Karthika Masam Festival
What is Karthika masam-Kartika masam-Kartheeka masam?
Karthika masam or month is one of the most auspicious month in a lunar calendar. Karthika masam is the eighth lunar month of Indian Astrology. It comes around November of Gregorian calender. The lunar calendar has been divided into two parts Dakshinayana and Uttararyana. Karthika Masam comes under Dakshinayana. Out of the two ayanas Dakshinayana is set aside for Sadhana. Sadhana means a process by which one would get salvation. Out of all the months in Dakshinayana Karthika Masam is best suited for Sadhana. Hence Karthika Masam is one of the most auspicious months of the lunar calendar.
The most important significance of the Karthika Masam is that, Karthika Masam is auspicious to both the devotees of Lord Shiva as well as Lord Vishnu. During Karthika Masam temples of both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are busy with devotees thronging both the temples. Karthika Masam helps us to understand that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are not different but only one.
Importance of Karthika masam-Kartika masam-Kartheeka masam:
Lord Vishnu goes to sleep on Ashadha suddha ekadashi and wakes-up on Karthika suddha ekadashi
Lord Shiva kílled Tripurasuras on Karthika pournami and protected the world
In this month Ganga (Godess of river Ganges) enters in to all rivers, canals, ponds and wells and makes them as pious as Ganga.
Ayyappa deeksha is also taken in Karthika masam and is continued up to Makara Sankranthi (Jan 15th)
Karthika masam-Kartika masam-Kartheeka masam History:
Karthika Masam begins from Aaswayuja sukla pournami up to one month. In this Month Lord Shiva and Maha Vishnu are worshipped and prayed. People during this month observe strict rituals. The daily activities starts early in the morning taking bath with cold water, going to temple, lighting deepam, fasting and saligrama pooja. The most auspicious days in this season are Mondays which is very important to Lord Shiva. As per the puranas it is believed that by performing the karthka Masam vratham we can drove away the past karmas and the sins committed can be destroyed. Lighting Lamps with ghee made from the cow’s milk during the sunrise and sunset brings prosperity, wealth, health into our lives. It also burns the material desires in between our birth and death.
Also Tulasi plant is prayed and worshiped daily by lighting a deepam during this month. There is story behind this Tulasi came as a sister of Goddess Lakshmi when amrita Mantham Ocean is churned. Tulasi wanted to marry Lord Vishnu but Lakshmi did not like this and cursed her to become a plant. But Lord Vishnu took pity and for fulfilling her wish he gave a boon that when he is in form of saligram, tulasi will be close to him. On Kartika Shukla Dwadashi Tulasi plant is decorated and prayed.
Scientific Reasons of Karthika masam-Kartika masam-Kartheeka masam:
The sun passes through the each zodiac sign throughout the year. The constellations corresponding to that signs in the cosmos will bring influence upon the beings on the earth and create a sacred and pure environment.
Sacred Bathing is washing all kind of physical and mental impurities which cleans the astral and emotional feelings and also droves the past karma. Water is a form of energy, it refresh the atomic substance of the body and mind. In this month the water is charged with the special electro-magnetic power before the sunrise so taking bath in this water cures stomach, lever, general disorders, etc.,
After rainy season the rain water which come comes from the sky touches the trees will channel the rivers and sea. So rivers and sea or any water storing points get medicated and scared
Lighting lamps in houses, the lamp vapors will create a shield of protection from virus and germs which are more in this month virus and germs and insects breed more in this month.
Worshiping Holy Tulasi creates a healthy environment in the house by preventing all the disease causing toxic chemical bacterial agents are in the atmosphere. The plant is used for curing diseases like asthma and other lung diseases. Lighting lamp near tulasi plant gives prosperity and Deliverance from sins.
Fasting will boost your immunity system. The inner meaning is eat less and live healthy
Fasting is mentioned in yajurveda karma kanda. A person has different types of behavior and thinking. They are classified as Satwa, Tamas and Rajas. Satwa mind people are restful and creative, Rajas mind people are full of desires and greedy, Tamas mind people is full of destruction and negative thoughts. All of us have these types of minds. We should learn to maintain balance in between these minds. Milk, fruits, dry fruits are offered to god; therefore the same food if we eat promotes satwa in our body. Fasting on the pournami is important as it brings more vibrations in the nature and the mind is difficult to be controlled.
A meditation in the morning and evening brings positive vibrations in the mind. Japa, dana brings involves in the process of removing toxic substances or qualities.
To overcome Virus, germs and insects or to fight with disease’s fasting and tulasi plant are two crucial things to maintain health in karthika Masam.
Important Rituals of Karthika masam-Kartika masam-Kartheeka masam or Karthika Month:
Lighting of Diya or Lighting a Lamp
During Karthika Masam diyas are lit and placed in front of Tulasi plant and near the main entrance of the house before Sun rise and just before Sun set. It is considered auspicious to lit a diya during Karthika Masam.
Temples would light a Diya and would bring the diya to the top of the Dhwaja Sthambam in the temple and tie it there on Karthika Purnima or Karthika Pournami. This diya is called as Akasa Deepam.
Karthika Pournami is celebrated in similar lines of Diwali and the whole house is decorated with diyas. Crackers are burnt on Karthika Pournami.
Bathing in River or Nadi Snanam
Another important significance is bathing in river during Karthika Masam or Karthika Month. The rivers have received fresh water during the rain season comprising of Shravan and Bhadrapada Months. As the rivers over flow banks and are furious bathing in rivers during Shravana and Bhadrapada is prohibhited. The river completely settle by the time Karthika Masam starts.
Also the Moon during the Sharad Ruthuvu is a special one. Sharad Ruthuvu is known for the Moon light. Sharad Ruthuvu comprises of Ashwayuja or Ashwin month and Karthika Masam or Karthika Month. All along the Aswayuja Masam the river would absorb the energy from Moon by bathing in the river in Karhika Masam one can absorb this energy from the river. Hence it is mandated that one should take a bath in the river or perform Nadi Snanam in Karthika Masam.
The process of performing the Nadi Snanam is to close the nose with the two thumb fingers and close the ears with the middle fingers and take a dip so that the whole body along with the head is under the water. This has to be repeated for a minimum of three times.
Vanabhojanalu during Karthika Masam
Vanabhojanam or Karthika vanabhojanam is a kind of annual ritualistic picnic undertaken during Karthika masam in Andhra Pradesh. As per Hindu tradition, plants are considered to be of divine nature and worshipped as Gods. Certain plants like Tulsi, amla, bilva and durva plants are considered as divine and used in Pujas.
It is widely believed that Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi prefer to reside under Amla trees during Karthika month. Hence during Karthika Vanabhojanam, amla trees are worshipped by the telugu community in Andhra Pradesh. People also offer puja to Lord Vishnu and recite the Vishnu purana and Karthika purana during Vana Mahotsavam rituals.
During Karthika Vanamahotsava, traditionally people cook food under these trees after puja and consume the food as prasad. Traditionally people had at least one amla plant in their courtyard. But nowadays due to congestion in cities, people observe Vanamahotsava more as a cultural festival than as a religious event. Many organizations arrange for an outing on this occasion and perform the puja of Vishnu and have food in the nearby gardens.
Performing of SatyaNarayana Vratam
Devotees of Lord Vishnu will perform the Satyanarayana Vrat during the holy month of Karthika Masam. It is belived that it performing of Satyanarayana Vrata on Karthika Pournami would help them to free themselves from all the sins.
Satyanarayana Pooja is one of the best & easiest ways to seek blessings from Lord Vishnu, who is the God responsible for maintenance of this Universe.
Typically Satyanarayan Pooja is to be performed before and/or after the fulfillment of our desires e.g. if you want to achieve some important milestones in your life like success in Higher Education, Success in career, promotion, buying a new vehicle, new house, starting a new business, negotiating big professional deals etc…
Satyanarayan is also useful if someone in the family is not well.
In order to maintain general happiness, prosperity and well being of the family it is advisable to perform Satyanarayan Pooja at least once every year.
There is no hard and fast rule as to when Satyanarayan Pooja to be performed. Morning or evening time is ideal for Pooja. You can perform it after major achievements in life. So also it is ideal to perform Satyanarayan Pooja once every year. It is a great auspicious occasions to invite friends and relatives.
It is a custom to have some program of singing, dancing, playing musical instruments etc… with well wisher friends and relatives after the Pooja is over.
Satyanarayan Pooja is to be performed on an auspicious day in consultation with Panditji.
Satyanarayan is about 3.5 to 4 hours Pooja.
Performing of Ekadasa Rudra Abhishekam
Devotees of Lord Shiva would perform the Ekadasa Rudra Abhishekam for the whole month of Karthika Masam to please Lord Shiva.
Karthika Somavara Vratam
Few devotees would observe a Karthika Soma vara Vratham. The normal process of Karthika Somavara Vratham would be to fast for the whole day, perform the Rudra Abhishekam by chanting the Rudra Namakam and Rudra Chamakam. Then eat after seeing the stars.
Soma is the another name of Lord Shiva. Known as Someswara, who keeps the “ Soma” the Moon on crescent on his matted hair. The Kartik Somawaram Vratam is performed to please the Lord Someswara (Lord Shiva). All Mondays in this Month are auspicious and one can perform Pooja, Abhisheka, to Lord Shiva to get the blessings of Shiva. This is the most favorite month for both of the Supreme Gods Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Praying to Lord Vishnu and Shiva during Kartik maas fetches them Moksha (Salvation). Kartik month is treated as the Sin-destroying month as per Hindu Ethics.
Nattalu or Natta Vratam
Nattallu or Natta Vratam is observed by the devotees. The process of observing Nattallu or Natta Vratam is to fast for the whole day and eat only after seeing the stars for the whole month of Kathika Masam. So only if this routine is followed for the complete month it is called as Natta Vratham or Nattalu.
The Ekadashi of Karthika Masam are very special and hence people would also obsever the Karthika Ekadasi Vratam.
Do’s and Dont in Karthika masam-Kartika masam-Kartheeka masam:
- People should get up at Brahma Muhurtham time.
- Take bath with in the river or sea (including hair) if possible or take bath at home before sunrise.
- Perform Pooja at home by offering naivedyam. Visit temples on Mondays.
- Recite each chapter in Karthika puranam daily for 30 days.Also people recite Vishnu Sahasranamalu.
- Daily morning and evening perform light deepam. Light deepam at tulasi plant in the evening after the presence of stars.
- Lighitng deepam in Lord Shiva temple is very beneficial.
- Eat meal once a day. Don’t eat non veg food.Strictly avoid onions and garlic.
- Charity (Danam) has to be given to the poor and the people in need.
- Daily Japa(meditative repetition of a mantra or name of God) has to be performed.
- On karthika pournami light deepam with 365 wicks at Lord Siva temple or at tulasi plant.
- Fasting has to be observed especially on Naguala Chavithi, Ekadashi, Pournami.
- People should perform archana and abhishekam to Lord Shiva.
- For some families they will be karthika Masam nomulu they should follow the rituals very strictly.
- Vana Bojanalu (eating food) under the amla tree will remove off the sins committed.
- Some people use deepam made of rice flour or Gooseberry to light deepam.
- On the last Day of Karthika Masam is also very auspicious known as “Poli Swargam” ie Amavasya day.
- On the last day Light deepam with 31wicks(mainly with puvvu vottulu 31 mainly because for the whole karthika masam) on a banana trunk or plaintain stem(aarti dimma) and leave in the river.If not possible to light deepam near the river or else if not possible in the river You can light a deepam near the tulasi plant at home and in a big tub place filled with water and place the deepam.
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