Budh Ashtami this year falls on May 19, which marks the Shukla Paksha Ashtami Tithi, according to the Hindu lunar calendar. This auspicious day would be the eighth day of the moon undergoing its waxing phase.
In a month, either the Shukla Paksha or Krishna Paksha might witness Budh Ashtami, also known as Budhashtami.
Earlier this year, Budh Ashtami was on January 20. The next Budh Ashtami will fall again on June 2.
As the name suggests, Budh is the Budhwar (Wednesday) and ‘Ashtami tithi’ means the eighth day, emphasizing the significance of the number 8. In keeping with this ‘eight’, the ‘vrat’ is carried out by observers by consuming 8 handfuls of food on this special day.
Budhashtami or Shukla Paksha Ashtami Timings:
May 19, 2021 12:50 pm: commences the Budha Ashtami Tithi
May 20, 2021 12:23 pm: Ends the Budha Ashtami Tithi
The day is observed with great devotion, by maintaining Budh Ashtami Vrat (fast). Seeking blessings from the Budh graha, devotees offer special ‘naivedya’ consisting of dry fruits; light incense sticks, or ‘diya’, decorate with flowers; place a ‘kalash’/metal pot with a green coconut on top, and fill it with Gangaajal and keep it in the area where the ‘puja’ is to be conducted. Budh graha is worshipped by placing a Budh idol or a picture inscribed on a gold or silver coin.
After reciting the Budhashtami story on this ‘punya tithi’, bhog is offered to Mercury. Upon completion of the puja, it is reverentially distributed as ‘prasad’.
It is said that one ought to perform the Vrat 8 times in a year. At the end of the eight Vrat, the silver or gold coin with a photo of Lord Budha needs to be given away to Brahmin.
Observance of Budh Ashtami leads to salvation, and victory. According to Brahmanda Purana, the significance of this day lies in the performance of ritual which brings about a holistic peace, renders one free from sins from earlier births.
Devotees worship goddess Parvati (for victory), Shiva who is perceived as the lord of Ashtami of Shukla Paksha, and Dharmaraja.
It is believed that those who have the position of Mercury weak on their horoscopes, can observe the fast for Budh dev (Mercury planet) to nullify ‘graha dosham’; and reap immense benefits.
The observance of Budh Ashtami brings prosperity, positivity in life