Kartik is the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar. It usually overlaps with the months October & November in the English calender . Kartik Maas, also known as Damodar Maas, is described in the scriptures as the best among months for performing austerities. Kartik or the festival of offering lamps to Lord Krishna, glorifies Lord Krishna’s pastime of being bound with ropes by Mother Yashoda. Observing vrata in the month of Kartik is glorified in the Puranas.The padam puran describes the month of kartik as krishana,s favourite month..Kartik mahina is the eighth month in a traditional Hindi calendar followed in North India. Kartik Month for year 2012 begins on October 30 and ends on November 28. Karva Chauth and Diwali are the most important festivals observed in this month.
Devotional activities performed during this holy month are rewarded with greater spiritual results than usual so devotees often take vows to increase their spiritual practices or to simplify their material needs for the entire month. It is a way that they can remember Krishna more and increase their service to Him. .
Month of Kartik is celebrated in a very special way. Holy bath, meditation, charity, marriage of goddess Tulsi are some of the religious ceremonies performed during the Kartik month and the one who performs them, gets relief from all the sins. It is considered one of the most auspicious month of the year, in which the devotees gets an opportunity to discard all evil deeds and adopt a pure way of life. The person observing the fasts in this month should follow certain rules and regulation to get good results, since it is believed that without following these rules the fast is not considered complete. The devotees take bath in Ganga River early in the morning and worship god at their homes.
Worship Radha – Krishna with tulsi, amla etc in the morning after taking bath, along with all other gods and goddesses. In the evening worship Lord Vishnu and goddess Tulsi by lightning a diya. It is believed that in the Kartik month, the rays of Sun and Moon have a positive effect on the body and mind of humans. Worshipping Lord Vishnu, goddess Tulsi in Kartik month has a special significance and the one who does it is blessed with good fruits.
Lord Shri Krishna says, “Of all plants, the sacred Tulasi is most dear to Me; of all months, Kartik is most dear, of all places of pilgrimage, My beloved Dwarka is most dear, and of all days,Ekadashi is most dear.” (Padma Purana, Uttara Khand 112.3)
“As Sat-yuga is the best of yugas (ages), as the Vedas are the best among scriptures, as Ganga is best of rivers, so Kartik is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Krishna.” (Skanda Purana)
“O Narada! I have personally seen that a person who happily reads the Bhagavad Gita in the month of Kartik does not return to the world of birth and death.”
the gift of a lamp during the month of Kartik is the best. No gift is its equal. A person, who for the entire month of Kartik eats only once a day, becomes very famous, powerful and heroic.
Significance of Holy Bath in Kartik Month:
A person gets good results by fasting and worshipping the God in this month, which is considered equivalent to visiting all the pilgrimages. Ancient scriptures like sakand Purana, Narad Purana, Pagh Purana etc have mentioned the significance of this month. Taking bath in the holy water, during the Kartik month is considered to be as auspicious as taking bath in the Ganga 1000 times, 100 times magh bath, crore times in Narmada River during Vaishakh month. The result that one gets by taking bath in the Prayag in Kumbh is equal to taking bath in one holy river during the Kartik month. Entire month people should take bath in the river or lake or pond outside the house and should chant Gayatri month whole day. One should eat meal only one time and non-veg should strictly be avoided. The person who eats non-vegetarian food in this month gets the life of a demon. Those who follow all the rules and regulations as mentioned in the scriptures gets relief from all sins. Lightning a lamp in temples before the idols of Lord shiva, goddess Chandi, Sun god and other gods and goddess is considered very auspicious in this month. Lord Krishna is worshipped with flowers, and by doing this person gets results equivalent to performing Ashwamedh yajna. Kartik month’s purnima is the last date of autumn season and is considered very sacred and holy. Fairs and festivals are organized in every corner of India. Every person should take bath on this date and donate to needy people according to his own potency. Pushkar, Kurukshetra and Varanasi are the best places to perform religious ceremonies, holy baths and charity. Kartik fast is observed on the sixth day of the Kartik month dedicated to Lord Kartik
Tara Bhojan in Kartik Month
The devotees eat Tara bhojan (star meal ) during kartik month. They keep fast for the whole day and eat food only after worshipping the stars in the evening. On the last day of the fast, udhyapan is done and priests are offered some kind of dakshina. Donate saree to brahamin female, mother-in-law along with some money according to your potency.
Chhoti Sankali Fast, Badi Sankali Fast, Narayan Tarayan Fast and Chandrayaan Fast in Kartik Month are also observed.
A person should take bath early in the morning. He should fast and worship Lord Vishnu. A bath is the river Ganga is also considered to be sacred on this day. People, who are unable to take a bath in river Ganga, often visit any water body in their vicinity. Lamps are lit in the evening near temples, crossroads, lanes, pipal trees, tulsi plants etc. A lantern is tied on bamboo sticks and is pointed towards the sky. Mostly women keep this fast.
A person keeping a fast on this day should feed a Brahman. A Hawan should also be performed. Lamps should be lit in the evening. Donations should also be made to various Brahmans. At night, the six different Kritikas should be worshipped which are Shiva, Preeti, Sambhuti, Anusuya, Kshama and Santati. A buffalo should be donated on this day after the worship. Doing this opens the doors of Shivalok for a person. People who take baths in a holy river on this day are considered to be very fortunate.
MYTH :It’s been said that Yashoda (Mother of Lord Krishna) while feeding Krishna her breast milk, she was forced to put him down to attend to the milk pan boiling over on the stove. Krishna was very upset and after breaking His mother’s butter pots, He distributed the contents to the monkeys. As soon as when Krishna saw that his mother had come .He immediately begin to run away and mother yashoda began to fallow him, yashoda was able to catch Krishna who because of his offense was crying. Upon seeing Krishna’s naughty behavior Mother Yashoda decided to punish Him by binding him with a rope, to a large grinding mortar in the courtyard. She tried to tie the rope around Krishna’s waist but the rope was short by two fingers. Adding more and more ropes, she tried again and again but the ropes always remained short. Then, by His compassion for His tired Mother, Krishna allowed Himself to be tied. When alone, Krishna pulled the mortar between two yamala-arjuna trees bringing them crashing to the ground. Imprisoned in these trees were Nalakuvera and Manigriva, sons of Kuber, who had been cursed by Narada Muni. They were now liberated. When Nanda Maharaja returned and saw Krishna tied to the mortar in between the two uprooted, gigantic trees He untied Krishna and held him lovingly in his arms, thankful that His darling son had been protected from the falling trees.
“In the month of Kartika one should worship Lord Damodara and daily recite the prayer known as Damodaraishtaka, which has been spoken by the sage satyavrata and which attracts Lord Damodara. ”
The last five days of month of Kartik (Damodara) are traditionally known as the bhishma Panchaka or Vishnu Panchaka .this year falls on 24November -28 November.
The padam Purana says that one pleases the Lord and makes spiritual advancement by such austerities. If one could not fast or perform any pooja for Lord Damodara for previous 25 days then by fasting on 5days one receives the same benefits. As fasting the entire month. As five day fast is difficult for those people who are not serious and who hypocrites are. If some one ob serves this fast ,he is considered to have observed all other fasts, because it is greatly meritorious and frees one from great sins .therefore everyone should make a great endeavor to fast on these last five days of bhishmadeva.
The fast should begin by remembering bhishmadeva on dashmi day 23rd November and should end on Purnima 28th November. One should eat only vegetables or fruits and should worship Lord Krishana.if one needs to eat then one should do so only in evening. All of one’s material and spiritual desires can be fulfilled and all of the senses can be controlled by following these five days Fast. If one follows this kartik fast, one can obtain the results attainable from fasting on auspicious fasting days for whole year.
During this fast, offering of certain items to the lord are also prescribed, They are:-
- Bilva (wood apple) leaves of the thigh of the Lord.
- Gandh (scents) to the navel of the Lord,
- Java flower to the shoulders of the Lord,
- Malati flower to the head of Lord,
- Padma (lotus) to the feet of the lord.
Remember what you do in this month has a thousand fold effect so try to perform many good deeds and charity as possible because that multiplies by a thousand. “If somebody performs even a little worship of Lord Shri Hari in this month, He offers that devotee His own abode.” the gift of a lamp during the month of Kartik is the best. No gift is its equal. A person, who for the entire month of Kartik eats only once a day, becomes very famous, powerful and heroic.
One may observe the following foremost activities throughout the entire month of Kartik:
- Japa – chanting the holy names of the Lord.
- Worship the Lord by offering ghee lamps (diyas), flowers, incense, food, etc.
- Practice brahmacharya – celibacy.
- Worship of Tulasi Devi.
- Perform austerities.
- Give charity.
The month of Kartika is the best of all months, and it is in this month that many special festivals like Karva Chauth ,Dhan-Teras, Diwali, Govardhan Puja, Bhai Duj,Tulsi Vivaah and various others take place.
Jaya, Jaya Shree Radhe!
Damodara (Kartik) Maas Ki Jai!!