Anant Chaturdashi 2018 - The Day of Vishnu Worship and Ganesha`s Farewell
Anant Chaturdashi is the tenth day of Ganesh Utsav which falls on the 14th day of Shukla Paksha of the month of Bhadra. This year, it is on September 23. On Anant Chaturdashi, people bid farewell to Lord Ganesha by immersing Bappa’s idols in a nearby lake, river or sea front with a lot of fanfare. Anant Chaturdashi marks the end of the ten day Ganesh Utsav which celebrates Lord Ganesha’s birth. Though it is commonly known as the last day of Ganesh Chaturthi but Ananta Chaturdashi is actually dedicated to Lord Vishu. Devotees pray to Lord Vishnu as it is believed that on this day, Vishnu appeared as Anantapadmanabha i.e. his Ananta Sayana form in which he is seen reclining on the serpent Sheshnaga.
Anant Chaturdashi Puja
Flowers, incense sticks, vermillion, turmeric, oil lamps, sandalwood paste are kept before Lord Vishnu’s idol and prasad consisting of fruits, milk and sweets is offered to God. Devotees chant “Om Anantay Namoh Namaha” during puja. One of the most significant rituals on this day is the tying of a sacred thread which is sanctified by placing it in front of the Lord’s idol and then the devotees tie it on their hand; men tie it on their right hand whereas women tie it on their left. This thread is called Ananta Daram.
It is worn while chanting the mantra given below:
Ananta Sansar Maha Samudre Magnan Samabhyuddhar Vasudeva
Ananta Rupey Viniyojitatmamahya Ananta Rupey Namoh Namastute.
It is believed that fasting on this day helps one get freedom from all the sorrows. ‘Ananta’ means endless and it is said that Lord Vishnu clears all the difficulties from the devotees’ life if they observe the fast with utmost faith and devotion. Some people even observe this fast for 14 years continuously. Those who fast wake up at dawn, take a bath and perform puja. After the fast is over, one can have fruits and milk but avoid the intake of salt.
According to mythology, there was a girl called Sushila who was the daughter of a Brahmin, Sumant. After Sushila’s mother passed away, Sumant married a woman called Karkash who used to ill-treat Sushila. When Sushila grew up, she ran away with a man called Kaundinya in order to save herself from Karkash’s torture. On their way, Sushila met a group of women who were praying to Lord Ananta. Sushila became inquisitive and asked the women and they told her that they wanted wealth, prosperity and enlightenment and for this purpose, they were observing the 14 year vow.
After listening to their story, Sushila decided to take the 14 year vow and as a result of that, she and her husband became affluent. Once, Kaundinya saw the holy thread on Sushila’s hand and he asked her about it. When she told him about her vow, he became angry as he didn’t believe in any vow and for him, their wealth was the result of his own efforts. He held his wife’s arm, tore the thread and threw it into fire. Post this incident, things started going downhill in their life and they lost their wealth too. This made Kaundinya realize his mistake and he decided to go through penance until Lord Ananta appeared before him but he wasn’t successful. Disappointed by all this, he decided to take his life and went to a forest to hang himself. Just as he was about to do so, a hermit stopped him and took him to a cave where Lord Vishnu appeared before him who advised Kaundinya to observe the 14 year vow which will help him become financially sound.
Date: 23rd September, 2018
Puja time - 06:13 to 31:17+
Chaturdashi Tithi begins at 05:43 on September 23rd, 2018
Chaturdashi Tithi ends at 07:17 on September 24th, 2018
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