By: Er. Prabhat Kishore
India is a country known for its diversity in terms of people and culture and there are different kinds of festivals and rituals. Kartik Purnima is one of the auspicious festivals for three prominent communities Sanatan Dharma, Sikh and Jain together. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country and abroad on Shukla Paksha Purnima Tithi of Kartik month and falls 15 days after Deepawali.
Kartik Purnima also known as “Tripurari Purnima” or “Tripuri Purnima” is celebrated as the victory of Bhagwan Shiva over the demons Tarakaksha, Viryavana and Kamalaksha (together called “Tripurasur”). All the Devs rejoiced at their killings and celebrated “Dev Deepawali” by lightning Diyas in the heaven. On this day, Dev and Devis descended from the heavens onthe earth to take a bath in the Holy rivers. So, by lighting Deeyas, taking holy dip in rivers and other water sources (called Kartik Snan) and worshiping deities, devotees wish for divine blessings and attract prosperity. Devotees offer “Deep Daan” (floating of lamps) on the rivers. Deepmalas or towers of lights are illuminated throughout the night in the Mandirs on this occasion.
This day marks the emergence of Matasya, the Matasyavatar (Fish incarnation) of Bhagwan Vishnu to rescue living beings save life on the earth. It is also believed that on this day Bhagwan Krishna and Radha performed Rasleela with the Gopis in Brajbhumi. In Dakshin Bharat, this day is celebrated as the birthday of Kartikeya, the lord of war and son of Shiva-Parvati.
On KartikPurnamashi, Guru Nanak Dev ji Jayanti is celebrated worldwide as “Guru Parab” or “Prakash Parva”. Various programmes along with Kirtan, Gurubani and Akhand Pathare organized in the Gurudwaras in every corner of the country. Although his birthplace Talwandi Nankana Sahib now falls in Pakistan.
Jains believe that Rishabh (also popular as Adinath), the first Tirthankar, had sanctified the Shatrunjay hills at Palitanaon Kartik Purnima by visiting it and delivering his first sermon. So, Jain pilgrims flock to the foothills of the Shatrunjay hills to undertake the auspicious Yatra. Shri Shatrunjay Tirth Yatra is an important religious event for a Jain Devotee, who circumambulate the rough mountainous terrain covering a distance of 216 km on foot to worship at the Adinath Mandir atop the hills.
On Kartik Purnima, many world famous fairs such as Harihar Kshetra Sonpur Pashu Melain Bihar, Pushkar camel fair in Rajasthan and Lugu Pahar Mela in Bokaro (Jharkhand) are organised.
Whatever be the belief and happenings behind the festival of Kartik Purnima, this day marks harmony, joy, celebrations, devotion, spiritual Bhajan-Kirtans in Mandirs, Gurudwaras and everywhere. It illuminates the houses, hearts and heaven and spread the message of friendship and togetherness.
(Author is a technocrat and academician.)