What is the Importance of Anant Chaturdashi
Anant, another name of Lord Vishnu, means eternal, and Chaturdashi means fourteen, Anant Chaturdashi, also known as Anant Chaudas, falls 10 days after Ganesh Chaturthi. According to Hindu calendar, it falls in the ‘Shukla Paksha’ of the Bhadrapada month. It is the the last day of the Hindu festival of Ganeshotsav when Ganesha idols are immersed in the water.
On the auspicious day of Anant Chaturdashi, women keep fast for the wellbeing of their family while some men keep a vow to observe the Ananta Chaturthi Vrat (fast) for fourteen coming years in a row in order to get the blessings of Lord Vishnu, regain the lost wealth and prosperity. People observe the fast and tie the thread colored with kumkum and turmeric having fourteen knots, known as ‘Ananta Sutra’, on their arms, this anant thread is removed after fourteen days. Women tie the thread on their left hand and men on their right.
Popular mythological story behind Anant Chaturdashi
Importance of Anant Chaturdashi has been described in this mythological story. There was a Brahmin named Sumant. He had a daughter named Sushila. Sushila was married to sage Kaundinya. One day, on their way to move to some other place, they stopped near a river and Kaundinya went to take bath. On the bank of the river, some women were were performing worship. Sushila became curious, then they told Sushila that they were worshipping “Anant” and it was Anant’s vow. Then they explained her the importance of that vow.
Some special kind of food is prepared and offered to the Brahmins. A hooded snake is worshipped and offered the food. A silk string, with 14 knots, is kept before the god, and tied to the wrist. After listening to all this, Sushila decided to take the Anant vow. Becaus of the Vow, they became very rich.
One day Kaundinya noticed the Anant string on Sushila’s left hand and after hearing disregarded the story of the Anant vow. Kaundinya took the Anant string from Sushila’s arm and threw it into the fire. After that, their life became miserable, and finally they became poor. Soon Kaundinya understood that it was the punishment from Lord Anant. After a prolong search of another such string, he could not find it and decided to hang himself. However, Lord Vishnu came to save him, and Kaundinya confessed his sin. Lord Vishnu told Kaundinya that if he made the 14-year-vow, he would be free from all his sins, and regain his lost wealth and happiness.