Ksheerabdi dwadasi, jwala thoranam, akanda deeparadhana, karthika deeparadhana, Karthika Pournami form part of the month-long celebrations during Karthika masam.

The month of Karthika is considered auspicious for Lord Shiva. Abhishekam is the main ritual in many temples and some people do it at home. Karthika masam is celebrated as festival of lights. Lighting of lamps signifies removal of ignorance, welcoming the light of wisdom and Goddess Lakshmi. It also symbolises illuminating one’s inner conscience with knowledge, said one of the trustees of Shirdi Sai Spiritual Centre M. Ramakrishna Rao. Stressing on the significance of fasting during the month, he said that it helps one control the system eating less and maintaining austerity.

Apart from special pujas being performed at the temples, many devotees take part in samudra snanam. It is believed that all the sins get washed away by taking a dip in the holy river on this auspicious day, said Yaduraja Dasa, committee member of Hare Krishna Movement of Nitai Gauranga Mandir. “It is the favourite month of Lord Krishna. It is believed that the incarnation of Matsya happened during Karthika Pournami. Radha-Krishna Raas Leela was performed on the special day,” he explained.

The month is important for both Saivaites and Vaishnavaites, said cultural critic A.R.Joga Rao. “Devotees participate in nithya deeparadhana, Sathyanarayana vratham, Shivabhishekam, among a few. It is believed that on Karthika Pournami, Aswini Gods will bless all the devotees who take a dip in the river before dawn. And lighting a lamp with one lakh wicks reach the Gods,” he said.

In Vrindavanam, the deities at the temple will be dressed in white on Karthika Pournami to signify purity. Akhanda Hare Krishna Mahamantra Kirtan is performed at ISKCON followed by deepotsavam, deepadanam, bhajan, kirtan and distribution of bhog. The month-long celebrations of deepotsavam conclude on Wednesday at Nitai Gauranga Mandir. For Sikhs too it is important as it is Gurunanak Jayanti.

Keywords: Karthika masam

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