How to observe fasting for God Muruga:
Shasti Vratam or Upvaas is an important fast dedicated to Lord Muruga or Kartikeya. There are two Shastis in a Hindu lunar month. One Shasthi after Amavasya and another after Purnima (Pournami). The Shasti coming after Amavasya (new moon night) is the one meant for fasting. In simple terms, the Shasti coming during the increasing or growing phase of the moon. Lord Muruga is also known as Subramanian or Skanda or Kanda.
How to observe Shasti Vratam?
The Shasti fasting begins with sunrise. The fast is broken on the next day morning after praying to Lord Surya (Sun God).Most people observing the fast make it a point to visit Murugan Temple on this day.
It is a complete fast in many places. But this might not be quite possible for many people due to job, health and other reasons. So many people take some sort of vegetarian food on this day – this is usually a single meal in the afternoon or night. Many people also maintain fast by eating fruits throughout the day. During the time of fast devotees of Muruga listen to stories of God Muruga, reading Skanda Purana or reciting Skanda Sashti Kavasam. Many have early morning bath and visit Muruga temples.
Kanda Shasti Vratam:
Mythology of Kanda Shasti:
How to perform Skanda Shasti Puja at home?
Here is a simple method to perform Skanda Shasti Puja at home. You can do this Puja on all six days of the Skanda Shasti Vratam or on the Soorasamharam day.
Before beginning any Hindu puja try to create a calm and pleasant atmosphere. Try to keep all the puja items near you.
Puja Items Needed
- Small idol or picture of Ganesha
- A vel or picture of Lord Subrahmanya
- Sandal Paste, water, turmeric, kumkum, flowers and usual puja items
After bath, clean the puja area.
- First pray to Lord Ganesha for removing all obstacles.
Now the main Puja begins
- First meditate on Lord Muruga – You can do this silently or by chanting Om vali devasena samedha Shri Subrahmanya Swaamine namaha dhyaayaamii
- Now invoke Lord Muruga – Take the idol or picture or Vel and keep it near you or hold it in your hands. You can silently pray to Muruga or chant Om Vali devasena… swaamine namaha aavaahayaamii
- Now you can place the idol in the appropriate place chosen by you in the puja area – you can chant – Om aasanam samarpayaamii
- Now you can sprinkle some water – Om…namaha arghyam
- Now you can pour some water on the feet or near the Vel –Om… namaha paadhyam
- Sprinkle some water again – Om… namaha aachamaniyam
- Now you can sprinkle rose water or usual water – Om… oupachaarika snaanam
- Sprinkle some water again as final purification –Om…snaanaanandharam aachamaniyam
- Now you can offer turmeric paste or if you have special dress for idol you can offer it –Om… vastraartham akshadaam
- Now you can offer Sandal Paste to the Vel or idol – Omgandhaan dhaarayaami
- Now you can do decorations with flowers or garlands –Om…gandhsyopari alankaaranaartham akshadaam
- Now you can offer kum kum – Om…haridraa kumkumam
- Finally, you can offer some flowers – Om…pshpaih poojayaami
You can also perform archana after lighting the lamp or your usual method of daily puja with camphor and agarbathis.
If you have prepared any food (navediyam) you can offer it to the lord and perform Arathi.
At the end of the Puja you can thank Lord Ganesha for helping in successfully conducting the pooja