The Chaturthi Fast is dedicated to Lord Ganesha (who is also known as Lord Vinyaka). The Chaturthi tithi is the fourth tithi after Purnima (Full Moon) and Amavasya (New Moon). In a Hindu lunar month, there are two Chaturthi tithis and they are Shukla Paksha Chaturthi and Krishna Paksha Chaturthi.
The Shukla Paksha Chaturthi in each lunar month is known as Vara Chaturthi (or Varad Ganesha Chaturthi). Vara or Varad simply means asking God to fulfill one’s wishes/desires. Whereas, the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi in each lunar month is called Sankasthi Chaturthi (or Sankatahara Chaturthi).
The Shukla Paksha Chaturthi tithi (or Vara Chaturthi) is immensely special and on this day, one can worship Lord Ganesha for fulfilling one’s wishes in a successful manner, good health, wealth, and prosperity. On this day, the form of Ganesha that can be worshiped are Lord Heramba Ganapathi, Lord Siddhi Ganapathi, Lord Swarna Ganapathi, Lord Vakratunda Ganapathi, Lord Kshipra Prasada Ganapathi, and Lord Lakshmi Ganapathi among others.
The following mantra can be chanted to worship Lord Ganesha on this auspicious Shukla Paksha Chaturthi tithi :
Normally, the special prayers for Lord Ganesha on Vara Chaturthi (Shukla Paksha Chaturthi) is carried out in the afternoon (during mid-day).
Although Shukla Paksha Chaturthi tithi falls on every lunar month ; the most important Shukla Paksha Chaturthi that falls on the month of Bhadrapada is celebrated as Maha Ganesha Chaturthi or Maha Vinayaka Chaturthi as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
It is believed that when one fasts on the Shukla Paksha Chaturthi tithi with utmost devotion to Lord Ganesha, the individual’s wishes and dreams will come true. Lord Ganesha will also blessed the devotee with wisdom and patience when the Vara Ganesha Chaturthi or Varad Ganesha Chaturthi is observed wholeheartedly.