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Hindu calendar: Months, Days, Phases The various Hindu calendars are based on eras and epochs. Generally, the Hindu calendar follows the lunar year that consists of 12 lunar months. A lunar month has two fortnights.

The 12 Months | The 7 Days | The 15 Moon Days Months of the Indian Civil Calendar       

Chaitra Vaisakha Jyaistha Asadha Shravana Bhadra Asvina

 Kartika    

Agrahayana Pausa Magha and Phalguna

Days in the Dvadasï Hindu calendar: Raviãra Sunday (day of Sun), Somavãra Monday (day of Moon), Mañgalvã Tuesday (day of Mars), Budhavãra Wednesday (day of Mercury), Guruvãra Thursday (day of Jupiter), Sukravãra Friday (day of Venus), Sanivãra Saturday (day of Saturn)

Names of Fifteen Moon Days in the Hindu calendar: Prathamã First, Dvitïyã Second, Trtïyã Third, Chaturthï Fourth, Pañchamï Fifth, Sasthï Sixth, Saptamï Seventh, Astamï Eighth, Navamï Ninth, Dasamï Tenth, Ekãdasï Eleventh, Twelfth, Trayodasï Thirteenth, Chaturdasï Fourteenth, Panchadasï Fifteenth, Purnimã (Suklapaksha) Full Moon and Amãvãsyã (Krsnapaksa) New Moon  SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI

The Glories of the month of Kartika The Kartik Maas, also known as the Damodara Maas is described in the scriptures as the best among months.

Kartika or the festival of offering lamps to Lord Krishna last the entire month of Damodara (Kartika). Observing vrata in the month of Kartika is glorified in the Puranas.  SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI

Why is the month holy? The greatness of the Kartik month is mentioned in the ‘Uttar Khanda’ of ‘Padma Puran’. The month is considered holy because it is believed that Lord Vishnu took Matsya Avatar in this month to restore the Vedas. Taking bath (Snan) in holy rivers in this month is considered highly auspicious. In the calendars followed in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Kartik Month begins on October 29. Kartik, also known as Kartak, is the first month in Gujarati Calendar and the Gujarati New Year (Anakut day) is celebrated on this day. The holiness of the ‘Mahatmya of Kartik’ has been elaborately dealt with in the ‘Uttar Khanda’ of ‘Padma Puran’. Sage Vashita referred to ‘Kartik Mahatmya’ on the most efficacious means of obtaining salvation, by illustrating various significant legends pertaining to the month.  Satyabhama asked Krishna as to how the Kartik month came to be regarded as holy. In reply, Krishna relates the story of Sankhasura the demon who carried away the Vedas into the sea. Vishnu was obliged to

take the incarnation of Mastya (Fish) and kill Sankhasura (conch shell demon) and restore the Vedas to the Gods - a quest for truth and enlightenment. This incarnation is said to have taken place on the 11th day of Kartik and is commemorated by all devout Hindus through bathing in holy rivers and prayers  It is said Lord Krishna himself stressed the importance of religious observances during Kartik to his own wife Satyabhama. He disclosed that in her previous life she herself had been a Brahmin's daughter and was his wife in consequence of the vratas she had performed during this month.  The efficacy of vratas is emphasized through another interesting tale in the ‘Kartik Mahatmya’. The story goes that once Dhaneswara, a man of low caste, went to Mahismato to sell skins. His business led him to the banks of the Narmada where he got in the company of pilgrims. He watched their religious performances and was prompted to join them more out of curiosity then devotion. But even this anticipation sufficed to secure him heavenly bliss.  SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI

Important days in this month This month is full of bhakta vatsalya. Any vrata, even the smallest, will yield huge results. The effect of performing a Kartik vrata lasts for one hundred lifetimes, whereas ordinary vratas only last for one lifetime! Essence is to do more devotional practice during this month. Kalashtami: The eighth day of the month of Kartik is observed by fasting in Banaras and the night is spent in prayers. On this day Kala Bhairav, a creation of Lord Shiva, in his wrath chopped off one of the five heads of Lord Brahma and repaired to Banaras. Since then Kala Bhairav has been the presiding deity of the sacred city. The local Hindus observe this day annually in his honour. Kushmand Ninth: This is the ninth day of Kartik, named after the fruit of cucurbit or pumpkin. Legend is that there was a Brahmin who had two sons named Dhananjaya and Krishna. Both led dissipated lives and on their death while Dhananjaya attains heaven, Krishna is sent to hell. The reason was that Dhananjaya as advised by their religious teacher had taken baths in the Ganges during this month and given a gift of pumpkin filled with gold to a Brahmin, while his brother had not. In the name spirit people today have dips in the holy rivers and give, if not the pumpkin with gold, at least some gifts within their means to Brahmins and the poor. Akshay Navami: Another nomenclature by which this ninth day is recognised is Akshay Navami or the inexhaustible Ninth. On this day Surya Devta worshipped Durga and was in return awarded with unlimited gifts possibly in the form of solar properties which are now so beneficial to mankind. The main characteristics which lends the epithet `Aksh' or Indestructible to this day is that gifts bestowed on this particular day continue to bear blessings forever. The day is spent by devout Hindus in meditation and prayer to acquire the inexhaustible knowledge of God and thereby attain eternal bliss and peace. Akshay Navami is also associated with the happy reunion of Bharata with Rama when the latter was returning home after his 14 years of banishment. Haribodhini or Prabodhini: This is the 11th day of Kartik or the Kartik Ekadashi and is regarded as the day of Lord Hari or Vishnu. Haribodhini means that which bestows the knowledge of Sri Hari, and Prabodhani meaning awakening from sleep (of Vishnu after four months) or more aptly, ignorance. Devotees of Lord Hari are said to observe fasts and  SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI

rigorous penances to seek knowledge. All meritorious actions done on this day are said to boomerang with thousand fold credits. Perhaps this has the link with Sun's movement to the southern hemisphere and the Winter Solstice. Moreover, the famous Kartik meals or fairs are held annually at Guru Mukteswar on the banks of the Ganges, attended by thousand of pilgrim from far and near. The religious significance of this place lies in the fact that it was at this site that, according to the epic Mahabharata, King Santanu met the Goddess Ganga in her human form and married her. Scriptures opine that great merit can be obtained by bathing in the Ganges especially on this day. Thus baths in the holy rivers, visits to temples and prayers are the common features of this Ekadashi Day. Tulsi Vivah or Marriage: This is perhaps the most sentimental but not the least important festival which falls on the 11th day of the bright half of Kartik. This story from ‘Padma Puran’ revolves round Tulsi, the plant Ocimum Sanctum which in her former birth was Vrinda, the daughter of a giant named Nemi, and the faithful wife of demon Jalandhar. Being born in water Jalandhar claimed sovereignty over the ocean and demanded the 14 treasures churned out of the ocean in Vishnu's second incarnation. He declared war and became a cause of danger to the gods. More so because of a boon that he would be free from death till his wife Vrinda was chaste. As a last resort to kill Jalandhar, Vishnu beguiles Vrinda by assuming her husband's form. Vrinda in her wrath cruses and turns Lord Vishnu into a Black stone (Salagram) for his deceit. Vishnu too retaliates but in admiration of her impeachable chastity and piety, he transfers her into the sacred Tulsi plant and promises to marry her annually on this day of Kartik. The origin of the ammonite black stone or Salagram found on the bed of the river Gandaki may be attributed to their legend. As a consequence, all devout Hindu women worship the Tulsi plant with flowers and milk assuming Lord Krishna to be present on it on this auspicious day. Literally a mock marriage is performed between the Tulsi and the ‘Salagram’. The belief is that, one who performs this ceremony of giving away Tulsi considering them to be one's own daughters, gets the credit as making a ‘Kanyadan’ which is regarded as an extremely meritorious act in our religion. This sacred ceremonial day marks the auspicious opening of the annual marriage season of the Hindus.


Vaikunth Chaturdashi: The fourteenth day of Kartik is said to be sacred to Vishnu, the Lord of Vaikunth. It is revealed on this day Vishnu went to Banaras and worshiped Shiva at the Manikarnika Ghat. While offering 1,000 lotus flowers and invoking Shiva with praises, he found the thousandth lotus missing. But Vishnu, unshaken, completes his worship by replacing the missing lotus with one of his own eyes. Shiva veritably pleased with this gesture presented Vishnu the ‘Sudarshan’, the enchanted disc. Since then devotees of Vishnu offer him a thousand lotuses and 1,000 praiseworthy appellations or the ‘Vishnu Sahsranama’. Vysa Puja: On Kartik Full Moon day, Vyasa, the famous compiler of the

Vedas is to be worshipped, and in his name all regular expounders of the Purans also. A similar day is Ashada Full Moon, known as Guru Puja when every student worships his own Guru. The full moon day in Kartik month is observed as Dev Diwali in remembrance of Lord Shiva killing demon Tripura. Besides these festivals, there are two other notable days in the month. One is the birthday of Guru Nanak on Kartik Poornima, the other when Sant Jnaneshvar Maharaj renounced his mortal body and took Samadhi. Both were great religious leaders and beacon lights of knowledge, diffusing the message of Love. The main celebrations of Guru Nanak's birthday are the Akhand Path (continuous reading of the Granth) and taking of the Holy Granth in procession. Similarly, on this particular Ekadashi day a great Yatra or fair takes place at Alandi and thousands of people visit it to have the darshan of the `Samadhi' and shrine of Sant Jnaneshwar. Devotees worship his Samadhi as well as the holy Jnanesvari, his immortal commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, which they call as Mauli or Ayi, the Mother and hold religious discourses. The month of Kartik may be aptly compared to the holy rosary studded with impeccabled beads of festivals radiating with effulgence of sublime legends. Through this, only one string of thought runs, namely, the eternal victory of truth and goodness over evil, and the unity of mankind through Universal Love.


What should we do? Five activities are glorified: staying awake, early morning bath, worship of Tulsi, offering lamps and performing austerities Everybody should try to follow at-least some portion of it according to their capacity.  Jaap – chanting the holy names of the Lord  Worship the Lord by offering ghee lamps (diyas), flowers, incense, food, etc.  Practice brahmacharya – celibacy  Worship of Tulsi Devi  Give charity  Perform austerities

From our scriptures Following are excerpts from some scriptures (Puranas) describing the glory of the pious Kartik month: “If somebody performs even a little worship of Lord Shri Hari in this month, He offers that devotee His own abode.” “If somebody burns a lamp in the temple of Lord Shri Hari even for a short time (in the month of Kartik), then whatever sins, he has acquired for millions of kalpas (one kalpa equals 1000 yugas) are all destroyed.” “A person, who for the entire month of Kartik eats only once a day, becomes very famous, powerful and heroic.” “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.”  SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI SHRI SATNAM SAKHI

“Of all gifts, the gift of a lamp during the month of Kartik is the best. No gift is its equal.” “The pious result obtained by bathing in all holy places and giving all charities is not equal to one ten-millionth part of the result obtained by following the vow of Kartik.”



Kartik month  

Kartik month