Anant Chaturdashi is a holy sacred Hindu event. Anant Chaturdashi has two significances and connotations. Anant Chaturdashi is also a part of Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesh Chaturthi marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The entire religious festival of Ganesh Chaturthi in dedication to Lord Ganesha is also called Ganeshotsav. Ganesh Chaturthi started and was on the 13th of September. The date is determined as per the Hindu lunar calendar. Anant Chaturdashi always falls in 10 days after Ganesh Chaturthi every year.
The Sanskrit word ‘Anant’ means eternal, everlasting, immortal, endless. In the word Chaturdashi, ‘Chatur’ part means four and ‘Dashi’ means ten, therefore, Chaturdashi means 4 + 10 = 14. Anant Chaturdashi falls on the 14th lunar day of the Shukla Paksha in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada. Shukla Paksha is the waxing-rising phase of the moon in the fortnight.
The main Indian states where Ganeshotsav is celebrated are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradash, Tamil Nadu; parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Goa.
The word ‘Visarjan’ means to immerse. Ganesh Visarjan marks the grand farewell to Lord Ganesha. Anant Chaturdashi also marks this Ganesh Visarjan, on the 11th day from Ganesh Chaturthi start. Ganesh Chaturthi is also called Ganpati Visarjan. It is observed by Hindus and Jains. Ganesh Visarjan is the immersing of the typically colorful idol of Lord Ganesha in water at the end of Ganeshotsav. It is immersed in water bodies like lake, sea etc.
In the second significance, Anant Chaturdashi is observed in dedication and worship of Lord Vishnu. Many natives seek forgiveness of any sins, wrongdoings that may have been committed by them knowingly or unknowingly. They also ask for good wealth, riches, prosperity, success, enlightenment and divinity.
Many natives wear the sacred Anant thread on their arm at this time. This thread is colored with Kumkum and turmeric. In the legend, the sacred Anant thread is regarded as a form of Lord Vishnu. It is worn for prosperity, wealth etc; women wear-tie it on their left arm and men on their right. The thread is also worn for protection and it is also called Raksha Sutra. This thread-string has 14 knots. The thread is removed after 14 days. Many devotees observe Vrat, fast.
A common chant for Lord Ganesha at this time is—
Ganpati Gapa Morya, Agle Baras Tu Juldi Aa.
A Mantra for Lord Vishnu at this time is—
Om Anantaya Namah
ॐ अनन्ताय नम: