Ganesh Chaturthi is a very significant festival, which is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh. On this day, devotees worship Lord Ganesh as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. As per Hindu scriptures, Lord Ganesh was born during Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month. Currently Ganesh Chaturthi day occurs in the month of August or September as per English calendar.
Ganeshotsav, the popular celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi, ends after 10 days on Anant Chaturdashi also known as Ganesh Visarjan day. On Anant Chaturdashi, devotees take the idol of Lord Ganesh in a grant procession and finally immerse the idol in a water body.
Ganapati Sthapana and Ganapati Puja Muhurat:
It is believed that Lord Ganesh was born during Madhyahna Kala and hence Madhyahna is the preferred time for Ganesh Puja. Madhyahna Kala means midday according to Hindu division of the day.
As per the system of Hindu time-keeping, the time period between sunrise to sunset is divided into five equal parts, which are known as Pratahkala, Sangava, Madhyahna, Aparahna and Sayankal. Ganapati Sthapana and Ganapati Puja on Ganesha Chaturthi are performed during Madhyahna. Vedic astrology suggests that it is the most appropriate time for Ganesha Puja.
During Madhyahna, Ganesha devotees perform detailed Ganesha Puja ritual, which is known as Shodashopachara Ganapati Puja.
Prohibited Moon Sighting on Ganesha Chaturthi:
There is a belief that one should not sight the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. It is also believed that sighting moon on Ganesh Chaturthi will create Mithya Dosham or Mithya Kalank, that means the person will be falsely accused of stealing something.
As per legends, Lord Krishna was falsely accused of stealing Syamantaka, which was a precious jewel. Sage Narada said that such an accusation happened because Lord Krishna sighted moon on the day of Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi.
Sage Narada added that God Chandra (Moon) had been cursed by Lord Ganesha that anyone who sighted moon on Shukla Chaturthi in Bhadrapada month would be charged with Mithya Dosha and would be dishonoured in the society. Lord Krishna, as per the advice of sage Narada, observed Ganesha Chaturthi fasting to get rid of the false allegation.
Mithya Dosha Prevention Mantra:
Based on the start and end time of Chaturthi Tithi, sighting of moon could be forbidden for two consecutive days. According to the guidelines of Templesinindiainfo.com, Moon should not be sighted while Chaturthi Tithi is prevailing. Further, the raised Moon during Chaturthi should not be sighted even if Chaturthi Tithi ends before moonset.
If anyone has mistakenly sighted moon on Ganesha Chaturthi then he should chant following Mantra to get rid of the curse:–
सिंहः प्रसेनमवधीत्सिंहो जाम्बवता हतः।
सुकुमारक मारोदीस्तव ह्येष स्यमन्तकः॥
Simhah Prasenamavadhitsimho Jambavata Hatah।
Sukumaraka Marodistava Hyesha Syamantakah॥
Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and Ganesh Chauth.