It is a popular belief that one should not sight the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. Sighting the moon may result in Mithya Dosham or Mithya Kalank, meaning false accusation of stealing. Mithya Doshan literally translates to false accusation for wrongdoing. According to the myth, anyone who sights the moon on Shukla Chaturthi of Bhadrapada will be falsely accused of stealing because of Lord Ganesha’s curse to Lord Chandra. In 2018, Ganesh Chaturthi falls on September 13.
According to mythology, on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the Bhadrapad month, Lord Ganesha was returning home with the mouse, moon god Chandra began to laugh aloud and commented on his belly and the tiny mouse. In order to teach the moon a lesson, Lord Ganesha cursed him that no light would ever fall on him. Thus, the moon disappeared into the skies. The moon and other gods sought pardon and Lord acceded. However, once a curse is pronounced it cannot be taken back completely. It can only be reduced. So Lord Ganesha reduced his curse and said that whoever sees the moon on the day, the fourth day of the Hindu month Bhadrapada would be cursed with Mithya Dosha.
According to Puranic legends, Lord Krishna was once accused of stealing a precious gem ‘Syamantaka’. After seeing the plight of Lord Krishna, Sage Narada informed him that he had sighted the moon of Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi and hence he has been accused of stealing the gem. On Narada’s advice, Lord Krishna observed a fast on Ganesh Chaturthi to get rid of Mithiya Dosha.
Time to avoid moon sighting
Depending on Chaturthi tithi, it is advised to avoid sighting the moon.
September 12 – 4:07 pm to 8:33 pm
September 13 – 9:31 am to 9:12 pm
Mithya Dosha Prevention
If anyone sights the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi then to get rid of Mithya Dosha he/she is advised to chant the following mantra:
सिंहः प्रसेनमवधीत्सिंहो जाम्बवता हतः। सुकुमारक मारोदीस्तव ह्येष स्यमन्तकः॥
Simhah Prasenamavadhitsimho Jambavata Hatah।
Sukumaraka Marodistava Hyesha Syamantakah॥