Significance of Anant Chaturdashi

Significance of Anant Chaturdashi

About Anant Chaturdashi:

Anant Chaturdashi signifies the complete relevance of the festival. Anant is the name of Lord in whose name the festival Anant Chaturdashi is celebrated. Lord Anant is a name given to Lord Vishnu. The Shesh-Nag and river Goddess Yamuna are also worshiped along with Lord Anant. Chaturdashi falls on the fourteenth bright day in Bhadrapada month. The day of Anant Chaturdashi usually coincides with Ganesha Visarjan. People in different communities have different beliefs and celebrate it in various ways.

Lord Ganesha

Celebrations/ Rituals:

Anant Chaturdashi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The rituals of the festival Anant Chaturdashi is followed wholeheartedly. Gathering of women invokes life in the celebrations of Anant Chaturdashi. They come together to take a vow in the name of Lord Anant. People offer prayers to Lord Vishnu. Devotees keep wooden plank with 14 Tilaks on it along with the offerings of Puris, Puaas, and Panchamrit which is made of milk, curd, honey, and ghee. Devotees pray for the prosperity. River Goddess Yamuna is worshiped with 16 substances. After Yamuna Puja, the Shesh Nag is invoked, and his seven hoods are worshiped with Sandalwood paste, Vermillion, incense, lamp, and turmeric. Sweets, milk, and fruits are offered as Prasad to Shesh Nag.

Lord Vishnu

The celebrations of the festival Anant Chaturdashi comes to an end when devotees tie Anant Sutra on the wrist. Anant Sutra is a sacred thread with 14 knots and is colored with Kumkum and Turmeric. The men wear it on their right wrist and the women in their left hand. It provides protection from evils. It is also called Raksha Sutra. Scientifically, there are 14 main granthis/glands in a human body which are interconnected. The action of invoking Lord Vishnu results in him being attracted to these knots. Hence, the body becomes charged with the flow of will-power. Devotees should perform all these rituals for 14 years, and the knot of the thread must only be taken out after 14 days. Women observe fast for the well-being of their families. Men keep fast for 14 years to regain wealth and prosperity. Devotees wake up in the morning, take a holy bath and observe the rituals. Post puja; devotees can consume fruits, milk or sweets. Devotees should avoid the consumption of salt.

In Maharashtra, the idols of Lord Ganesha installed at home, and Pandals are taken to a lake, river or a sea in procession for immersion. On this day, the ten days long festival of Ganesh Chaturthi comes to an end with the immersion ceremony.

Legend:

As per the legend, a girl named Sushila who after getting the knowledge of Lord Anant's vow took a vow which made her very rich. Sushila was utterly devoted toward her vow, and she used to follow all the rituals seriously. One day her husband found her worshiping Ananta. He insisted that all the wealth and happiness is due to hard work and dedication. Since then, everything started going downhill. Poverty struck them, and they had faced difficult times of their life. All these miseries made Shushila's husband realized his mistake of not cherishing Lord's kindness. Sushila's husband spent his life in search of Lord Anant. Disappointed with all his efforts in finding him, he decided to give up his life. Suddenly Lord Anant appeared in front of him as a Brahmin and advised him to follow the rituals. Kaundinya took care of all the rituals and e performed the rituals, took a vow and also worshiped Lord Anant. Their life again filled with abundant happiness and health.

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