Ananth Chaturdashi (Ananth Padmnabham)

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ananth Chaturdashi (Ananth Padmnabham)

Ananth Chaturdashi

Ananth is a Sanskrit word which actually means “eternal” in English.

This day, although being more famous as the final day of Lord Ganesh Festival : the day when the ganesh idols are immersed in water, is actually a day dedicated to the worship of Vishnu – The eternal lord.

People fast this day for the fulfillment of their worldly desires and that is why this fast is known as “Kamya vrat”.

Mythological Tales

During Mahabharata, after Yudhishtir lost all his wealth to Kauravas, all pandavas were asked to live in exile for 13 years. During this period, when Lord Krishna visited Pandavas, Krishna advised them to keep the Ananth Chaturdashi Fast so that they could regain all their wealth and power.

On this when Yudhishtir inquired who this Ananth was, Krishna told him that it is the other name for Lord Vishnu – The Immortal one. During the “Bhadrapad” month, Lord Vishnu rests on abode – Sheshnag. In him reside the 14 Lokas & the 14 Indras. So if one offers prayers to him, he bestows all the wealth & power.

Listening to this, Yudhishtir inquired about the details of how to perform the fast and also inquired about who had done this fast earlier.

So Krishna recited:

“Rishi Bhrigu’s daughter – Deeksha was married to a Brahmin boy called Sumanta. They had a beautiful girl named Susheela. Susheela lost her mother when she was young. Worried, Sumanta remarried.Sumanta seconf wife,Karkashe, made Susheela’s life miserable.Inspite of all the varsities, Susheela matured into a fine lady. She was married to Kaundiya Rishi.

After marriage, Kaundiya accompanied by his wife left for their home. During their journey, they passed through bank of a river. The day being Anath chaturdashi, Susheela saw many Brahmins & their wives wearing red and worshipping Ananth Padmanabh. Curious , Susheela inquired what they were doing. They told her that it was Ananth fast today and the fruits of the fast were Ananth ( infinite).

Hearing this,even she showed her interest in performing the rituals & the fast . At which they told her that the fast is to be performed for 14 years each day on Bhadrapad shukla chaturdashi. The fast has to be performed by eating food without salt i.e. having fuits & milk only.

After taking bath & wearing clean cloth she has to decorate the altar & then keep the kalash in south position of the latar.

  1. One has to take the vow of fasting for 14 years & performing the puja to regain the lost prosperity.
  2. Yamunapujan is done with 16 substances : By offering Yamuna a seat , washing her feets by giving her Arghya, bathing her with 5 substances, offering turmeric & vermillion, putting unbroken rice in the Kalash & concluding the puja by offering incense ( Dhup) , prayer ( arti ) , holy sacrament ( Naivedya).,etc. ( by offering puja to yamunaji one is awakening Sri Vishnu)
  3. Sheshnag with seven faces is made with sprouts of a grass named Darbha. The deity is invoked in the grass, he is offered the seat, his foot are washed by offering the Arghya,body worhip is done, his faces are worshipped, his name is worshipped & finally the puja is concluded by offering incense ( Dhup) , prayer ( arti ) , holy sacrament ( Naivedya).,etc. ( by offering puja to Sheshnag one is inviting Sri Vishnu)
  4. After this the worhip of the thread with 14 knots, the symbol of Sri Vishnu is done.The thread is purified by reciting holy prayers (mantras) & hence Sri Vishnu is invoked.The two threads in the glass – left being of male & right of female, are offered from below upwards, unbroken rice grains & vermillion. Then the deity is washed with sandalwood paste, water containing flowers, fruit juice, water containing precious stones, and then the threads are worshipped with 5 substances(panchopachar) & dwadash avaran is done. Then sacred leaves like tulsi , bel dhatura are offered & patrapuja is performed. And finally naivedya of sweet pumpkin puris is offered.The string , now known as Raksha sutra is worn by females on left & by males on right hand while reciting mantras.( The older string is discarded & this one is worn each year)

 She agreed, did everything & tied the knot. Slowly Rishi Kaundiya prospered.One day when he noticed the Raksha Sutra on her hand,he inquired. Hering the whole story he became furious & tore the sacred thread yelling that it was due to his efforts that they had turned rich. As a result,early after Raksha sutra was broken, they lost all their wealth. Realising his mistake, Kaundiya decided to penance until the Lord himself appeared before him. But when many years passed and nothing happened, a loner visited him 7 told him that he should perform the Ananth Chaturdashi fast to regain all that he had lost & also to gain enlightenment. He returned to his home 7 did that fast and slowly prospered.”

Hearing this even Pandavas agreed to do the fast & as is known they soon regained all their wealth after the battle.

It is believed that whoever tells or listens to this tale with full devotion gets rid of all his problems & prospers.

Moral of Ananth Chaturdashi

Be it the Ananth Padmanabham fast or the Ganesh idol immersion, the celebration means commemorating the ultimate goal of life i.e. enlightenment & god- realization.

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