Ganesh Chaturthi is an important occasion not only for the devotees of Lord Ganesha but also for the Hindu community as a whole. He is one of the most popular and loved deities among the Hindu pantheon of Gods. He is worshipped as the god of wisdom and the leader of Shiva's Ganas.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the day on which Lord Ganesha was born. It is believed that on this day, Lord Ganesha visits the homes of his devotees and stays with them till the day of Visarjan. The devotees treat him as they would do a real human guest and pamper him with poojas and feasts. Pandals are erected in Lord Ganesha's honour and people visit these pandals in huge numbers.
Ganesh chaturthi is celebrated on the fourth day of the Shukla Paksha of the Bhadrapada month as per the Hindu calendar. In the year 2017, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the 25th of August.
The muhurt of the Ganesh Chaturthi pooja are as follows:
Chaturthi thithi starts from 20;27 on Aug 24th 2017.
Chaturthi thithi ends at 20.31 on Aug 25th 2017.
Madhyana Ganesha pooja muhurt is from 11.14 to 13.41 .
The Myth Of The Moon And Lord Ganesha
There is a popular superstition that advises people not to look at the moon on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is believed that the person who looks at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi will fall victim to Mithya Kalank or Mithya Dosha. It means that the person who does Chandra Darshan on Ganesh Chaturthi day will be falsely accused of stealing something or may make a false bad name for themselves.
Krishna And Mithya Dosha
It is said that even Lord Krishna fell prey to Mithya Dosha because he accidentally looked at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. He was falsely accused of stealing the symantaka mani that belonged to the King Satrajit. He was also accused of killing King Satrajit's brother to snatch the symantaka mani. Lord Krishna had to go through many difficulties before he could prove himself innocent.
The Story Of The Moon And Lord Ganesha
The puranas point to a story that explains why it is inauspicious to sight the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. The story is as follows.
One the night of Ganesh Chaturthi, Lord Ganesha was going somewhere on his vehicle, the rat. The moon god, Chandra Dev, was observing him from the skies. He was very amused seeing the elephant-headed, pot-bellied God ride a rat. Chandra Dev laughed at the sight.
Lord Ganesha heard the mirth of Chandra Dev and was furious at his insolence. He immediately cursed Chandra Dev. He said, "May you be unable to show your face to anyone." Next night Chandra Dev did not appear in the sky. All the creation was worried. The Gods were panicking as the presence of the moon was important for the night life, ripening of fruits, the growth of medicinal plants and the tides.
The Gods went to the Lord Ganesha along with Chandra Dev and begged Lord Ganesha to forgive the Moon God. Lord Ganesha graciously forgave Chandra Dev and modified his curse. He was to wax and wane instead of disappearing all together. He also said that anyone who looks at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi will have to suffer from infamy and shame. Lord Ganesha also taught the world that one should not be judged based on one's appearance.
The time to avoid sighting the moon:
On the 24th of August - 20.27 to 20.48.
On the 25th of August - 9.12 to 21.31.
The Science Of The Superstition
It is said that on Ganesh Chaturthi, and the days that come close to it, the moon and the earth are at a peculiar angle. The harmful rays of the sun are reflected to the earth by the moon at a greater intensity. Looking directly at the moon on these days can be harmful to the eyes and the general well-being of the person.
Parihara Of Mithya Dosha
According to the scriptures, there are a few things that you can do to escape the Mithya Dosha if you happened to see the moon on Ganesha Chaturthi accidentally.
Read The Holy Book Of Srimad Bhagvata
More specifically, read the 56th and 57th chapter of the 10th Skanda in the Srimad Bhagavatam. These parts describe the story of Lord Krishna and the theft of the syamantaka mani.
Chant The Following Mantra
Simhah Prasenamavadhitsimho Jambavata Hatah|
Sukumaraka Marodisatva Hyesha Syamantakah||