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Karthigai Deepam

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Karthik/Poornima
image/karthikpoornima.jpg
Karthik/Poornima
Also called Tripuri Poornima, Tripurari Poornima, Deva-Diwali, Deva-Deepawali
Significance Tripuri Poornima or Tripurari Poornima derives its name from Tripurari - the foe of the demon Tripurasura.

Karthigai deepam celebrated on the Pournami day in the month of Karthigai, is a very important festival celebrated in Tamilnadu. There is an interesting story behind it. It was in a playful mood that the mother Goddess closed the eyes of Lord Shiva from behind, when the entire world lost light and was immersed in darkness; when the left and right eyes were closed, the Sun and the Moon lost their light; when the third eye was closed Agni lost his heat with the touch of the mother's hand. The world lost grace and was filled with darkness. Everyone was in fear.

This angered the Lord and told her that even though this was done playfully, it was a big mistake and cursed the Devi. He bade her to go to Earth and "perform penance till the time I come to you". It is at the Annamalai [Tiruvannamalai], where the Goddess undertook her penance and was blessed with the Lord Shiva's grace and became a part of his self [the left part].

It is during the Karthigai month that the penance was undertaken and was blessed on the the Karthigai day. She beseeched the Lord that like "you graced me in the form of light, you have to bless the world every year on this day". This is how Karthigai deepam came into being and is celebrated every year with great pomp.

During this period, it is very special to perform Girivalam. On the day of the Karthigai deepam, after darshan of the Lord and the Mother Goddess, circumambulating the Arunachala is capable of washing away your sins. Performing Girivalam during the entire season is capable of removing all the sins done till nnos and make one's soul clean. Girivalam for 11 days is capable of removing ones sins and provide with great wealth. One that does the girivalam on the day of the Karthigai deepam gets the benefit of having performed one thousand aswamedha yagnas. These and many other are the benefits of the Karthigai deepam at Tiruvannamalai.

*Girivalam - Girivalam is the act of circumambulating the Arunachala mountain once.

In northern India, Karthika Poornima (Kartika purnima) is also celebrated as a Hindu, Jain and Sikh holy festival, celebrated on the Purnima (full moon) day or the fifteenth lunar day of Kartika, generally occurring during November, December. It is also called as Tripuri Poornima, Tripurari Poornima, Deva Diwali or Deva Deepavali.

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Karthigai Deepam

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