Ganesh Sankasht Chaturthi is observed every month on the fourth date of Krishna Paksha. It is also called tilkut chaturthi and is observed on 4th day after Paush Purnima in the month of Magh (January/February).
A fast is observed for the entire day and in the evening, a katha is read. The fast ends when the moon is sighted. One should eat ‘Tilkut’ on this day. During the ritual, Tilkut is put in a bowl and kept near durwa grass. Water is offered to the Sun; both til and durwa grass are offered to the Moon while worshiping Ganesha.
Tilkut is a sweet savory made of sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum) and jaggery or gur, shakkar- unrefined sugar or sugar. The sugar tilkut is white in color, the shakkar tilkut is light brown in colour and the gur/jaggery tilkut is dark brown in colour.
Sesame seeds are said to have a greater ability to absorb pure (sattva) frequencies than any other seed, with the black variety in addition being an extremely good source of calcium, protein, phosphorous, iron and magnesium.
Jaggery is considered wholesome sugar, retaining more mineral salts than refined sugar and is a good source of both calcium and iron. Together, they both generate body heat and prevent the ill-effects of the cold weather, which translates into increased immunity for the coming months.
In Maharashtra, they say: “Tilgul ghya, gud gud bola”, which literally means “Eat tilgul or tilkut and talk sweet”. The deeper meaning behind it is that eating tilkut detoxifies the mind so that one talks sweetly.
Our mythology says that Lord Shiva blessed Ganesh on this day by saying that Moon will get down from his head to Ganesh’s head and help remove the obstacles (detoxification of the mind). On this day, the fast ends only after worshipping Ganesha and Moon at night.
Tilkut and durva grass are therefore natural detoxifiers and hence worshiped so that they can be eaten to remove the obstacles from the life. Apart both are good source of calcium and needs to be taken during the whole of Magh month with sun exposure (vitamin D).
Other natural detoxifiers are:
· Wheat grass used in navrataras for detoxification of the mind body and soul
· Durva grass and tilkut for removing obstacles (Ganesh Pooja) and removing attachments (black sesame used in shradhs)
· Kusha grass for removing attachments (used in shradhs)
· Pranayama (for attachments as mentioned in Hanuman Chalisa)
· Chanting with concentration in the heart.
· Tulsi water (used in Satya Narayana ki Katha)
· Neem water (used in Safi)
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA