Worshipping Santoshi Maa
The goddess who rules one of the strictest brata or the fast taken on Friday, Santoshi Maa is a very powerful goddess and also the daughter of Lord Ganesh. She was born on the day of Rakshabandan or Rakhi, also known as Janai Purnima in Nepal. Venus and Neptune are said to be her grahas (planets with significance in Nepali birth calendar and life of a Hindu).
The brata or the fast of Santoshi Maa is taken on Friday. On this day, the temple of this goddess, located in Naxal on the Nag Pokhari premises, is crowded with the devotees. Devotees worship the goddess, conduct pujas and feed poor people with rice pudding and other foods. However, anything sour is not allowed to be eaten or even touched on this day, by those who have kept fast. Gram nuts and raw sugar or the molasses are considered to be her favorite foods and one should be careful about not using or touching any sour food item, including lemon on that day, otherwise they will have to bear her curse. The fast is kept either for only one or for 16 Fridays and also puja is conducted on the day of fast. It is said that keeping the fast of Santoshi Maa fulfills the desire of the person taking fast and bring happiness and success to them and their family.
The people belonging to the Marwari community living in Kathmandu valley make sure to visit the temple in Nag Pokhari before leaving Kathmandu for some important works. It is often said that it is one of the reasons behind the success and wealth of the Marwari community.
She is considered as a very king hearted goddess and is also powerful source of Ying energy. She always protects her devotees from any type of misfortunes and problems. She is believed to have the power of Lord Ganesh, goddess Parvati, Laxmi and Bharmayani.
Although the temple of the goddess is small, hundreds of devotees throng into the temple on Fridays. It is believed that any human tensions, be it regarding job, finance, children, marriage or love issues, conducting puja in the name of the goddess will reduce any kind of problem.