Ganesh Visarjan | Anant Chaturdashi
Ganeshotsav starts on Ganesha Chaturthi and ends on Ananta Chaturdashi. Hence for 10 days, Ganesh is worshipped in Bhadrapad month. The last day of Ganeshotsav is also known as Ganesha Visarjan or Vinayaka Nimajjanam in Telugu.
After 10 days of celebration, Lord Ganesha statue on the eleventh day is immersed into water bodies like lake, river, or sea. The whole process is very festive as thousands of devotees take part in processions with much fanfare chanting “Ganapati Bappa Morya”. The processions are accompanied by dhol, tasha singing, and dancing filling the whole atmosphere with Ganesh’s devotion.
Although the day of Anant Chaturdashi is very popular for Ganesh Visarjan but it is also done on the 3rd, 5th, or 7th day rather than the 11th day as per a family tradition. Ganesha Visarjan can also be done on the same day of Ganesha Chaturthi after Ganesha Puja but is very rare. Some devotees do visarjan after one and a half-day of Ganesh puja.
This year the grand occasion of Anant Chaturdashi 2021 festival will be celebrated on the 19th of September (Sunday).
How to Perform Ganesh Visarjan Puja?
Perform Aarti before Ganesha Visarjan and be present with all the family members. The traditional Ganesh Mantras and the Aarti prayers should be chanted.
Start the Ganesh Visarjan Puja with Morning Aarti.
Sing the “Jai Ganesh Deva” chants while performing Aartis.
Distribute holy Prasad among all the family members.
Offer these five items – Oil lamps, Flowers, Incense, Fragrance, and well-prepared delicacies to Lord Ganpati.
Five minutes prior to leaving the house, move the idol very slowly and slightly, about 1 inch forward. In short, you have to change the position of the idol a bit, which marks the completion of the Lord’s stay at your place. It is important to take him to Visarjan with all the family members.
The devotee should be grateful to Lord Ganesha for visiting his/her home and thank him for bringing prosperity and auspiciousness.
Anant Chaturdashi signifies the return of Lord Ganesha to his home, Mount Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees. One may note that Chaturthi is the fourth day of the lunar fortnight, while Chaturdashi is the fourteenth. So Anant Chaturdashi falls 10 days after Ganesh Chaturthi. Anant Chaturdashi is also considered sacred for worshipping Lord Vishnu when devotees celebrate his Anant (infinite) form. Devotees keep fast during the day and tie the sacred thread, called Ananta Sutra, which protects the devotees from all troubles.
This occasion is highly auspicious as it marks the day of the annual 11-day Ganesh festival. Devotees who hosted Ganpati in their homes for 11 days will say goodbye to him today through visarjan. Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day as his Anant (infinite) form. Hindus invoke the blessings of Lord Vishnu praying to his image in which he is seen reclining on the mythical serpent Sheshnaga floating on the sea.
As is any ritual worship or ‘Puja,’ the essential items such as flowers, oil lamps, incense sticks or ‘agarbatti,’ sandalwood paste, vermillion or ‘kumkum,’ and turmeric, are kept before the idol along with the offering of ‘prasad’ consisting of fruits, milk, and sweets. Worshippers chant the Vishnu prayer “Om Anantay Namoh Namaha” during the ritual.
The ‘Ananta Sutra’ – a sacred thread colored with kumkum and turmeric and knotted at 14 places is consecrated during the ritual – to be cut and worn by males on their right wrist and by women on their left as a mark of protection from Vishnu.
Ananta Chaturdashi Vrat
Most women fast on this day for the well-being of their families. Some men keep a vow to observe the Ananta Chaturthi Vrat or fast for 14 years in a row in order to get the blessings of Vishnu and regain lost wealth. Devotees wake up at dawn, take bath and take part in the puja. After the fast, they can have fruits and milk and avoid taking salt.
The Devotee should recite this powerful mantra in order to get the blessings of Lord Vishnu.
अनंत संसार महासुमद्रे मग्रं समभ्युद्धर वासुदेव।
अनंतरूपे विनियोजयस्व ह्रानंतसूत्राय नमो नमस्ते।।