Why looking at the moon is prohibited on Ganesh Chaturthi?
Posted October 31, 2008on:
Q. Why looking at the moon is prohibited on Ganesh Chaturthi?
Answer: Looking at the moon is prohibited on this day because the moon is the cause of the mind, that is it provokes the mind to operate. However a seeker wants to attain thoughtlessness. In the constellation of planets, just as the moon is unstable as it has phases of waxing and waning so is the mind unstable in the physical body.
Looking at the moon increases the instability of the mind by 1/1,00,000 times. Only when the mind becomes thoughtless does one attain the turiyavastha. On sankashti, after doing spiritual practice the whole day, the moon is viewed at night. This is an indication for the mind to return to the usual state after doing spiritual practice that day.
The story connected with this in the Purans (mythological texts) goes thus. Once the moon ridiculed Ganapati saying, What a big belly You have, Your ears are like sifting pans, that trunk is weird and those eyes are so tiny !’
So, Ganapati cursed it, Henceforth no one shall look at your face. Whoever does so will be accused of theft.’ Accordingly everyone began to avoid the moon. So it could not go anywhere. Living in seclusion is very difficult. Hence, the moon appeased Ganapati by performing austerities and pleaded for mitigation of the curse.
When reducing the intensity of a curse, the main curse should not be destroyed. Both the curse and its mitigation should be present in certain proportions. It is not appropriate for Me to destroy a curse given by Me completely.’ Thinking thus, Ganapati mitigated the curse given to the moon by saying,’ None shall look at you on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. However on Sankashti Chaturthi, no one will eat their meal without looking at you.’