Significance of Karthigai Pournami
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The full moon day of the Karthika Month of the lunar calendar is one of the most auspicious days for a Hindu. Karthika Month is the only month in which both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are worshiped. Karthika Pouranmi or Karthika Purnima also one of the days when the temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are full with the devotees wants a darshan of their deities. The other names of Karthika Pournami are Deva Deepawali or Deva Diwali, Tripuri Purnima or Tripurari Purnima.
Kathika Purnima is also celebrated as the day on which Lord Vishnu incarnated as Matsya or Matsyavatram happened on Karthika Purnima. Matsyavatara was to save Manu from the MahaPralaya. Lord Shiva killed the demon Tripurasura on Karthika Purnima and hence the name Tripura Purnima or Tipurari Purnima. Karthika Purniam is also associated with Prabodini Ekadasi. Prabodini Ekadasi marks the end of the four month long Chaturmas Vrat. A lot of fairs and festivities which begin on Prabodini Ekadasi end on Karthika Purnima.
The common rituals of Karthika Purnima are having a river bath and praying to Lord Shiva and observing a fast for the whole day. Devotees would prefer to have a bath in the holy rivers as it is believed that by simply performing the Nadi Snan or river bath in the Karthika Month one gets a lot of virtue and if it is on Karthika Purnima the virtue is multi folded.
If a devotee is able to perform the Tripura Purnima Snan, the bath that is performed in Varanasi in the holy river Ganga it is believed that the virtue of the bath would bring Salvation. All the steps in the Ghats of the river Ganga in Varanasi are lit with diyas.