Kartik month is considered to be the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar. It is one of the most renowned Hindu festivals that is observed on the Purnima tithi (full moon day) in the month of Kartik as per the traditional Hindu calendar. When this sacred day falls in the ‘Krittika’ Nakshatra, it gains even more significance and is known as ‘Maha Kartik’.
The festival of Kartik Purnima is celebrated with great fervour and zeal all across India, irrespective of the religious inclinations. Hindus believe it to be auspicious to perform a ‘Snan’ (bathing ritual) and worship their Gods and Goddesses. As per the Hindu mythology, the Hindu Gods descended to Earth in the sacred rivers, on this day, and therefore by taking a holy dip, devotees receive the divine blessings of all the Gods.
Kartik Purnima is also very significant as many rituals and festivals culminate on the day of Kartik Purnima. The festivities of Kartika Purnima begin on the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi. Ekadashi is the eleventh day and Purnima is the fifteenth day of Kartika month during Shukla Paksha. Hence, Kartik Purnima festivities last for five days.
Tulasi-Vivah Utsav which begins on the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi culminates on the day of Kartik Purnima. As per religious books, Tulasi Vivah can be performed on any suitable day between Ekadashi to Purnima in the month of Kartik. However, many people choose the day of Kartik Purnima to perform marriage rituals of Goddess Tulasi and Lord Shaligram, an iconic representation of Lord Vishnu.
Bhishma Panchaka fasting which begins on Ekadashi day ends on the day of Kartik Purnima. In Vaishnava tradition, the utmost importance is given to Bhishma Panchaka fasting during the last five days of Kartik month. The five days fasting is known as Bhishma Panchaka as well as Vishnu Panchaka.
Vaikuntha Chaturdashi fasting and Puja is performed on Chaturdashi Tithi i.e. one day before Kartik Purnima. It is believed that Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva on the day of Kartik Chaturdashi during Shukla Paksha and offered Him one thousand lotus flowers. Many Shiva temples organize special Puja during which Lord Vishnu is worshipped along with Lord Shiva. On the day of Vaikuntha Chaturdashi, a holy dip in Ganges before Sunrise at Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi is considered very significant among devotees of Lord Shiva.
Dev Diwali which is also known as Diwali of Gods is celebrated on the day of Kartik Purnima. It is believed that Lord Shiva killed demon Tripurasura on the day of Kartik Purnima. Hence Kartik Purnima is also known as Tripuri Purnima and Tripurari Purnima. As per legends of Tripuri Purnima, Tripurasura defeated Gods and started ruling their kingdom. When Tripurasura was killed, Gods were overjoyed and celebrated the day of Kartik Purnima as the day of illuminations. Hence thousands of earthen lamps are lit at all temples as well as at the bank of river Ganga on the day of Kartik Purnima.
Jainism followers celebrate this day as the ‘Jain Festival of Light’. For followers of Sikhism, the day of Kartik Purnima marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and is celebrated as Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab.
Rituals during Kartik Purnima:
Devotees worship Lord Vishnu with complete devotion on this day. The idol of the lord is worshipped with flowers, incense sticks and lamps. By offering prayers to Lord Vishnu on this day can put an end to all the worries and bestow a peaceful and cheerful life to the devotees. On this day any sort of violence is strictly prohibited. Some devotees also keep a fast on Kartik Purnima. This fasting is known as ‘Satyanarayana Vrat’ and recites the ‘Satyanarayana Katha’.
Offering donations is also one of the prime rituals on Kartik Purnima. Donating lamps is believed to be very rewarding on Kartik Purnima. Reciting Vedic mantras and bhajans is also considered very auspicious on this day.
The grand Pushkar mela or fair comes to an end on this day, with last day being the most significant. Devotees perform a sacred bath in the Pushkar Lake to seek salvation. Circling the three pushkars on this day is believed to be highly meritorious.
Significance of Kartik Purnima:
The day of Kartik Purnima, holds immense religious and spiritual significance for Hinduism followers. After the completion of the chaturmaas period, from this day onwards Lord Vishnu begins His sleep. According to the Hindu legends it was also known that on this day only, Lord Vishnu incarnated as ‘matsya’ (fish form) and therefore Kartik Purnima is also distinguished as the birthday of the Matsyaavatar of Sri Hari Vishnu. It is strongly believed that on worshipping Lord Vishnu on this day, devotees can benefit immense fortune. The day of Kartik Purnima is so auspicious that any religious activity done on this day gives manifold benefits. Performing puja, daan or snan on this day is equivalent to doing 100 Ashvamedha Yagyas. It is aptly stated that Kartik Purnima provides Artha, Dharma, Kama and Salvation.
Kartik Purnima 2019 – Purnima tithi and puja timings:
Sunrise 12 November, 2019 06:42 AM.
Sunset 12 November, 2019 05:39 PM.
Purnima Tithi Begins 11 November, 2019 06:01 PM.
Purnima Tithi Ends 12 November, 2019 07:04 PM.