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Anant Chaturthi

Anant Chaturthi 2024: Date And Time, Puja Vidhi, Vrat Katha And Significance

Anant Chaturdashi or Chaturthi is one of the auspicious festivals observed and celebrated by Hindus and Jains. It is a day with high positive vibrations. Anant Chaturdashi is the last day of the ten-day-long Ganeshotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi. It is called Ganesh Chaudas when devotees bid adieu to Lord Ganesha by Anant Chaturdashi Ganesh Visarjan. This holy day is also dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is worshipped in His Anant (Infinite) form. It is a common practice for devotees to observe Anant Vrat (fast) to eliminate 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.

When is Anant Chaturthi?

Every year Anant Chaturthi or Anant Chaudas falls on Chaturdashi or the fourteenth day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing moon phase) of Bhadrapada month.

When is Anant Chaturthi in 2024?

Ganesha Visarjan on Anant Chaturdashi on Tuesday, September 17, 2024
Auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat for Ganesha Visarjan
Morning Muhurat (Chara, Labha, Amrita) - 09:14 AM to 01:48 PM
Afternoon Muhurat (Shubha) - 03:19 PM to 04:50 PM
Evening Muhurat (Labha) - 07:50 PM to 09:19 PM
Night Muhurat (Shubha, Amrita, Chara) - 10:48 PM to 03:14 AM, Sep 18
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins - 03:10 PM on Sep 16, 2024
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends - 11:44 AM on Sep 17, 2024

On Anant Chaturdashi, devotees perform Anant puja at an auspicious time. All the details are given in the table below:

Why Is Anant Chaturdashi Celebrated: Anant Chaturdashi Significance

Anant Chaturdashi reminds us that just as Lord Vishnu rests calmly on a bed of snakes (Sheshnaga), one should remain undisturbed by happiness and sorrow and remain balanced in both situations. Only a person who remains in equilibrium realises his true self. Lord Ganesha represents the body consciousness which comes as a temple for the soul. The body has to finally dissolve in Paramatma and hence on Anant Chaturdashi or Ganesh Chaudas, Lord Ganesha is submerged in various water bodies like the sea, pond, etc. Ganesh Utsav/Chaturthi is the most important festival in the state of Maharashtra, the grand celebration of which ends on Anant Chaturdashi when idols of Ganapati Bappa, which were worshipped by devotees for 10 days are bid goodbye through Anant Chaturdashi Ganesh Visarjan. The devotees follow the rituals performing Aarti before setting off from home or Pandal with Lord Ganesha's idol and perform the Anant pooja just before Visarjan. The hearts of devotees are heavy to bid farewell to favorite Ganapati Bappa on Anant Chaudas, but at the same time, everyone gives Him an invitation to come back soon the following year, by shouting slogans of the same in unison. On Anant Chaturdashi, devotees perform Anant Chaturdashi Ganesh Visarjan with the same hope of the Lord's return next year.

In Jainism

The day of Anant Chaturdashi is spiritually significant for the Jains because Lord Vasupujya, the twelfth Tirthankara, attained Nirvana on this day of Anant Chaudas. The Digambara Jains follow Paryushana for 10 days of Bhadrapada month which culminate in Anant Chaturdashi. In other words, the last of Paryushana is Ananta Chaturthi. The next day after Anant Chaturthi is Kshamavani, a day when the Jains ask for forgiveness for the mistakes committed intentionally or unintentionally. Anant Chaturdashi in 2022 will see the Jain devotees do their ritualistic puja and be immersed in the spiritual energies.

Celebration Of Anant Chaturdashi In Northern India And Its Puja Vidhi

People from Bihar and eastern regions of Uttar Pradesh, on the pious Anant Chaturdashi date, worship the Kshirsagara, the Ocean of Milk and Ananta, the divine form of Lord Vishnu. Anant puja/pooja is performed by the devotees by following the Anant Chaturdashi Puja Vidhi to get the blessings of Lord Vishnu.

  • On Anant Chaturdashi, the families perform this puja Vidhi with devotion and faith. The puja samagri is kept ready before the Anant Chaturdashi day. On the Anant Chaudas, the devotees make 14 long 'tilaks' with Kumkum or vermilion on a wooden plank and keep 14 puris (fried bread) and 14 Maal Puas (a deep-fried Indian sweet bread) on the 14 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, the Kshirsagara, in the Anant Chaturdashi Puja Vidhi.
  • They then take a thread with fourteen knots, meaning Lord Anant, bound on a Cucumber which is twirled five times in the Panchamrit or Ocean of Milk. This thread is like a Raksha Sutra or a protective thread, which protects from evil.
  • After completion of Anand Chaudas, men tie this Ananta thread on their right arm under the sleeve and women tie their left arm. The Ananta thread is worn for a period of 14 days and then this thread is removed.
  • Women keep Anant vrat/Chaturdashi vrat is kept for the good health and well-being of family members. Men keep Anant vrat for wealth and prosperity. Devotees keep the Anant vrat for 14 years, once started. The 14 years period find an explanation in the Anant Chaturdashi Vrat Katha.

Anant Chaturdashi Vrat Katha

The Anant Chaudas ki Katha or story is about the Anant vow. This Vrat Katha is read or heard on the day of Anant Chaudas by people observing the vrat.

It is a story of Sushila and Kayndinya. 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 the forest, they stopped by a river for a 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 as is mentioned in the Anant Chaturdashi story.

Anant Chaturdashi Katha goes on to say that soon Sushila followed the Anant pooja rituals and prosperity made its way into their life until Kaundinya observed the Ananta string on her arm. When asked by her husband, Sushila narrated about the Anant puja and how it had brought in the prosperity. However, Kaundinya did not like his wife's belief about the Ananta thread and Anant puja. He told her that prosperity and success are due to one’s intelligence and never due to some ritual, he took the string off her arm and discarded it.

This act was the cause of the misery and poverty which ensued, making Kaundinya realize his mistake. Anant Chaturdashi Katha goes on to say that 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.

The Anant Chaturdashi Katha takes a dramatic turn here, as overwhelmed with grief, Kaundinya 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 few 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 beside him 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. The Anant Chaudas ki Katha or Anant Chaturdashi Vrat Katha glorifies the power of Lord Anant and gives us an opportunity to learn from it and proves Anant Chaturdashi’s importance.

What To Do On Anant Chaturdashi Or Anant Chaidas?

The two festivals which are there on Anant Chaudas show Anant Chaturdashi’s importance. The main ritual is the tying of the sacred thread called Anant Daram. This is actually a cotton band of fourteen threads and with fourteen knots in specific places of the thread band. Women tie the Anant Daram on their left hand and men on their right. The 14 knots is said to be the 14 glands in the human body. On this auspicious day, after the Anant pooja when the devotees tie the Anant Daram, it attracts the energies of Lord Vishnu.

Anant Chaudas or Ganesh Chaudas is the last day of ganesh chaturthi and is also Anant Chaturdashi for Ganesh Visarjan, so we should pray to Lord Ganesh who also worships Lord Vishnu, glorifying His divinity.

One can also observe the Anant Vrat by following the Vrat Vidhi throughout the day from morning to evening and if not possible, one can have fruits once on that day. However, rigid fasting is suggested on Anant Chaudas for higher devotees who completely dedicate themselves to the service of Lord Vishnu. On Anant Chaturdashi, there were will be thousands of devotees observing the Anant Chaturdashi vrat with fervor.

On Anant Chaturdashi devotees may visit a Lord Vishnu/Krishna temple and offer prayers and Anant puja. 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 paste, flowers, fruits, and Dhoop.

On Anand Chaudas praying to the Vishnu Yantras always is one of the best ways to worship Lord Vishnu.

On the holy day of Anant Chaturdashi, devotees 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).

Devotees can also chant the “Hare Krishna” Maha-Mantra on the Tulasi bead on Anant Chaturdashi date.

Devotees can offer flowers and chant Vishnu Sahasranamam (Thousands name of Lord Vishnu). Chanting a 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 chores on Anant Chaturdashi.

On Anant Chaturdashi, devotees can also perform the very powerful Vishnu Sahasranama Puja under qualified Brahmins. It is a highly recommended activity on Anant Chaudas’ day. This Anant puja form includes Vishnu-Lakshmi Abhishek and Pujan, Vishnu mantra Japa- 1100 times, Vishnu Sahasranama Strotra followed by Homa and Aarti.

On this sacred day of Anant, Chaudas devotees can wear a Ten Mukhi and a Nineteen Mukhi Rudraksha for they are ruled by Lord Krishna and Narayana, respectively. Wearing these Rudraksha beads on this day purifies one's inner self and strengthens one's will power. They work like a shield on one's body, and the wearer gets immense protection from negative energies, evil eyes, and psychic attacks.

Donating clothes, food grains, umbrellas, hand fans, pitchers filled with water, and any other items to Brahmins can be considered a part of Anant Chaturdashi puja vidhi and has meritorious blessings.

Why Does Lord Vishnu Sleep On Ananta Shesha?

Worshipping Lord Vishnu sleeping on Ananta Shesha on the day of Anant Chaudas has a deeper meaning. When living beings rest (sleep), their physical activities come to a standstill although other activities such as heartbeats, 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 Demi-Gods 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. This clearly explains why Lord Ananta is worshipped on Anant Chaturdashi.

Importance Of Ananta Chaturdashi

The auspicious Anant Chaturdashi day is important as there are three religious festivals which are celebrated on that day, two Hindu festivals and one Jain. Surely, the energetic vibration of this day is immense, and devotees can take advantage of the blessings of the Divine.

Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Lord Ananta. Lord is worshipped in His sleeping form, in Yoga Nidra form. The day is for us to learn to be steady in all situations in life, just like Lord Vishnu sleeps, even though He is aware of all the things going on in the Universe and does not get stirred. Sheshnaga, the celestial snake who serves Lord Vishnu is also worshipped along with Lord Ananta. Devotees observe Ananta Vrat on this day and tie the sacred thread, Anant Daram, which helps to regain lost wealth, property, and the blessings of Lord Vishnu. 
Anant Chaturdashi is considered an important day as it also marks the last day of the ten days long Ganesh Utsav when Lord Ganesha idols are bid adieu by devotees for that year by doing Anant Chaturdashi Ganesh Visarjan. The festivity, the processions, worshipping of Lord Ganesha's idols before immersion in water, all lead to mark the culmination of the benevolent Lord Ganesh's festival. Devotees pray for His blessings to flow till the following year.

On Anant Chaturdashi is important for the Jain community as it is the day when the twelfth Tirthankara, Lord Vasupujya, attained Nirvana and Digambara Jains also celebrate the last of Paryushana. This makes it a highly powerful day.

Special Ganesh Ganesh Chaturthi Pujas

Ganesh Chaturthi Puja