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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Santhoshi Mata Vratam

Santoshi Mata or Santoshi Maa is mainly worshiped by women of North India. The name Santhoshi Mata literally means “the mother of contentment or satisfaction”. Goddess Santoshi Maa is a symbol of love, contentment, forgiveness, happiness and hope. The Goddess, considered to be a daughter of Lord Ganesh, is believed to have a calm nature and offers her followers with happiness and peace.

Goddess Santhoshi Mata
Goddess Santhoshi Mata
It is believed that fasting and praying Sanotshi Mata for 16 consecutive Fridays brings peace and prosperity in one's family. According to one legend, the sons of Lord Ganesh, Shubh and Labh, wanted to know the importance of Raksha Bandhan and wished to have a sister. Thus, Lord Ganesha created Maa Santoshi. As she fulfilled the wishes of her brothers, she was named Santoshi then.
The vrat or the ritual of Santoshi Maa should be held on Fridays, which is considered as her day of birth.
Following is the procedure to perform the Santoshi Maa Vrat.
You are required to collect the following things for the Santoshi Maa Pooja.
  • 1 Kalash (a pot which contains water)
  • Betel leaves
  • Flowers
  • Camphor for aarti
  • Incense Sticks
  • Diyas (an oil lamp usually made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or oil)
  • Turmeric
  • Vermillion
  • Photo of Santoshi Maa and a book which contains the story
  • Coconut for kalash (continue with the same coconut till you complete Pooja)
  • A wooden stool for placing the idol
  • Rice mixed with turmeric
  • Dry whole channa (chickpeas), jiggery (unrefined brown sugar made from palm sap) and green banana for Prasad

Starting Santoshi Mata Puja

  1. Select the appropriate place for worship and clean it thoroughly.
  2. After taking bath on Friday morning, place the photo in the pooja place, decorate it with flowers and place a small Kalash.
  3. Offer prayers to Lord Ganesh, to have success in business, to remove poverty and destruction of evil, then mother Riddhi Siddhi. Prayer to wealth, gold, silver, pearl, and other gems.
  4. Read the story of Santoshi Maa. Make the listeners say "Santoshi Mata ki Jai" all the time.
  5. Before reading the Santoshi Mata story, fill water in the kalash, and on top of it, keep a small bowl filled with channa and jaggery. At the end of the story, perform Santoshi Mata Ki Aarti and sprinkle water in the vessel in every corner of the house.
  6. The remaining water should be poured into the Tulsi plant.
  7. Distribute the Prasad to the listeners.
  8. During the day, ensure not to eat or touch anything which is sour such as Curd and Lemon. This is to be strictly followed. Otherwise, it may lose the benefits of fasts and prayers. Fasting can be observed the entire day or only one time in a day.
  9. One needs to ensure not to touch any sour things on this day. This is because Santoshi Mata is believed to sit under a milk fall and incase the 'bhakt' touches any sour thing, they not only 'bhrasht' the vrat but as Ma takes her bhakt close to her, it is believed that we also contaminate Mata's abode..
  10. This way, you need to do this for 16 weeks on Friday.

Udyapan - Completing the Santoshi Maa Vrat

On the Udayapan [last day] you distribute 2-½ kg. Khaja [cashews], poori, kheer, gram curry, sweets. Light the lamp of ghee and keep saying "Santoshi Mata ki Jai" and break the coconut. On this day there should not be any sour item in the house. Do not eat any sour item yourself nor offer anyone. On this day, feed eight boys food. If the children are there in the immediate close family - elder or younger brother-in-law's children, then do not call from outside. If there are fewer children from close family, you can call children from the Brahmins, relatives or neighbour's children. Do not give them any sour item and as per one's capacity give them gifts. Do not give money but give them any item. The person doing the fast after listening to the story should have the prasad and only one time meal. This way the Mother is very happy, and sorrow, poverty will be removed and wishes will be fulfilled.

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