Santoshi - The Daughter of Ganesha
As the name suggests, Santoshi is the Goddess of happiness and satisfaction. She is considered as a mother by devotees and hence the prefix ‘ma’, meaning mother is used with her name. She is the emblem of love, hope, and contentment. She is also considered as the most humble incarnation of Durga (Goddess associated with the empowerment). She is majorly worshiped in the North India and Nepal.
Legend of Birth
The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva ... (Remover of Obstacles) was celebrating Raksha Bandhan (a festival where a sister ties a sacred thread on her brother’s wrist and pray for his long and happy life, in return for protection to her own being) with his sister, Manasa She is a Hindu folk serpent-Goddess who is worshipped majorly in Bengal and various north-east parts of India. She is worshipped for protection from snake-bites and long and prosperous life. She was married to a sage named Jaratkaru and with him she parented a son named Astika. She is depicted as a woman covered with snakes and sitting on a lotus. On her head, seven cobras make a hood-like structure. She is also known as the one-eyed goddess. She is mostly worshipped without an image, rather a branch of tree or an earthen pot or a snake image is used as her symbol and is offered prayers.
(snake goddess). It was then Ganesha’s two sons, Shubh (auspiciousness) and Labh (profit) asked their father to give them a sister. Ganesha initially denied the request but with the continuous requests of his sons and two wives, Riddhi (Goddess of wealth) and Siddhi (Goddess of intellect), he created Santoshi. As the birth of Santoshi gave happiness to the complete family, similarly peace, happiness and prosperity is bestowed in the families of her devotees. She instills family values in an individual and encourages people to come out of the problems of their lives through determination.
Story about Fasting
An old lady with her seven sons uses to live in a small house, in a village. Every son was hardworking except the youngest one as he was lazy and didn’t contribute much in the household, but he believed his mother loved him the same despite his short-comings. One day his wife told him that his mother is partial and gave the youngest son the food that is left by the elder brothers. The youngest son didn’t believe it until he saw this from his own eyes. He saw his mother preparing a sweet for him from the leftovers of the sweets from others’ plates. He decided to prove his worth and went to another country, leaving his wife behind. Before leaving, he gave his wife a ring as a token of remembrance and his wife put a mark on his shirt through her palm as the token of love.
After the initial struggle, he became a partner in a business and was earning well. For twelve years, he didn’t return his home. Meanwhile back in his house, his mother and other family members made his wife’s life very hard. She use to do all the house-hold work but still she was not fed properly. She missed her husband and wanted him to return home.
One day she heard some women about a fast they have been keeping and the positive result it had brought in their lives. She asked them about the Goddess and ritual. They said if she keeps sixteen fasts on consecutive Fridays in the name of Goddess Santoshi, then her life would be filled with happiness, and all her desires would be fulfilled. The devotee had to perform a Puja It is a prayer ritual performed to make offerings, honoring, evoking or worshipping gods. The ceremony can also be performed to pay homage to the beloved ones who are dead(worship) and offer flowers, jaggery, and roasted chickpeas. She has to wake up early in the morning, take a bath and consume only one mean a day. Nothing sour or bitter should be consumed. On the sixteenth Friday, she must organize an Udyapan (bring the ritual to the conclusion). According to the ceremony, a festive meal, inclusive of sweets and exclusive of sour food items, should be served to eight young boys. It is better if they are family members or relatives, if not then neighbors can be called. This will bring harmony in life.
The wife started fasting and soon she heard from her husband. Finally, he also came back to her. On the last Friday, she had to complete the ritual by performing Udyapan. She called the boys of her brother-in-laws and served them the proper meal. After eating, they demanded something sour. The wife disagreed initially but later gave them some money from which they brought some tamarinds.
Goddess Santoshi became angry because of which some people took the husband away. The wife realized her mistake and promised to perform the ritual again and this time without any mistake. She was successful in her worship this time and as the result the husband returned and they lived happily-ever-after.