Shasti Vratham – Introduction
According to the Hindu Almanac, the sixth day or thithi of a Paksha is Shasti. It occurs on the sixth day of every lunar fortnight. Therefore, every month two Shasti thithi occur, and the Shasti falling the Moon’s waning phase is marked as the perfect day for the worship of Lord Subramanya.
During the Shasti days, it is common for the Muruga devotees to observe fast and offer worship to the Muruga and visit his temples.
As the fast is observed on Shasti thithi, it is called Shasti Vratham. The devotees observing fast on Shasti skip food on that day, and thrive on water. Some devotees also observe fast by avoiding solid foods and taking juice and milk instead.
Of all the Shasti thithis of a year, the one falling on Aippasi month of the Tamil Calendar is of great importance. It is known as Maha Skanda Shasti (the great Skanda Shasti) and is a significant festival of Lord Muruga.
The festival is very popular amongst the Tamil people living in Tamil Nadu. The Tamils living in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore celebrate the Maha Skandashasti with great pomp and enthusiasm.
The devotees begin to fast five days before the Aippasi Shasti starts and end their fast on the sixth day, the Maha Skanda Shasti.
On the last day of the six-day Skanda Shasti festival, Soorasamharam is staged in all Muruga temples. This event commemorates the killing of Asuras by Muruga. During Soorasamharam, Muruga’s processional deity is decorated, and the scene fighting the asuras is enacted nearby the Powerspot premises. Thousands of devotees throng the temples to glimpse the Soorasamhara ceremony.
The Soorasamharam event taking place at Tiruchendur is world-famous, and devotees worldwide take part in it. On the day after Soorasamharam, the Tiru Kalyanam (Marriage) ceremony occurs. As per the Skanda Purana, Devasena married Lord Muruga on this day, so the marriage ceremony is celebrated.
Importance of Shasti Vratham
Shasti is one of the important powertimes associated with the archetype Muruga. Those who observe Shasti Vratham and invoke Muruga on this day will be bestowed with his choicest blessings. Their genuine wishes and dreams will come true.
The number Six and Lord Muruga are closely related. He has six faces, his important abodes are six, and his mantra, ‘Sa Ra Va Na Bha Va,’ has six syllables, and Shasti is the sixth thithi. Thus, worshipping Lord Muruga on Shasti and observing Sashti vratam will please him a lot.
Shasti Vratham Procedure
There are two Shastis in a Hindu lunar month. One Shasthi comes after Amavasya, and one comes after Purnima (Pournami). Therefore, the Shasti falling after Amavasya (New moon) is ideal for fasting.
Procedure to observe Shasti Vratam
- Begin the Shasti Vratham (fasting) during sunrise and end it the following day.
- Visit the Murugan Powerspot nearby and have his darshan.
- Depending on your health, you can thrive on water or intake juice or milk.
- Strictly abstain from eating non-vegetarian food.
- Read the Skanda Purana and chant the Subramanya mantras.
- You can also recite the popular Murugan bhakthi songs like Kumarasthavam, Skanda Shasti Kavasam and Skanda Guru Kavacham.
- Place the portrait or statue of Muruga on a pedestal and decorate it with flowers.
- Some lamps and dhoop have to be lit before the portrait.
- Keep fruits and other delicacies before the Muruga portrait as Bhog.
- Balls made using foxtail millet and honey are considered favorites for Muruga.
- Pray to Muruga with devotion and sincerity and request him to bestow his blessings upon you.
Shasti Fasting dates of 2022
The Shukla Paksha Shasti thithi days and time of 2022 are below.
|07 January||Friday||Sashti Viratham|
|06 February||Sunday||Sashti Viratham|
|08 March||Tuesday||Sashti Viratham|
|06 April||Wednesday||Sashti Viratham|
|06 May||Friday||Sashti Viratham|
|05 June||Sunday||Sashti Viratham|
|04 July||Monday||Sashti Viratham|
|03 August||Wednesday||Sashti Viratham|
|01 September||Thursday||Sashti Viratham|
|01 October||Saturday||Sashti Viratham|
|25 October||Tuesday||Maha Skanda Sashti Viratham|
|26 October||Wednesday||Maha Skanda Sashti Viratham|
|27 October||Thursday||Maha Skanda Sashti Viratham|
|28 October||Friday||Maha Skanda Sashti Viratham|
|29 October||Saturday||Maha Skanda Sashti Viratham|
|30 Octobe||Sunday||Maha Skanda Sashti Viratham|
|31 October||Monday||Tiru Kalyanam|
|28 November||Monday||Subrahmanya Shasti|
|28 December||Wednesday||Sashti Viratham|
Maha Skanda Shasti Vratham 2022
The Maha Skanda Shasti will be observed from October 25 to October 30. The devotees will start the Shasti vratham on October 25 and end their fasting on October 30. On October 30, the grand ritual, Soorasamharam, will be observed, and on October 31, Muruga’s Thirukalyanam (Marriage) will happen.« Significance of Thaipusam A Special Christmas Message from Dr. Pillai »