The month of Kartik is a period of festivals and celebrations according to the Hindu calendar. Beginning with Karva Chouth and moving on to Dhanteras, Naraka Chaturdashi, Deepawali, Lakshmi Puja, Chopda Puja, Annakut, Gowardhan Puja, Bhai Dhuj, Chatt Puja the list goes on merrily as devotees invoke gods and participate in festivities praying for health and happiness. Labh Pancham also known as Soubhagya Panchami concludes the deepawali festivities as businessmen reopen their business ventures after the holiday period after praying to the gods to bless them with prosperity and success. They worship the account books and ledgers which are known as khatu in Gujarat and puja is offered to lord Ganesh, and goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswathi. The festival is also known as Laakheni Panchami. After invocation, businessmen write the words shubh and laabh on either side of the books and offer prayers.
Lord Ganesh is believed to confer auspiciousness, success and good fortune and is hailed as Laabh data. The following prayer is recited
Aum ShrIm gam saubhaagya ganapataye
varvard sarvajanm men vaShamaanya namah
Gam is the seed or the bheeja mantra for Ganesha and we pray for good fortune, blessings and fulfillment of wishes. He grants us long life filled with health and happiness.
“AUM gam ganapataye namaH“ – (ॐ गम गणपतये नम:) is the shortened version of the prayer.
The Jains also observe the festival and pray for knowledge and prosperity. The following sloka is usually chanted.
Samakita-Shraddhaavantane, Upanyo Gyaan-Prakaasha;
Pranamu Padakaja Tehanaa, Bhaava Dharee Ullaasa.
The Kayatsarga of 51 Logassa, 51 Swastikas, 51 Khamasanas and the Jap Pad of ‘Namo Nanassa’ – 20 Navakarvalis are performed on this day.