September 19, 2021: Anant Chaturdashi is the most significant day to worship Lord Vishnu in Anant form. Anant Chaturdashi is celebrated on the 10th day of Ganesh Chaturthi and coincides with Ganpati Visarjan.
This year, Ganesh Visarjan will take place on September 19. On this day devotees of Lord Vishnu observe a day-long fast and tie sacred thread during Puja.
History of Anant Chaturdarshi
There was a Brahmin named Sumant. With his wife Diksha, he had a daughter named Sushila. After the death of Diksha, Sumant married Karkash, who gave a lot of trouble to Sushila.
Sushila married Kaundinya, and they decided to leave the house to avoid the harassment of the stepmother. They were very poor when they left but on the way, they stopped near a river. Kaundinya went to take bath.
Sushila joined a group of women who were worshiping. They told her that it was Anant’s vow. They explained its importance and ritual.
After listening to this explanation, Sushila decided to take the Anant vow. From that day she and Kaundinya began to prosper and became very rich.
One day Kaundinya noticed the Anant string on Sushila’s left hand. When he heard the story of the Anant vow, he was displeased and maintained that they had become rich, not because of any power of Anant, but because of the wisdom he had acquired by his own efforts.
Kaundinya took the Anant string from Sushila’s hand and threw it into the fire.
After this all sorts of calamities happened in their life, and they were reduced to extreme poverty. Kaundinya understood that it was punishment for having dishonoured “Anant” and decided that he would undergo rigorous penance until God appeared to him.
After many hardships, he tried to find Anant but no one knew of the God. He decided to die but a Bramhin saved him and led him to a cave. Kaundinya realised that that Anant himself had come to save him and that god was Anant, the Eternal One. He confessed his sin in failing to recognize the Eternal in the string on Sushila’s hand. Anant promised Kaundinya that if he made the 14-year vow, he would be free from all his sins and would obtain wealth, children, and happiness.
Rituals of Anant Chaturdashi
In the Hindu month of Bharapada, Shukla paksh chaturdashi tithi, the Anant rupa (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu is worshipped. A sacred thread with 14 knots, also known as Ananta sutra is worshipped and tied aground the wrist.
The 14 knots are symbolic of the 14 lok combined. It is believed that there a sum of 14 loks namely, Bhurlok, Bhuvarlok, Swarlok, Maharlok, Janalok, tapolok, Bhramhalok, Atal, Vital, Satal, Rasatal, Talatal, Mahatal and Patal lok.
Rules to tie these knots
There are several rules to tie the Anant sutra (sacred thread) and it is important to remember them. It is said that the anant sutra is made of cotton or silk and men tie it on the right hand while women tie it in the left hand.
The vrat vidhi and fast must be followed while pray Lord Anant vishnu while for tying the thread. It is believed that Lord Vishnu hears out all the devotees who follow this vrat vidhi. The Anant thread is removed only after 14 days.
Anant Chaturdashi: Puja timings
Anant Chaturdashi on Sunday, September 19, 2021
Puja Muhurat – 6:27 am, September 19 to 5:28 am, September 20
The 10-day long festival of Ganesh Chaturthi comes to an end with Ganpati Visarjan and devotees bid adieu to their beloved bappa. Anant Chaturdashi also holds significance for the Jain community. Known as Anant Chaudas, it is the last day of the 10-days long Paryushana event which Jains observe in this month. Kshamavani, the day they seek forgiveness, is observed one day after Anant Chaturdashi. It is said that this is the day when Lord Vasupriya – the 12th Tirthankara – attained Nirvana.
In Bihar and east Uttar Pradesh, it is linked to the kshirsagar – an ocean of milk and Lord Vishnu’s anant avatar. On a wooden plank, as many as 14 tilaks using vermillion are marked. Again, 14 puris and 14 pua (a sweet delicacy) are then put on the wooden plank. Panchamrit consisting of milk, curd, jaggery, honey and ghee is made and kept on the plank, symbolising the Kshirsagar.