The Hindu deities are wide and plenty. Several different Gods and Goddesses are interwoven into our mythologies that have been passed down generation to generation.
And in such stories, we get to see the marvelous adventures, wars raged across the skies, and oceans trembling at the wrath of a god, and the hundreds of miracles that the earth bore witness to.
What we find the most fascinating about legends is their unfailing ability to keep us hooked onto each of their words. Lord Ganesha has several beautiful, charming, nerve-wrecking legends and Ganesha idols dedicated to him.
Starting from his birth to his broken tusk, Lord Ganesha is no stranger to tales woven around him and one of the popular legends that surrounds this deity is that we aren’t supposed to look at the Moon during Ganesh Chaturthi. But have you ever wondered why?
What Time to Avoid Looking at the Moon During Ganesh Chaturthi?
The time duration through which one must avoid looking at the moon during Ganesh Chaturthi is directly linked to the time of the Chaturthi tithi of that respective year.
Owing to the timing of each year, it is said to be safe to avoid looking at the Moon during Ganesh Chaturthi as this is usually considered a bad omen. Devotees are cautious to avoid glancing at the Moon God on this occasion.
Why We Shouldn't See the Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi?
One night, Lord Ganesha was riding home on his Mooshak, as the legend goes. Only Chandra Dev, the Hindu Moon God, was visible in the sky.
The Mooshak was slowly making its way forward while bearing Lord Ganesha when it spotted a snake and bolted in terror. The Mooshak threw Lord Ganesha to the floor in an effort to get away from the snake.
The Moon God watched as Lord Ganesha fumbled to control his enormous belly and laughed at his expense. The Moon was extremely vain and mocked anyone who didn't look like him.
Lord Ganesha wanted to teach him a lesson, so he cursed the people who happen to gaze upon the moon to attract the malevolent Mithya Dosha (meaning, they could be falsely implicated of theft or a crime).
Afterward, the Moon God realized that he had angered Ganesha and begged the Lord for forgiveness. Lord Ganesha forgave the Moon God after witnessing his penitence, but he warned him that a curse cannot be taken back once it has been spoken.
However, it is possible to mitigate its effects. To serve as a reminder that pride brings about one's own demise, he ordered that the Moon not be looked at on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Therefore, the legends proclaim that on Ganesh Chaturthi, it is considered bad luck to look at the moon. On Ganesh Chaturthi, seeing the moon will bring about accusations of theft and social disgrace to those who look at it.
Remedies if you see Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi
If on Ganesh Chaturthi you unfortunately happen to see the moon, one must recite the following mantra in order to be freed from the repercussions that come with it.
Simhah Prasenamavadhitsimho Jambavata Hatah |
Sukumaraka Marodistava Hyesha Syamantakah ||
Read or Listen to the Story of Krishna-Syamantaka
Worship and apologize to Lord Ganesha. If you're completely without arrogance, he'll wash away your Mithya Dosha and forgive you.
Ancient legend claims that Lord Krishna was afflicted by the Mithya Dosha. He was unjustly accused of stealing the Syamantaka gemstone.
Sage Narada, moved by Krishna's plight, explained that the cause of the curse of Mithya Dosha was due to Krishna's having looked at the moon on the day of Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi.
Lord Krishna was encouraged by Sage Narada to fast during Ganesha Chaturthi in order to dispel Mithya Dosha.
Observe Fast on Ganesh Chaturthi to Compensate for Moon Sighting
The famous legend of Lord Krishna showcases one of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu, observing a fast as a penance for looking at the Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. Due to this misfortune, he is wrongly accused of bearing the blame for the theft of the Syamantaka gemstone.
Sage Narada offers a solution to Lord Krishna to escape from the negative effects that this could have by asking him to observe a fast. So that the Mithya Dosha could leave him.
Standing true to this, if you happen to look at the Moon during Ganesh Chaturthi, we would suggest that you fast in repentance and Lord Ganesha is sure to forgive you if you are sincere!
Legends are lessons and they ring with truth. Standing by this statement, the Hindu culture is one that is rich and deep with its own set of principles and beliefs. To be born into such a heritage, we follow several traditions to uphold our ancestors and our faith.
One such belief is to avoid looking at the Moon during Ganesh Chaturthi. But, the sentence persists, to err is human, to forgive, divine. Therefore, there always exists a penance that would rid us of the bad energy that we could accumulate!