Saturday, 2 July 2011

Kartik Ekadashi or Haribodhini or Prabodhini:

his is the 11th day of kartik bright fortnight or the Kartik Ekadashi and is regarded as the day of Lord Hari or Vishnu. This day also coincides with the end of Vishnu's four months sleep, known as Prabodidhiny ekadasi (Awaking Eleventh).
Devotees are said to observe fasts and rigorous penances to seek knowledge. All meritorious actions done on this day are said to return with thousand fold credits. Perhaps this has the link with Sun's movement to the southern hemisphere and the Winter. tulasi puja is celebrated on the 12th day of the month.

Significance of Tulasi plant Uthana Dwadasi (Thulasi festival): This festival falls on Karthika Shudha Dwadasi, in the month of alpisi. The Thulasi plant is considered to be a very sacred plant and the leaves of Thulasi are used as garlands in Vishnu temples. It is believed that God can be propitiated by offering a single Thulasi leaf, which is available even to the poorest among the poor. There is a well known Mythological story "Sri Krishna Thulabharam", of how a single leaf of Thulasi tilted the balance, when the entire wealth of Sathyabhama, could not out weigh Sri Krishna. Thulasi leaves have many medicinal properties and is also used as a herb in cooking, in many parts of the world.

The Pooja to Thulasi plant in the Brindavan, is usually performed in the evening on that day, in presence of invited ladies. A twig of the Gooseberry tree (Nellikkai or Amla) with a few fruits, which represents Sri Krishna, is set by the side of the Thulasi plant, in the well decorated Brindavan. This is considered to be the wedding of Krishna and Thulasi. Lamps made out of five gooseberries are lit in front of the Brindavan and oil lamps are lit all over the house, and Arathi is performed to Thulasi. The Pooja ends with distribution of betel leaf, nut and fruits to the invitees.

Vaikunth Chaturdashi
This is celebrated on the 14th day of the first fortnight. This day glorifies the relationship between Shiva and Vishnu. This is also the day Vishnu got his Chakra from Shiva.

Kartik or Tripura Purnima or Deepa dan: This falls on the 15th of the full moon day of Kartik, alluding to Shiva's destruction of the demon Tripura and signifies the subjugation of evil and fostering goodness. Fireworks and illuminations of houses make the God's celebration of their victory. It is therefore also called the Dev-Didiwali or Diwali of the Gods.

Vysa Puja: On Kartik Full Moon day, Veda Vyasa, the compiler of the Vedas is worshipped. A similar day is Ashada Full Moon, known as Guru Puja when every student worships his own Guru.

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