Anant Chaturdashi is a powerful festival which empowers the bond of respect and faith between God and his believers. It denotes the anger and affection of Lord Vishnu, all at once.
Anant Chaturdashi 2012 is falling on 29th of September. The grand festival of Anant Chaturdashi is focused on a great legend that teaches people to let go off their ego and devote their time in the service of God. In some regions of country, Anant Chaturdashi is associated with Lord Vishnu also known as Lord Anant, whereas in the Southern and Western part of the country, Anant Chaturdashi is fondly celebrated as Ganpati Visarjan. Ganpati Visarjan is a ritual followed to bid a farewell to Lord Ganpati with a promise that he will visit again next year. The excitement level of people who celebrate Anant Chaturdashi touches the limits of sky every year and exactly the same is expected with 2012 Anant Chaturdashi. Like every other festival in India, Anant Chaturdashi too is carved beautifully with genuine legends that ultimately ask people to have utter faith in Almighty. According to the Hindu calendar, Anant Chaturdashi is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapad month every year.
Mythology related to Anant Chaturdashi
The legend has it that once there was a Brahmin named Sumant who was living his life with his wife Diksha. Sumant and Diksha had a daughter whose name was Sushila. Sumant married a woman named Karkash after the tragic death of Diksha. Karkashâ€™s behavior was extremely bad and intolerable with the girl Sushila. Then, Sushila got married to man named Kaundinya and with this she decided to go away from all the harassment that she was facing daily. While going away from home, Sushila and her husband Kaundinya came across a river. Some women who were worshipping Lord Anant or Lord Vishnu grabbed the attention of Sushila. After observing them for a while, Sushila asked them with curiosity the reasons behind their worship. Then, the women explained her that they are worshipping deity Anant and are taking Anantâ€™s vow. They told her that a sting is tied on the left hand of the women and on the right hand of the men. And the ritual of worshipping Lord Anant goes on for continuous 14 years since that day.
Sushila got very inspired by the traditional ritual related to the Anantâ€™s vow and decided to take a vow herself too. Sushilaâ€™s devotion toward the Lord Anant and vow resulted in family richness and happiness. Everything was going well until the day Kaundinya noticed the tied string on Sushilaâ€™s hand. He asked the reason behind it and when Sushila explained everything to him, he couldnâ€™t believe it. He completely discarded the fact that they were being blessed by the Lord Anant and took out the string from her hand. This ruthless attitude of Kaundinya made Lord Vishnu severely angry with him. The anger of Lord Vishnu made them extremely poor and then they start leading a disastrous life. Soon, as expected Kaundinya realized his mistake and took a pledge to find Lord Anant to ask for forgiveness.
In search for Lord Anant, he went to a forest; there he asked trees, lakes, mountains and animals about the whereabouts of Lord Anant but all of them were clueless. At the end, disappointed by all his efforts he decided to give up his life. As soon as he took this decision Lord Anant appeared in front of Kaundinya in the form of a Brahmin. Lord Anant advised Kaundinya to take up the vow for 14 years and complete all the rituals related to it. As guided, Kaundinya followed all the rituals with the absolute participation of his heart. Then again he got blessed with the wealth, health and happiness of the family.
Rituals and celebration of Anant Chaturdashi
Anant Chaturdashi is celebrated very decently mostly in the Northern parts of country. The ritual includes gathering of women together to take Anantâ€™s vow and worship Lord Vishnu. Some people also observe fast this day. Several offerings are made to Lord Vishnu (Anant) that mainly consist of puris, puaas and a special sweet dish named as Panchamrit that is prepared mainly with milk, curd, honey and Ghee. In order to follow the ritual a wooden plank is kept with 14 tilaks made on it along with all the offerings. The most important part of the festival is Anantâ€™s vow and to take up the vow a thread with 14 knots is wrapped on a cucumber and later this thread is tied by a women or men. It is also essential for the person to pursue the ritual of worship for complete 14 years and let the thread tied up to the wrist till 14 days.
The festival of Anant Chaturdashi is a simple festival but the faith shown by the Hindu people in celebrating it is tremendous. The festival signifies a great bond between God and his devotees, which can only be maintained through respect and love. If you also take up the vow then only you will be blessed with divine satisfaction, love, wealth and happiness.