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Kartik Purnima: Festival of Dev Deepawali

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 on the 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 Kartik Purnamashi, 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 Palitana on 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 Mela in 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)


Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi