Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ananta Chaturdashi - Vow Taken For A Prosperous Life

Ananta Chaturdashi in 2016 is celebrated on the 15th of September, which comes 10 days after Ganesh Chaturthi and marks the day of Ganesh Visarjan. Ananta Chaturdashi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Ananta. It is a festival mainly followed by the Jain community. Ananta chaturdashi is celebrated on the 14th day of Shukla Paksha of the Bhadrapada month as per the Hindu Calendar. Ananta Chaturdashi coincides with the last day of Ganesh Chaturthi which is Ganesh Visarjan. Ganesh Visarjan is the day everyone bids goodbye to the beloved Ganesh idols by immersing in the nearby ponds, lakes and such water bodies.

The Supreme Lord Ananta

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Ananta Chaturdashi is the worship of Lord Ananta or Lord Vishnu. Other deities worshipped on this day are Sheshnag and Yamuna. Ananta Chaturdashi Vrat is observed as a form of vow or oath for a period of fourteen years, to obtain the wealth and prosperity in the family. The main things associated with this Vrat are : 
  1. Tying of the sacred Ananta thread
  2. Worshipping of Sheshnag & Yamuna

Now lets see the above three points more in detail

Tying Of The Sacred Ananta Thread

This is a very important ritual performed during the Ananta puja. This thread is made of 14 knots or 14 threads, which symbolises the 14 years vow taken. Firstly the thread with purified by placing it along with the Ananta idol while chanting the sacred mantras. The thread is smeared with Kumkum (Vermilion) and is referred to as Ananta Dharam. These holy thread after worshipping are tied to the right hand for men and felt hand for women. 

Symbolically the 14 knots in the thread represents the 14 knots in the human body which is connected with one another by the chetana shakti. It is believed that by tying the thread the chetana shakti is enhanced and its momentum in the body is increased, thus bringing a new level of vitality in the body. All with the blessings of the supreme Lord Ananta also known as Anantha Padmanabha.

Worshipping of Sheshnag & Yamuna

Yamuna Devi : Firstly the idol is bathed with the ritualistic five substances and placed on the seat. Then, the rithen the lady performing the puja applies Turmeric and Vermilion. Later rice grains are poured in a kalash and the anga puja (body worship) of Yamuna devi is done and worshipped with aarti and incense sticks. 

Sheshnag: Firstly the idol is bathed and placed on the holy seat. Then, the anga puja and later the nam puja (name worship) is done. The seven hoods of the sheshnag is also worshipped. Finally the worshipping is concluded with aarti and incense sticks. 

The main prasads prepared on this day is sweet Puris made of Pumpkin, Puaas and Panchamrit. Panchamrit is the most important one, it is made of Curd, honey, ghee, bananas and milk. May Lord Ananta showers blessings on all this Ananta Chaturdashi.

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