Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


Although not celebrated as a big festival across India, Kartik Purnima, the full moon day in the month of Kartik is a very significant religious day in India. Not many people know that Kartik Purnima is also observed as Deva Diwali – Diwali of the Gods in prominent religious centers in India. It is believed that on this day the gods from the heaven descend on the earth to take a dip in the holy Ganga.

The day is also known as Tripuri Purnima and has great significance for the Vaishnava, Shaiva, Jain and Sikh traditions.

In Banaras it is celebrated in a grand manner as Ganga Mahotsav with great pomp and show over 5 days beginning from Prabodhini Ekadashi and ending on Kartik Purnima. The main ghats are lit with hundreds of lamps and still more hundreds of lighted lamps are floated in the Ganga.

In Vaishnavite tradition, Kartik Purnima, the Lord’s Diwali, is celebrated as the return of Sri Hari Vishnu from Bali’s subterranean realm or the Lord’s four month nap. Allegorically one can imagine Chaturmasa (four-month) as the period of “slumber”. Per tradition, the Deities of Vishnu are considered to be in slumber from Shayani Ekadashi in Ashadh until Prabodhini Ekadashi in Kartik, four lunar days before Kartik Purnima.

When Lord Vishnu returns, His icons once again exit the temple solitude and grace the world on Kartik Purnima. Again, slumber here represents deep meditation and austerity (niyam seva), and emergence from the slumber represents realization.

During the height and light of this festival, one is to realize the Lord, who exists deep within our own heart as the Atman, who has been realized through meditation, resulting in liberation.

But why is it called the Deva Diwali. This is simply for us to realize that the major Diwali festival which occurs 15 days prior during the new moon is Devi Diwali, the Goddess’ Diwali. Only by passing through the Goddess’ Diwali, can one reach the Lord’s Diwali. During the main Diwali, Maha Lakshmi is worshipped; during the Deva Diwali, Maha Vishnu is worshipped.

During the main Diwali, Mahakali is worshipped, during Deva Diwali Maheshvara is worshipped. The main Diwali is dedicated to realization, the Deva Diwali to liberation. It is only by realizing Shakti (main Diwali), can one become liberated into Shiva (Deva Diwali); the holy lamps during both festivals are but a symbol of the resplendence of realization and liberation.

Apart from this, Kartik Purnima is also known as the anniversary of Matsya Bhagavan (incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Fish). Also, it is observed as the appearance day of Vrinda Devi who is the personification of Tulasi plant. For raganugas this day has special importance for Goddess Radha, the beloved of Krishna  as it is believed that on this day, Lord Krishna worshiped Goddess Radha and performed Maha Rasalila in Vrindavan.

In Puri, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are offered special pujas and adorned in full gold ornaments and flowers. Hundreds of thousands of devotees have a ritual dip in the sea or in the rivers and offer their prayers to Lord Jagannatha. On this day “Bali Yatra” festival starts in Cuttack.

In the Shaivite tradition, this day is also observed as Tripuri Purnima and Dev Diwali in Banaras. The name 'Tripuri Purnima' has been derived from Tripurari, which means Slayer of Tripurasura.

According to legend, Tripurari is the name given to Lord Shiva as he defeated Tripurasura. On this day, Lord Shiva incarnated himself as Tripurakanta and killed Tripurasura. Tripurasura defeated all the demigods and conquered the three worlds. Apart from this, he created three “cities” in space which became known as 'Tripura'. Lord Shiva came to the rescue of the Gods and killed Tripurasura. He demolished Tripura with one arrow and pronounced the day to be celebrated as festival of illuminations.

Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva and God of war was also born on this day. In some parts of India this day is also dedicated to our departed ancestors, known as Pitrus.

In Jain traditions, during the main Diwali, the Tirthankara Mahavira attained realization; during the Deva Diwali, Mahavira attained liberation. The main Diwali is dedicated to freeing oneself from fetters (Bandi Chhod), the Dev Diwali is dedicated to becoming a liberated soul.

The first Sikh Guru Sri Guru Nanak Devji’s birth anniversary which falls on this day is observed with great enthusiasm and fervor in the north of India.

This day is considered as one of the most auspicious days in India. People bathe in holy rivers or lakes, they worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. Few people observe Satyanarayana Vrat and perform Satyanarayana Katha, Rudrabhishek etc.
Kartik snaan (dip in holy waters), lighting lamps in one’s house, giving in charity, chanting mahamantra or one’s guru mantra is considered extremely auspicious on this day. Any religious ceremony performed on this day is considered to be equivalent to 10 Yajnas.

Kartik Purnima is considered even more significant when it is in Krittika nakshatra (Pleiades lunar asterism). It is then called Maha Kartik. If the nakshatra is in Bharani, the results are stated to be special and in Rohini nakshatra, the fruitful results are said to be even much more.

Jai Sri Radhey !

Jai Guru !