deities of the nine planets, the seven Sages and Brahma etc. are worshipped. Sri Ganeshji is consecrated with water and offered purnahuti. Mahanaivedya, that is, the meal is offered. The meal is partaken at night at the time of Moon rise and the next day, a priest and a married woman are served meals.
In the Udyapan ritual of the Sankashtachaturthi vrat, a kalash is installed on wheat to offer a seat to the Deities. Pouring water in it, Mango leaves are kept in it. Some rice is kept in a copper platter.
· By installing a kalash on the wheat and worshipping it, destroyer energy is attracted in the wheat.
· When the kalash kept on the wheat is filled with water and Mango leaves are put in it, the stem of the leaves attract the sattvikta and Chaitanya of the water in the kalash and emit them from the edges of the leaves.
· By keeping a copper platter full of rice on the kalash, the sattvikta, Chaitanya and saviour Principle are attracted in the rice at the time of worship of the Deity.In the Udyapan ritual of the Sankashtachaturthi vrat, the Deities of the nine planets, seven Sages and Lord Brahma etc. are worshipped followed by Sri Ganeshji.
After performing rituals like padya, that is, washing feet, arghya etc. the idol of Sri Ganeshji is consecrated with water. During consecration, the sattvikta of the idol increases by the touch of the water. Beaded cotton (vastra) is offered. The frequencies of the Principle of Sri Ganeshji emanating from the idol are absorbed in the vastra, which benefits the worshipper. With the offering of turmeric powder, vermilion and Durva, 2 percent Ganesh Principle is attracted in the idol.
When the priests utter mantras in the Udyapan ritual of the Sankashtachaturthi vrat:
· Golden and silver particles of sattvikta and Chaitanya are spread in the environment. This purifies the environment.
· Various Deity Principles are attracted in the form of light rays in the betel nuts installed in the worship ritual.
· The heat of the gross and subtle bodies of the host husband-wife increases.
7.4 Spiritual science underlying the act of touching the worshipped kalash to the Adnya-chakra of the host husband-wifeBy touching the worshipped kalash on the Adnya-chakra by the host, the sattvikta and coolness in the kalash is spread in the bodies of the host husband-wife through their Adnya-chakra.
7.5 Effects of sprinkling consecrated rice and Holy water (tirtha) on the host husband-wife by the priestDuring the ritualistic worship, the priest sprinkles rice on the host husband-wife with the recitation of mantras. With this the gross and subtle bodies of the host husband-wife are purified. Similarly, the sattva particles active in the subtle bodies of the host husband-wife become steady.
In the Udyapan ritual of the Sankashtachaturthi vrat, the sacrificial fire (havan) is performed. Effects of the substances and performance of havan:
· When Durva is offered in the sacrificial pit, the Ganesh Principle is attracted in the fire.
· When black sesame seeds are offered, they emit destroyer energy which destroys the negative energies in the environment.
· By offering white sesame seeds, the sattvikta of the fire increases
· By offering sesame oil, the sattvikta, destroyer energy and Chaitanya collectively become active.After giving the purnahuti, the flames of the fire become 10 percent more radiant. By performing havan in this manner:
· There is an increase in the sattvikta in the environment.
· Heat and coolness are experienced in the environment as per requirement.
· After the purnahuti, the subtle fragrance of sandalwood and turmeric powder-vermilion spreads in the environment and lasts for a long time.After the purnahuti at the time of arati, the Ganesh Principle and the Lakshmi Principle are present in the environment. Similarly, the frequencies of Chaitanya and Anand are also spread in the environment. All the persons present there gain from the Udyapan ritual of the Sankashtachaturthi vrat performed with Bhav. Some people do the Sankashtachaturthi vrat for 4 years whereas some people for 13 years also. There are also the faithful persons who perform this vrat for life long.
What is the significance of 'durva' in Ganesh Poojan?
1. Durva: Main component of the ritualistic worship of Shri Ganesh jiDurva is a special type of sacred grass. The word Durva is derived from the words duhu and avam. Duhuavam means that which is far away and means that which brings closer. According to this meaning, Durva is that which brings the distant pure spiritual particles (pavitraks) of Shri Ganeshji closer. Durva are used in auspicious events and ritualistic worship of Deities, especially in the worship of Shri Ganesh ji
1.1 Spiritual features of Durva
· 1. The process of absorption of the Deity’s Principle happens at its root
· 2. The Durva have the ability to absorb and emit the three Principles of Primal Shiva, Primal Shakti and Primal Ganesh.
· 3. Durva have the highest ability to attract the Ganesh Principle.Its effect takes place in various ways. For example
· The Nirgun Ganesh Principle and pure Chaitanya are emitted through the Durva in higher proportion.
· The momentum of this emission is also higher.
· The effect of the frequencies emitted by the Durva is on the subtlest, that is, most subtle level.
· The effect of the frequencies emitted by the Durva is on the gross body, the subtle body and the causal body.Hence, Durva are offered to Shri Ganeshji.
1.2 What type and how many Durva should be offered to Shri Ganeshji?Generally, tender Durva shoots are used in the ritualistic worship of Shri Ganeshji. The blossomed Durva are not used in the worship. With the blossoming of the plant, its ability to attract the Ganesh Principle is reduced. Similarly the Durva whose middle stick has three leaflets should not be offered to Shri Ganeshji.
Offer the Durva with three or five leaflets to Shri Ganeshji. They are called durvankur. The middle leaflet of durvankur attracts the Principle of Primal Ganesh and the other two leaflets attract Primal Shiva and Primal Shakti Principles.
The minimum number of Durva to be offered to Shri Ganesh ji should be 21. Tie the Durva together and offer them to Shri Ganesh ji after dipping into water. The entire idol of Shri Ganesh ji excluding the face should be covered with Durva. Thus the fragrance of Durva spreads around the idol.
Shri Ganesh ji is ritualistically worshipped by offering a Durva with each chant of ‘i’ or with each utterance of the one thousand Names of Shri Ganesh ji. This is called ‘durvarchan’. In this the offering of Durva begins from the Holy Feet of iGanesh idol.
The Principle of a Deity is emitted in higher proportion through the Holy Feet of the idol. So the Durva offered in the beginning attracts Ganesh Principle in higher proportion. This Principle is then transferred to the Durva offered later on. This Principle is spread up to the top by the Durva offered in sequence. Due to this the Chaitanya frequencies are emitted from the idol in higher proportion.
As a result of the durvarchan done in this manner, the Ganesh Principle is attracted to the venue of the worship in higher proportion. The Nirgun frequencies of Principles of Deities are attracted in the idol. These frequencies are transformed into Sagun frequencies in Shri Ganesh idol and they are then emitted through the idol because of which the worshipper gets more benefit.
It is thus clear that due to the emission of the Deity’s Principle through the Durva, the adverse influence of the raja-tama-predominant Principles in the environment is reduced. This is the reason why a person suffering from negative energies feels distressed when he comes in contact with the Durva.
2. Experiment with DurvaWhen a person affected by negative energies comes in contact with the Durva, he experiences distress.
Based on the subtle picture above, one can see here that on coming in contact with Durva the negative energy distressing the woman has manifested. Due to the sattvik frequencies emitted by Durva, the negative energy manifest in the woman is distressed. As a visible result of this, the woman is also seen experiencing distress.
Effect of Durva on a woman having distress by negative energy:
· The Chaitanya is activated in the Durva placed in front of the woman affected by negative energy and keeps moving in the form of a spiral.
· From the tips of Durva the saviour and destroyer energy is emitted towards the woman.
· This energy flows in the woman’s body, is activated and its spiral keeps moving.
· The negative energy fights with the energy emitted by the Durva through the medium of the black energy it has stored in the woman’s body.
· The negative energy is distressed and is pushed away. At the same time the black energy also disintegrates.
· Through the Durva the energy particles spread in the environment and are conserved for a long time.The root cause of this type of effect is the ability of Durva to attract and emit the Principles of Deities:
· Durva has 0.75% vibrations of Divine Principle, 2% vibrations of Chaitanya, 3% of Shakti and 4% of Ganesh Principle.
· Flow of Divine Principle and Shakti is attracted in the root of the Durva leaflet.
· Spirals of Divine Principle, Shakti and Chaitanya are generated in the roots and leaflets of Durva and circulate in active form.
· Particles of vital energy spread in the environment from the tips of Durva.
· Flow of Ganesh Principle is attracted at the nodal points of the Durva leaflets.
A. Spirals of Ganesh Principle are generated in the roots and leaflets of Durva and circulate in an active form.
B. Flows of Ganesh Principle are emitted into the environment from the tips of Durva.
C. Particles of Shakti in the form of Ganesh Principle spread in the environment from the tips of Durva.This shows that there is a scientific perspective behind the religious rituals mentioned in Sanatan culture, every action therein and every ingredient used in them.
3. Durva and grassDurva have the highest ability to attract and emit the Principles of the three Deities – Primal Shiva, Primal Shakti and Primal Ganapati. The grass does not have any such ability. The vibrations that the grass attracts and emits are illusory, that is, artificial.
Subtle effect of grass:
· Raja-guna is active in the roots of grass, which flows in outward direction.
· Due to the raja-guna in the grass, the illusory vibrations flow in it and are also emitted by it.If Durva is not available, the all-encompassing akshat, that is, unbroken rice grains smeared with kumkum should be offered to the Deity. The Scriptures mention: ‘सकलउपचारार्थे अक्षताम् समर्पयामि ।’ which means, ‘Akshat can be used in place of all the substances offered in the rituals’.
Points to be kept in mind while bringing Durva for the ritualistic worship of Shri Ganeshji:
· 1. Select Durva grown in a clean place only.
· 2. The Durva should not have been trampled upon.
· 3. While plucking Durva, chant the Name of Shri Ganesh ji continuously.
· 4. While bringing Durva home they should not be held in the left hand or on the head.The three leaflets of the tri-foliage Durva to be offered to Shri Ganesh ji denote the three gunas, sattva, rajatama and . If the bhav of the worshipper or the seeker is that ‘offering the tri-foliage Durva means offering our gunas', he gets the benefit at the spiritual level. One can say that the sole aim of life of a person on the path of Spirituality is to contribute to the Divine mission by going beyond the three gunas. In short, one gets the learning from the Durva that, one should be in a state beyond trigunas and continue to perform the Divine mission with the help of the trigunas.
One’s distress of negative energy is reduced by coming in contact with Durva, but it can increase again due to the raja-tama. Chanting the Name of a Deity persistently is an excellent medium to root out the distress.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to Hindu Jagruti for the collection)