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Angarki Chaturthi is an auspicious day observed by Hindus when Sankashti Chaturthi (Krishna Paksha Chaturthi – 4th day of Waning Moon) falls on a Tuesday. Devotees observe Vrat (fasting) for Lord Ganesha and the day is also known as Angarki Sankashti Chaturthi. The day is especially observed with fasting by Ganesha devotees in Maharashtra and is widely celebrated in the Western states of India. Special Poojas (rituals of worship) are offered at Ganesha temples in Maharashtra.
‘Angarki’ in Sanskrit means ‘burnt coal in red color.’ The significance of Angarki Chaturthi is mentioned in Vedic texts such as Ganesha Purana and Smriti Kaustubha. Angarki Chaturthi is a day of liberation and worshipping Lord Ganesha on this day would fulfill the desires of the devotees. Observing a fast for Ganesha can relieve you from all problems and bless you with a contented life. Angarki Chaturthi occurs once in six months and Lord Ganesha, the Supreme Lord of intelligence, is worshipped on this particular day to seek his eternal blessings of prosperity and happiness.
According to Ganesha Purana’s Upasana Khand (one of the three divisions in the Vedas), Goddess Prithvi (mother earth) brought up Mangala, sage Bharadwaj’s son, until seven years of age and then returned the child to his father. The boy learned Vedas and Puranas (sacred texts) from his father. The boy showed great devotion towards Lord Ganesha and wanted to observe penance to seek his blessings. Sage Bharadwaj taught him Ganapati mantra and sent him to meditate upon the benevolent God.
He sincerely prayed to Lord Ganesha for several years and on Magha Krishna Chaturthi (4th waning Moon during mid-Jan to mid-Feb), Ganesha blessed the boy by showing his universal form. Ganesha told the boy that he could ask for any boon, as he was impressed by the boy’s devotion. The boy replied, “O Lord. I would like to have ambrosia with all the Gods in heaven.
My name Mangala should be famous in all the three worlds. Since I saw you on the day of Magha Krishna Chaturthi, this day must be special and devotees who observe fasting for you on this day should get their desires fulfilled’. Ganesha granted him the wishes. He further informed him that his name would be Angarak from then on and this day would be celebrated as Angarak or Angarki Chaturthi. Ganesha also decreed that whoever worships him with a Vrat on this day would be blessed with wish-fulfillment.
Devotees begin the day with an early morning bath, worship Lord Ganesha with special Pooja and offer ‘Modak’ (dumpling), his favorite dish. The idol or picture of Ganesha is decorated with flowers and Aarti (light offering) is performed. Devotees observe complete fasting for Lord Ganesha on Angarki Chaturthi from sunrise and break the fast upon the sighting of the Moon. Lord Chandra or Moon is also worshipped on this day by offering sandalwood paste, rice, and flowers.
Some people also observe partial fasting by consuming fruits, milk or sabudana (sago) khichdi. Vedic hymns and texts such as ‘Ganapati Atharvashirsha’ are read before moonlight on Angarki Chaturthi to seek Lord Ganesha’s divine blessings. On the day of fasting, drinking alcohol, smoking or having betel leaves and nuts is strictly prohibited.
Observing Angarki Chaturthi Vrat (fasting) and propitiating Lord Ganesha can bestow the following benefits:
The sacred scriptures prescribe fire ceremony, Abishekam (hydration ceremony), Pooja/Archana (Light and Sound ceremony), Yantra and Mantra (special sounds) as the ways to offer your prayer to the divine. Out of these, fire ceremony is the most evolved spiritual technology on earth to connect with the divine beings. Participate in the remedial services to clear your karma and receive the blessings.