Ganesh Chaturthi, often referred to as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi, starts on the auspicious Shukla Paksha Chaturthi of the Bhadrapada month, typically falling in August or September according to the Gregorian calendar. This year, the festivities will commence on September 19, with the Visarjan (Immersion ceremony) , scheduled for September 28. Ganesh Chaturthi stands as one of our nation’s most prominent festivals, celebrated with fervent devotion, boundless enthusiasm, and deep reverence. This auspicious occasion commemorates the birth of Sri Ganesha, the God Knowledge, Wisdom and Good Fortune who is also worshipped by millions as a Remover of Obstacles. Ganesh Chaturthi is a day of immense significance, ushering in jubilant celebrations as devotees joyfully welcome Ganesha into their homes, represented by clay idols.

One intriguing facet of this great celebration is the custom associated with the moon. According to our ancient texts, sighting the moon on the commencement of this sacred day is deemed inauspicious due to a belief in “Mithya Dosha”, which entails a curse that falsely implicates an individual of theft. The story behind this belief is both captivating and instructive.

As per the Mudgala Purana, on a moonlit Chaturthi night in the Bhadrapada month, as Sri Ganesha was returning home, riding atop his faithful Vahana, a mouse, Chandra Deva (Moon God) decided to mock his distinctive round belly and his humble mount. Enraged by the Chandra Deva’s audacity, Sri Ganesha cast a curse upon him, decreeing that his luminance would never grace the Earth again.

Fearing the loss of his own existence, the Chandra Deva hastily sought forgiveness. However, since Ganesha’s curse had already taken hold, it could not be entirely revoked. Consequently, it was ordained that sighting the moon on Chaturthi would henceforth be considered as grave as a curse itself.

Intriguingly, the story of Mithya Dosha doesn’t end with Sri Ganesha. It is said that even the illustrious Sri Krishna, fell victim to its effects after he inadvertently gazed upon the moon on Chaturthi. This incident occurred when Sri Krishna was accused of stealing the precious Syamantaka gem. Rishi Narada, who possessed knowledge of Ganesha’s curse, advised Krishna to observe a fast in order to counter the ill-effects of Mithya Dosha and emerge unscathed from the accusations.

The legend of Sri Krishna’s encounter with Mithya Dosha thus underscores the significance of adhering to age-old customs and traditions during the revered celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. As we eagerly anticipate the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in 2023, it’s essential to remember that this festival is not just a grand spectacle of devotion and cultural richness but also a repository of captivating legends and profound beliefs. The tale of Mithya Dosha, intertwined with Sri Ganesha’s divine wisdom and the misadventures of Sri Krishna, serves as a reminder of the enduring charm and spiritual depth within our age-old traditions. May this year’s Ganesh Chaturthi bring joy, prosperity, and spiritual enlightenment to all!

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