About Tamil festival Karthigai Deepam.
Karthigai Deepam is a festival of lights. It is celebrated on the full moon day or Pournami of the Tamil month Karthigai which also coincides with Karthigai star. This is the oldest Tamil festival celebrated by Tamils. In Ahanaanooru celebration of this festival was mentioned. Tamil poetess Avvaiyaar also mentioned this festival in her poem. It is celebrated by arranging Agal villakkus or small mud lamps in a row in our houses. It is believed that it will fetch our ancestor's blessings. Cow ghee or Gingely oil is used for lamps.
On this day Vellai sedai, Adhirasam, Karthigai Adai, Pori urundai, Aval urundai and Kadalai urundai are prepared in houses as Neyvedhiyam or offerings to God. There is a story behind this ancient Tamil festival.
Story behind Tamil festival Karthigai Deepam.
Once there was an argument between Lord Bramha and Lord Vishnu that who is superior. Lord Shiva tired to solve the dispute between them. He took Jyothi or fire form on the hills of Tiruvannamalai and asked both Lord Bramha and Lord Vishnu to find the top and bottom of his Jyothi form. Lord Bramha took swan form and flew up to find the top of the Jyothi. Lord Vishnu took varaha or swine form and started to drill down the earth to find the bottom of the Jyothi. However both failed in their task. Then they realized that lord Shiva has no end and beginning and also their ego went down. They prayed to Lord Shiva, he appeared before them.
This incidence was occurred on Tiruvannamalai hills. The day in which Lord Shiva appeared as Jyothi form is Karthigai Deepam. In Tiruvannamalai Lord Shiva was deemed to be in the form of Jyothi or fire form. Lighting of Karthigai Deepam on the hills is symbolically representing the Lord Shiva's Jyothi form.
Tiruvannamalai in Tamil means holy fire hill. The lord Shiva here is considered as Agni linga or fire linga. Thousands of devotees gather there on the Karthigai Deepam to celebrate this oldest Tamil festival. While lighting the Karthigai Deeepam they praise the Lord Shiva as Annamalaikku Arohara..!
Bhagavan Shri Ramana Maharishi preaches that the celebration of the Karthigai Deepam is to turn intellect towards our heart to merge with inner Jyothi or Atma.
Tamil month Karthigai masam importance.
Tamil month Karthigai starts in the middle of November and ends in middle of December. This is the last month of Chaturmas months. The important deities for this month are Shiva, Vishnu and Tulasi. All Mondays are considered as auspicious day. Karthigai somavara virtham is popular among the Tamilians Karthigai Pournami is also considered as an auspicious day of this month.
Must light Agal Deepam every evening and do Shiva or Vishnu Pooja. It is believed that worshipping Lord in this month will fetch Moksha or salvation. Fasting on Monday on this month is considered very auspicious and also on Karthigai pournami. Hearing Karthigai purana is an important aspect of this month. In Karthigai Purana we can find the rituals that to be performed in this month.
Lord Vishnu wakes up on the Karthigai Suddha Ekadesi who went for sleep on Ashadha Suddha Ekadesi. Lord Shiva killed Tripurasuras on Karthigai Pournami and protected the world.
Tamil festival Karthigai Masam Nadi Snanam or River Bath
In this month river Ganges enters in to all rivers, canals, ponds and wells and makes them as equal as river Ganges. Taking bath in these water sources during the Karthigai masam gives the benefits of bathing in river Ganga.
The modern medical world has announced that during this Karthigai month water will gain more Magnetic power from earth and store it in water before sunrise. So bathing in Karthigai month before sunrise or Bramha Mugurtha in rivers, canals, ponds and wells, will fetch benefits of Magnetic therapy. Especially in Karthigai Somavaram or Monday bathing in flowing water for 15 minutes will eliminate many disorders related to stomach, liver and so on.
All Lord Ayyeppa swami devotees start fasting on this Karthigai month for particular period and visit Lord Ayeppan temple in kerala then end their fast.
In Andhra Pradesh Vana Bhojanam is celebrated during this month Karthigai. Some ten or twenty families will go to fields with all cooking materials and groceries in the morning. Entertain them with singing, dancing, and playing. Then cook their foods for their families under Nelli or Amla, villavam, trees. This is the important aspect of the fuction. This is a great way of socializing that our ancestor taught us.
This Karthigai month is also ends Dhakshinayanam astrologically. Wish you a HAPPY Karthigai Masam.