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Anant Chaturthi 2020: Date and Time, Puja Vidhi, Vrat Katha and Significance

Anant ChaturthiAnant Chaturdashi or Chaturthi (September 1, 2020 Tuesday) is one of the highly auspicious festivals observed and celebrated by Jain and Hindus. It is also the last day of Ganeshotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is worshipped in His Anant (Infinite) form. People observe Anant Vrat to get rid of karmic reactions, sorrows and sufferings. The word ‘Anant’ means ‘endless’ and Vishnu’s reclining posture signifies the state of spiritual rest and is the form of Narayana before the evolution of the Cosmos.

Particular Date & Day Time starts Time ends
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins  August 31 (Monday) 8:48 AM  
Puja Muhurat September 1 (Tuesday) 6:23 AM 9:38 AM
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends September 1 (Tuesday)   9:38 AM

Significance of Ananta Chaturthi:

Significance of Ananta ChaturthiThis day reminds us that just as Lord Vishnu rests calmly on a snake bed, one should remain undisturbed by happiness and sorrow and remain steady in both. Only a person who remains in equilibrium realizes his true self. Ganesha represents the body consciousness which comes as a temple for the soul. Body has to finally dissolve in the Ocean of Paramatma and hence Ganesha is submerged in water.


In Jainism:

The Jains consider this day spiritually significant because Lord Vasupujya, twelfth Tirthankara attained nirvana on this day. The Digambara Jains follow Paryushana, week’s fasting, throughout the last ten days culminating in Anant Chaturdashi. In other words the last of Paryushana is Ananta Chaturthi (also known as Anant Chaudas). The next day after Anant Chaturthi is Kshamavani; it is the day when the Jains ask for forgiveness for the mistakes committed intentionally or uninentionally.


Celebration in Northern India:

People from Bihar and eastern regions of Uttar Pradesh on this day worship the kshirsagara, the Ocean of Milk and Ananta, the divine incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

  • The families on this day make 14 long tilaks a wooden plank with 14 puris (friend bread) and 14 pua (sweet bread deep-friend) kept on those tilaks.
  • Following this, the family members take a bowl filled with panchamrit (a mix of milk, curd, jaggery, honey and ghee) and keep it on the wooden plank. This mix denotes the divine Ocean of Milk.
  • They then take a thread with fourteen knots meaning Lord Anant bound on a cucumber and is twirled five times in that mix or Ocean of Milk.
  • Men tie this Anantra thread on their right arm under the sleeve and women tie their left arm. After a period of 14 days, this thread is removed.

The story of Ananta Vow: Sushila and Kaundinya

After being troubled by her stepmother, Sushila left her father Suman (a Brahmin) and along with her husband Kaundinya, she moved on.

Along the way to forest, they stopped by a river for bath. While Kaundinya bathed, Sushila went a bit away and saw a group of women worshipping Lord Anant. One of them explained the rituals that included the offering of gharha and anarase, sacred food along with flowers, oil lamps and incense sticks to the Lord as well as a silk string (known as Anant) kept at the altar and then worn on the arm.

Soon Sushila followed the ritual and prosperity made its way into their life until Kaundinya observed the Ananta string on her arm. Citing that the prosperity and success are due to one’s intelligence and never due to some ritual, he took the string off and discarded it.

Due this act, the misery and poverty ensued, making Kaundinya realize his mistake. To atone for dishonoring Lord Ananta, he went into the forest for tapasya and asked anyone or anything along the way if they had seen an Ananta string. A worm-filled Mango tree said NO. Then he saw a cow with her calf, a bull standing on the grass without grazing. Further he saw two lakes adjacent to each other with their waters mixing. Later, he saw a donkey and an elephant. None of them had seen the Ananta string.

Overwhelmed with grief, he thought of hanging himself. An aged Brahmin stopped him and removed the rope from Kaundinya’s neck. He took him to a cave nearby. Moving into the cave, he saw darkness. Walking a fewer steps, he saw a thing light getting bigger and bigger. There was a big palace that they entered and a massive assembly of men and women welcomed them, presided by Lord Ananta Himself.

Kaundinya looked sideways and found that there was no Brahmin but Lord Vishnu Himself. Realizing that it was Vishnu who saved him from hanging himself, he fell down at the Lord’s feet and confessed his sin. Lord Ananta asked him to follow a 14-year vow to get rid of the sinful reactions and attain opulence, wealth, children and happiness.

Later on Lord Ananta explained to him that the Mango tree was a Brahmin who possessed immense knowledge but did not share with others. The cow was Earth that had consumed all the plant seeds. The bull that personified religion stood on the field of green grass. The two lakes personified love between two sisters whose alms were spent on each other only. The donkey represented cruelty and anger and the elephant was nothing but Kaundinya's pride.

Special Ganesh Ganesh Chaturthi Pujas

Ganesh Chaturthi Puja

Perform this puja on Ganesh Chaturthi for blessings of Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesh is worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Was born during Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month, he rules over wisdom and removes obstacles from one's path. This puja includes Kalash Sthapana, Panchang Sthapana, Recitation of Ganpati Atharvasheesh Stotra (11 times), Ganpati mantra Japa 1100 times, Homa, Aarti and Pushpaanjali.

More Ganesh Pujas

Check out more Ganesh Pujas. We have a puja for removing obstacles to your personal and professional growth. You can perform Lakshmi Ganesha Puja for success in career. Shree Ganesha Puja Mantra Japa and Yajna removes all of your issues. We also have Laxmi Ganesha Saraswati Puja for higher education and a puja for Success Stability and Support in life.

Ganesh Mantra

श्री वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ । निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा ॥

Shree Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada

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What to do on Anant Chaturthi: Rituals and Puja Vidhi

The main ritual on the day is the tying of the sacred thread called Anant Daram. This is actually a cotton band of fourteen threads and in some places the band consists of fourteen knots. Women tie the Anant Daram on their left hand and men on their right.

Also since this is the last day of Ganesh Chaturthi, we should also pray to Lord Ganesh who also worships Lord Vishnu, glorifying His divinity.

  • One can fast throughout the day from morning to evening. If not possible, one can have fruits once in a day. However, rigid fasting is suggested for higher devotees who completely dedicate themselves to the service of Lord Vishnu.
  • You may visit a Vishnu/Krishna temple and offer prayers. If a temple is not around, you may offer prayers at your home in the morning. The idols of Lord Vishnu should be worshipped with sandalwood, flowers, fruits and dhoop.
  • Vishnu Yantras are the best ways to worship Lord Vishnu.
  • You can be in a quiet room and meditate on Lord Vishnu with His mantra: ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’. This powerful mantra was given by Sage Narada to Dhruva Maharaja as described in the Bhagavat Purana (4.8.54).
  • You can also chant the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra on the Tulasi bead.
  • You can offer flowers and chant Vishnu Sahasranamam (Thousands name of Lord Vishnu). Chanting thousand names of Vishnu or Vishnu Strotram has a purifying effect on the mind and the body. You can also play it in the morning while you engage in daily works. More details here.
  • You can also perform a Vishnu Sahasranama Puja under qualified Brahmins. It is a highly recommended activity on this day. The puja includes Vishnu-Lakshmi Abhishek and Pujan, Vishnu mantra Japa- 1100 times, Vishnu Sahasranama Strotra followed by Homa and Aarti.
  • You can wear a Ten Mukhi and a Nineteen Mukhi Rudrasksha for they are ruled by Lord Krishna and Narayana, respectively. Wearing these Rudraksha beads on this day purifies your inner self and strengthens your will power. They work like a shield on one's body and the wearer gets immense protection from negative energies, evil eye and psychic attacks.
  • Donate clothes, food grains, umbrellas, hand-fans, pitchers filled with water and any other items to Brahmins.



Why does Lord Vishnu sleep on Ananta Shesha?

When living beings rest (sleep), their physical activities come to a standstill although other activities such heart beats, blood circulation, thought processes and breathing are active. The sleeping state or slumber of Lord Vishnu is not ordinary; it is yoga nidra which is a mysterious quality of the Lord that even demigods like Brahma, Indra and others are unable to comprehend. It is a quality of being unconscious which is manifested in the living beings on Earth who are under the spell of Maya. Being unconscious means being ignorant of spiritual knowledge; it is the constitutional state of living beings. It represents the covering of intellectual, scientific, and quasi-spiritual knowledge that guides the waking activities of living beings. However, yog nidra of the Lord must not be taken as ignorance. He is omnipotent; He can see with His ears, hear with His eyes, and speak with His eyes and so on. While in slumber, He creates innumerable universes through the pores of His skin by breathing in and out.

Ananta Shesha is a plenary portion of the Lord. He is called Ananta, limitless. His primary job is to render a personal service to the Lord who rests on His body. After the Lord creates universes, filling them with planets, the immediate task is performed by Shesha. And the task is holding all the created planets up by placing them on His hoods; it is He who generates gravitational force. He is limitless as His name Ananta suggests. It means when He continues to exist even after the dissolution of the cosmic creations, serving the Lord in His all capacities.


 

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