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On the day of Ananta Chaturdashi, the idol of Lord Ganesha is immersed in the river and the festival is welcomed again with equal love and devotion next year. Some people observe a vow in the honour of Lord Vishnu, and it is believed that if this vow is kept for 14 years then it brings good luck and wealth.
On Ananta Chaturdashi, Lord Ananta is worshipped with full devotion. Ananta is symbolic of energy in the form of Chaitanya that never ends. Women pray for their husband’s long life and prosperity at home. It is a day-long festival that is celebrated with a lot of fervour and happiness.
Ananta Chaturdashi is celebrated on the tenth day after Ganesh Chaturdashi. It falls on the 14th day of the bright Bhadrapada (the sixth month in the Hindu calendar). It is mainly celebrated in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
According to the Hindu mythology, there was a Brahmin (an individual of the upper caste) named Sumant. He had a daughter called Sushila from his wife Diksha. After the death of Diksha, he married Karkash. She did not take care of her step-daughter. Sushila married Kaundinya and left her parents’ house to end all her problems. Once, Sushila came to know about Ananta Vrat and the vow of 14 years to gain divinity and wealth.
Sushila also started keeping her vow and gradually, the couple became very rich. One fine day, Kaundinya noticed a string (Ananta string) on Sushila’s left wrist, which is tied on the hands of the women who pledged for this vow, and threw it into fire. Kaundinya asserted that they had become rich due to his efforts.
After this incident, they became very poor and were reduced to the threshold of poverty. Kaundinya realized his mistake. He then decided to perform the arduous penance till Lord Ananta himself made an appearance in front of him. He became very frustrated to find no trace of Ananta and decided to hang himself with a rope. At that very moment, Ananta appeared in front of him in the form of an old Brahmin and advised Kaundinya to take the 14 year vow to regain his wealth and happiness.
Rituals and Observations
This festival falls right after Ganesh Chaturdashi. Women who observe fast on Ananta Chaturdashi wake up early in the morning and worship Lord Vishnu after taking a vow to fast. People keep a 14 Granthiyukta Ananta Sutra (a holy thread with 14 knots) along with the idol of Lord Ganesha and Vishnu and worship both of them. Devotees offer flowers, sweets and chant religious prayers. On this day, idols of Lord Ganesha established at homes and Mandapas (community display places) are taken to sea or river for immersion. The procession is a big celebration itself; people dance and splash colours on each other. The riot of festivity and happiness is evident as the slogan “Ganpati Bappa Maurya” fills the air with music.
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