'Kartik ' month is considered to be the most sacred among all the twelve months of the year. Devotees take early morning bath and perform puja at their home or in the temples. Kartik Purnima is a sacred day celebrated on the full moon day of Kartik month. Kartik Purnima is a renowned Hindu festival which is also known as ‘Tripuri Purnima’ or ‘Tripurari Purnima’ which celebrates the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon Tripurasara. When Kartik Purnima falls in the ‘Krittika’ Nakshatra, it is known as Maha Kartik which has more significance. Kartik Purnima is also celebrated as ‘Dev Deepavali.’ As per the Hindu legend, on this day, Gods descended to Earth in the sacred rivers. Hence, by taking a holy dip in sacred rivers, devotees receive the divine blessings of Gods. Kartik Purnima also marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
Demon Tripurasura defeated Gods and conquered the entire world. He also created three cities in space and named it 'Tripura.' Lord Shiva came to the rescue of Gods by killing Tripurasura. He killed demon Tripura with an arrow and pronounced the day to be celebrated as a festival of illuminations. Kartik Purnima is the birth anniversary of Matsya or Fish incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Also, it is the birthday of Vrinda who is the personification of Tulsi plant. Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva, was also born on this day. The day is also dedicated to the dead ancestors. The last five days of Kartik month are considered to be more sacred, and every day the food is consumed only once in the afternoon which is known as 'Habisha.' These five days are known as 'Panchaka' and the last day is known as "Kartika Purnima."
Rituals and Celebration:
On Kartik Purnima, a sacred bath at pilgrimage places is performed which is referred as ‘Kartik Snan’ at the time of sunrise on the morning and moonrise in the evening. Devotees worship Lord Vishnu with flowers, incense sticks, and lamps. Devotees keep a fast on Kartik Purnima, perform ‘Satyanarayana Vrat’ and recites ‘Satyanarayana Katha.’ Devotees also perform ‘Rudrabhishek.’ The temples of Lord Shiva are brightly illuminated. Donating lamps, reciting Vedic mantras and bhajans are believed to be very rewarding on Kartik Purnima. Kartik Purnima also marks the marriage ceremony of Lord Vishnu with Devi Vrinda (Tulsi plant). The grand Pushkar fair comes to an end on Kartik Purnima. Devotees take a sacred dip in the Pushkar Lake to seek salvation.
Significance of Kartik Purnima:
The day of Kartik Purnima has religious as well as spiritual significance. It is believed that on worshipping Lord Vishnu on this day can benefit immense fortune. Kartik Purnima is also celebrated as the birthday of Tulsi plant. The day of Kartik Purnima is auspicious and any religious activity done on this day gives immense benefits. Performing puja, Daan or Snan on Kartik Purnima is equivalent to doing 100 Ashvamedha Yagya. It is aptly stated that Kartik Purnima provides Artha, Dharma, Karma, and Salvation.