Ganpati Ustsava starts on 4th (Shuddha) day of Bhadrapada and ends on 14th (Shuddha) day of the same month. Total celebration is of ten days. Those Ganesh idols are among the Sarvanjanik category, these are immersed on 10th day, which is Anant Chaturdashi, Therefore it has special significance. There is a huge process of Ganesh Idols, which are led to the place of immersion, ceremoniously. It becomes a celebration of joy pleasure, enthusiasm. This is a significant change in the recent times. In reality this day of Anant Chaturdashi has an importance of Vrata and not only celebration. This vrata has no social or public parlance, but is performed on individual basis. If advised by some one, or if one finds a thread with fourteen knots, then only this vrata is to be observed.
Story of Anant Chaturdashi: Anant is a second Roop (Incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, means, it is worship or Pooja of Vishnu. Along with Vishnu, shesh and Yamuna are also worshipped. It is to be observed for 14 years in continuation, and is observed on the fourteenth day of Shuddha Bhadrapada. One goes to the river early morning, takes bath in it. He should bring a copper kalash (vessel with narrow opening) and keep it in the middle of Pendal raised with beautiful decoration around. In this vessel, the image of Anant or Sheshnag is kept. The Fourteen knotted thread is placed before the kalash. The water in the Kalash is imagined as synonymous to that of the water from Yamuna River. Kalash is Worshipped and Pooja is performed with all religious sites and procedures scientifically. Then the old thread is immersed in water and new one is tied around the wrist or placed around the neck.
Brahmins are offered Dakshina (Donation). After fourteen years of continuous observance of the Vrata, it is advised to release its inflictions which is known as ” Udyapana ” This Vrata was advised by Shri Krishna to Dharmaraj, in Mahabharat. In the disc, play game Dharmaraj lost to Kauravas and then Pandavas had to go to forest for 12 years and one year in excite. When Pandavas were in forest, Lord Krishna met them. Since the former had lost all their grandeur in disc play and they desired to get everything back, Lord Krishna advised them to perform this Vrata and Dharmaraj did it. The 14 knotted thread in this Vrata is known as Thread of Ananata (Anantacha Dora) which symbolizes God.
God is infinite even if all the creatures (i.e. Shrishti) are destroyed, God is immortal in the form of ‘Shesh’ (Remainder) His powerful image is this fourteen knotted thread. There are 14 images of the god, which are known to be with supernatural power without the mercy and favor of God, human being does not get anything. There is no success for him. If a man believes in this concept, then only he would get the right fruit of his life. To remember Anant, all the time, it is suggested to tie 14 knotted thread around the neck. There is still one more story which emphasizes the thought that ” Anant rupee Parameshwar ” is the one with the highest power and Control.
Story of Anant Chaturdashi – Anant Chaturthi: A Brahmin, by name Sumant had one daughter by name Sushila. He had a stepmother, who used to torture her, thereby making her life miserable. She got married to Rishi by name Kaundinya. At her in laws place she was also very poor. Once, when she was walking through the jungle along with her husband, she saw some married girls with red colours apparels performing Pooja of the Kalash. She asked those girls about that Vrata and then performed it. Gradually the family of kaundinya & Sushila became rich. She developed strong faith that the richness and prosperity is due to that vrata. She showed that 14 knotted red silk thread to her husband and narrated the details about the vrata.
Kaundinya Rishi disbelieved her as well as the Vrata. He had more faith in his duty and sincere work. Karma He threw that 14 knotted thread in the fire. As a result the entire Rishi family reversed back to the state of Poverty.
While wandering in search food for survival, they witnessed some funny and astonishing scenes. Mango-tree full of mangoes but no one eating them; lot of grass lying before the cows and bulls, but they were not evening looking at it, There was a big lake full of water, but no one was drinking water out of it. No one knew the reasons. In a rejected and desperate mood, when Kaundinya was lying on the floor, Anant gave its answer and unfolded the mystery. Every where there work virtues in abundance, but there was lack of faith, hence no one could enjoy the pleasure and joy. God is all pervasive and his existence has to be remembered all the time, for which the thread with 14 knots is to be preserved
Those who are the Upasakas (Devotees) of lord Vishnu, have a strong faith in this Vrata and perform the same meticulously.
Story of Anant Chaturdashi – Anant Chaturthi: However there has been a fading belief among the people in general now a day in this Vrata.