Date: 15th September, 2016
The festival of Anant Chaturthi is commemorated in Hindu month Bhadrapada. Anant means infinite, endless and chaturthi means fourth day. This is the day, which is devoted to Lord Vishnu and this festival is the last day of grand and fascinating Ganesh Chaturthi. It is believed that people who have lost their glory, wealth and respect should keep fast on Anant Chaturdashi to get back all this. On Anant Chaturthi, devotees tie a holy thread round the neck or on armlet and this bestows them with infinite happiness and wealth by the grace of the God Vishnu.
Anant Chaturthi Legend
As per Hindu mythological tales, there was a Brahmin named Sumant. He had a daughter named Sushila from his wife Diksha. Sumant tied knot with Karkash who was not caring to his daughter Sushila. To shun the nuisance of her step mother, Sushila got married to Kaundinya and left her father’s home. On her way to home, Sushila’s husband was taking bath in a river while Sushila joined a group of female worshippers. She was very inquisitive so she asked the reason of worshipping “Anant”.
The group of women explained her, the reason of this vow to get wealth and divinity. Sushila made her mind and took the Anant vow and she slowly became wealthy. On day his husband Kaundinya saw a string on Sushila’s left hand. She told him that their circumstances have changed because of her devotion towards Lord Anant. Kaundinya got angry and threw her thread into fire. Just after this their condition became very miserable. After this, Kaundinya felt guilty and decided to undergo strenuous penance. He started penance in a forest and asked all the living beings if they had seen Anant, but he got a negative reply. At last, he decided to kill himself, but suddenly Lord Anant appeared in the form of an old Brahmin. The lord then said to him that if he made the 14 years vow, he would get back his lost wealth and happiness.
Anant Chaturthi Rituals and Traditions
The last day of Ganesh Chaturthi is known as Anant Chaturdashi and people with great fanfare and excitement rejoice it every year. Devotees also keep a fast on this day as it believed that worshipping Lord Vishnu with dedication gives respite from all sorrows. Tying of sacred thread on the wrist or neck is the main ritual that is performed on this day. This holy string is known as “Ananta Daram”. Men tie this thread on their right hand while women tie it around their left wrist and this string is removed after 14 days.
According to Hindu custom, Anant Chaturthi is also commemorated as the last day of pious Ganesh Utsav. The bedecked statutes of Lord Ganesha are carried on embellished floats by the devotees and submerged in the water. The grand immersion is escorted by holy hymns, drum beats and people with full zest chant “Ganpati Bappa Morya”.