Anant Chaturdashi - 29th September 2012
Anant Chaturdashi is celebrated on the Chaturdashi that falls on the Shukla Paksha, in the month of Bhadrapad. Anant Chaturdashi is a day with two fold importance.
First, today the 10-day long Ganeshotsav comes to an end and Ganesh Visarjan takes place with great fanfare all over the world by Ganesh devotees. One bids farewell to the beloved 'Ganesh Bappa' and requests him to return again next year and bless our homes, loved ones and us.
Second, today is also Anant Puja. Anant or Lord Vishnu is prayed to today. A thread or 'Raksha Sutra' with 14 knots is tied to on our wrists and one vows to pray to Lord Anant who heralds a life of wealth and prosperity for us all through his blessings.
Anant Puja 'Katha' or story tells the story of a Brahmin - Kaundinya and his wife Sushila. Sushila prayed to Lord Anant for the prosperity of her husband. With God's blessings, Kaundinya soon became a rich and famous man. One day Kaundinya saw the thread with 14 knots on his wife's wrist and asked her what it was. Sushila told her husband how she prayed to Lord Anant and how because of his blessings, they were so wealthy today. Kaundinya became very angry. He tore the thread from Sushils's wrist and said that they were prosperous because of his brains and hard work alone, not because of her prayers.
Kaundinya's wealth started to diminish and he faced loss upon loss. Every thing was lost and very soon they did not have even food to eat. He realized his mistake and went in search of Lord Anant. He had been ungrateful for his fortunes. After much struggle, when he was close to dying, having had no food or water in days, Lord Anant appeared before him. Lord Anant told Kaundinya that his wife had prayed for his prosperity. That Kaundinya had shown ungratefulness towards both his wife and the blessings of the almighty.
Kaundinya asked for forgiveness and with the Lord's blessings went home. He apologized to his wife. Together, they started to do Anant Puja again. Soon his wealth returned and he once again started to live the life of a wealthy man.
Lesson of the story - Though someone works hard for his/her goals - No One Does It Alone - many hands and many good wishes go into shaping the success of a person. God's blessings come in the form of family, friends, well wishers, who provide the environment for progress. If you are successful today - think of all those people who are part of your life - who make life easy for you - who love you - who put up with the good and bad in you - Thank Them.