Varad Vinayak Chaturthi or Ganesh Chaturthi is that auspicious day when Lord Ganesha is worshiped, as he is the God of prosperity, good fortune, intelligence and wisdom. It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born to Mata Parvati during the Shukla Paksha (bright half) in the month of Bhadrapada (August – Sept.). Hence, the annual and the biggest Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as per that time. Traditionally, idol of Lord Ganesh is bought on this day with great pomp and festivities. It is ritually worshipped and on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month, i.e. on Anant Chaturdashi, a grand farewell is given to the idols that were installed for the festivals by carrying them to the nearby lake, river or sea and immersed with a lot of devotion and fanfare amidst incessant chants of “Ganpati bappa moriya, agle baras tu jaldi aa” , meaning “O Lord Ganesha, do come again quickly next year”. The Ganeshsotsav festival is widely celebrated across India now, especially in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. For years, this ritual remained only in private households. The concept of “Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav” (community Ganeshsotsav) was popularized by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharashtra to promote unity among all sections of the society.
Though, this festival is more popular for its colorful Ganesh immersion processions, Anant Chaturdashi are also devoted to the worship of Lord Vishnu. The word ‘Anant’ means the immortal one – Lord Vishnu. The devotees worship Him to get his blessings on this day and observe salt-less fast. Men take a vow to observe 14 Anant Chaturdashi fast and women worship for wellbeing of the family.
~~ Om Shanti~~