Varad Vinayaka Chauth is a Hindu festival celebrated on the fourth day of the waxing moon phase (Shukla Paksha) of every month. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, success and obstacle removal. Varad means “boon-giver” and Vinayaka means “leader of all”. Hence, Varad Vinayaka Chauth is a day to seek blessings and favours from Lord Ganesha.

Varad Vinayaka Chauth has a special significance during Navratri, a nine-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine forms. On this day, Kushmanda Puja is also performed to worship the fourth form of Durga, who created the universe with her smile. She is also associated with Lord Ganesha as she gave him his elephant head.

The legend behind Varad Vinayaka Chauth is that once there was a sage named Vakratunda who had a daughter named Mukundu Devi. She was very beautiful and pious but she was cursed by a demon named Sindhu that she would turn into a plant after marriage. The sage prayed to Lord Ganesha for help and he appeared as Varad Vinayak to rescue his daughter. He killed Sindhu and restored Mukundu Devi’s human form. He also blessed her with a happy married life and granted boons to anyone who worshipped him on this day.

The following are the steps for performing Varad Vinayaka Chauth:

  • Wake up early in the morning and take a bath. Wear clean clothes and prepare an idol or image of Lord Ganesha with clay or turmeric paste.
  • Place the idol on a pedestal or altar and decorate it with flowers, vermilion, sandalwood paste and durva grass (a type of sacred grass).
  • Light a lamp with ghee or oil and place it near the idol. Also light some incense sticks and offer them to Lord Ganesha.
  • Invoke Lord Ganesha by chanting “Om Gan Ganapataye Namah” 108 times. You can also use a rosary or mala for counting.
  • Offer modak (a sweet dumpling) to Lord Ganesha as it is his favourite food. You can also offer fruits like banana, mango or coconut.
  • Perform aarti or hymn singing to Lord Ganesha. You can use any devotional song dedicated to him or chant “Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Deva” 21 times.
  • Seek forgiveness from Lord Ganesha for any mistakes or sins committed knowingly or unknowingly. Ask for his grace and guidance in your life.
  • Distribute the prasad among your family members and friends as a mark of sharing your joy and gratitude.

Varad Vinayaka Chauth is a simple yet powerful way to connect with Lord Ganesha’s boon-giving aspect and experience his divine energy. By doing this puja with faith and devotion, you can attain success, wisdom and happiness in all spheres of life.