Friday 10 November 2023

How to Observe Skanda Sashti Viratham/Fasting or Sashti Viratham ?

Skanda Sashti Viratham/Vrath is a six day fast observed once a year in dedication to Lord Murugan during the Tamil month of Aippasi [Oct -Nov]. Sashti Viratham is also observed every month during the Sashti Thithi for one day starting early in the morning and ending the next day morning.  

The fasting of Skanda Sashti begins on the first day of the new moon which usually falls on the day after Deepavali and observed for six days from Prathamai Thithi to Sashti Thithi.  Viratham/Vrath in Sanskrit means ‘Vow’ which is not merely fasting. The actual meaning of Viratham/promise which the devotee observes is to purify his/her mind through meditation, worship Lord Murugan with great devotion, sticking to clean habits, not telling lies, not getting anger etc. Devotees make it a point to visit Murugan Temples during these 6 days, chant kanda sashti kavasam, do special prayers, offer food for the poor and please Lord Murugan and get his blessings.

Other articles that might of your interest…

SkandaSashti Viratham 2023 dates

Origin of Skandha Sashti Festival/Sashti Viratham

How to do the Sashti Pooja at home

image source: Google images

How/Ways to Observe Skanda Sashti Viratham/Fasting

Each devotee observes Sashti fasting differently but there are certain set of common rules and regulations followed by everybody during the fasting days.

·         Fasting begins with sunrise with the blessing of Sun God. It is broken on the next day morning sunrise after praying to Sun God.

·         When observing the fast, we must recite Kanda Sashti Kavasam, Subramaniya Bhujangam, Vel Maaral, Vel Pathigam or atleast small hymns from Thirupugazh.

·         Reading or hearing stories of Lord Murugan or Kandha Puranam.

·         Devotees also try to visit Lord Murugan temple during the fasting days. Reciting “Ohm Saravana Bava” 108 times a day will bring peace and prosperity in our life.

·         Meditation, worship, abstaining from telling lies, avoiding fights etc must be followed. Fasting is a method to bring about self-control and self-discipline in us.

·         Fasting is not just about food, but it is an attempt to instill positive thoughts and discipline. Fasting is an approach to fight against impurities like anger, impatience and negative thoughts. But all this is possible only with the blessings of Lord Murugan. So before starting the fasting pray to Lord Murugan to give full strength [ both physical and mental] to complete the six day fasting with out any hindrance.

·         Non-Vegetarian food is completely avoided during this period.

·         Some people also avoid garlic and onions.

·         During Sashti some devotees observe complete fasting by just drinking water, that is not possible for everybody due to health reasons. So, some devotees take a single meal a day [oru pozhudhu viratham]

·         Some people prefer to take the meal during noon and others at night.

·         Some devotees confine to fruits, tender coconut water, and juices during the 6-day period.

·         During the fasting days, offer food for the poor and help others as much as possible.

·         The fasting ends on the sixth day which is the soorasamharam day. The next day is the Thirukalyanam, where Lord Murugan marries Devaiyaanai, the daughter of Lord Indra.

Four different types of Fasting are observed during Skandha Sashti

Oru Pozhudhu/Pagal Viratham [One Day Fasting]

Paal Viratham [Milk Fasting]

Elaneer Viratham [Tender Coconut Fasting]

Milagu Viratham [Black Pepper Fasting]

Oru Pozhudhu/Pagal Viratham [One day Fasting]

Devotees observe fasting during that day, will have one meal either in the morning or noon or night after doing the prayer. But it is better to have the meals during noon time, so that you can have milk/fruit in the morning and night. This is called as oru pozhudhu viratham

Paal Viratham [Milk Fasting]

Paal Viratham is one type fasting in which the devotees are allowed to have only milk during this type of fasting and no other food is allowed. This milk should especially be the “Abishekam Milk” got from Murugan temple, but this is not possible in all the situations. So, devotees offer Milk with little jaggery to Lord Murugan at home or do paal abishekam to Murugan Idol [if you have it at home] and have it after doing the pooja.

Elaneer Viratham [Tender Coconut Fasting]

For Elaneer Viratham, devotees can buy tender coconut from shop and offer it as neivedhyam to Lord Murugan and do the pooja. After the pooja, the devotees can have this tender coconut/elaneer during the noon time. During this fasting also nothing other Elaneer can be consumed.

Milagu Viratham [Black Pepper Fasting]

Milagu Virathm/Black pepper fasting is the most difficult one among all the other fasting methods. During this milagu fasting, devotees should have 1 black pepper on the first day, 2 black peppers on the second day, 3 black peppers on the third day, 4 black peppers on the fourth day, 5 black peppers on the fifth day, 6 black peppers on the sixth day. Before having the black peppers, the devotees have to keep the Black peppers in front of Lord Murugan, recite all the slogans, do the pooja and then only have it. Devotees should have only black peppers and water and no other food is allowed during this kind of fasting. It is believed the Milagu Fasting cleanses our body, mind and soul and keeps one hale and healthy.

Fasting should be done whole heartedly and should not be done under any compulsion. If you are sick and on medication, you need not adhere to intense fasting, just stick to your regular routine and do the meditation and pooja with your whole heart to get the blessings of Lord Murugan.

image credits: Google images

Benefits of Skandha Sashti Viratham

Sashti Viratham is a very powerful, surrendering oneself to Lord Murugan and praying with great devotion gives them lot of strength and power to fight the battle of life.

If both husband and wife observe this fast with great devotion, they will have baby the following year. It is believed that Lord Murugan himself will be born in your house.

Observing this fast also helps in getting rid of all the obstacles we face in our marriage life.

Sashti Viratham is observed if one is facing troubles in getting their marriage fixed.

For calm, peaceful and healthy life it is good to observe Sashti Viratham every year.

Other articles that might of your interest…

SkandaSashti Viratham 2023 dates

Origin of Skandha Sashti Festival/Sashti Viratham

How to do the Sashti Pooja at home

I will be updating with more articles related to Skandha Sashti festival in my upcoming articles.

Thank you all for visiting my space, please come back again for more interesting articles about Indian Festivals and Poojas here. Meanwhile check out interesting articles about Navarathri, Golu, Pongal and other Indian Festivals here.

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Have a great day and enjoy.

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