Karthika Deepam

What You Must Do On the Day of Lamp Festival to Brighten Your Spirits


Thiruvannamalai Temple Represents Fire Element of Lord Shiva

Karthigai Deepam is a popular festival celebrated in the southern parts and symbolizes the festival of lights. It is celebrated on the full moon day in the Karthigai month. Karthigai Deepam is also known as Karthika Deepam, Karthiga Villaku, Thiru Karthigai, Karthigai Nakshatra, Vishnu Deepam and Bharani Deepam.

According to Vedic texts, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu quarreled with each other over their individual supremacy in terms of power and strength. Lord Shiva disturbed by their arguments appeared in front of them as a flame of fire and wanted the two Gods to find the end of the flame from top to bottom. Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and Lord Vishnu took the form of a Varaha. Finally, none of them found the flame. Lord Shiva returned to His divine form and they realized about the infiniteness and supreme power of Lord Shiva. Karthigai Deepam is the day when Lord Shiva emerged as a flame of fire.

When Six Divine Flames of Lord Shiva Merged to Form Lord Muruga

There’s another version to this ancient tale, Lord Muruga took the form of six flames that appeared from the Lord Shiva’s third eye. These six flames took the form of six babies that were nurtured by the Karthika sisters near the banks of Saravana Poigai Lake. On this day, these six babies were embraced by Goddess Parvati and joined into one great force – Lord Arumuga or Skanda or Muruga. Karthigai Deepam is also dedicated to the worship of Lord Muruga.

Yet another reference mentions that Lord Muruga taught the actual meaning of the Pranava mantra ‘Om’ to Lord Shiva. Deepam (lamps) represent that Lord Shiva understood the meaning of the word ‘Om’. Lord Shiva was enlightened by knowing the meaning of the word ‘Om’. Karthika Deepam gives the power to say no to all bad temptations in life.

Simple Ways to Celebrate Karthika Deepam

— Cleanse yourself first in the morning then clean your house and draw kolams/rangoli of various geometric patterns and colors at your doorstep and in front of you puja altar to welcome deities to the house.

— Agal is a beautiful lamp made of earthern mud or terracotta that is lit at all corners including the main entrance and also in front of the house.

— You can undertake a fast if you want, prepare special dishes that can be eaten at dusk after the fast is broken.

— Since Karthigai Deepam is a lamp festival, the entire house is decorated with plenty of lamps of varied sizes and shapes like Lakshmi Lamp, Kuthu Villakku, Gajalakshmi Lamp etc.

— Offer your delicacies to the gods you worship and see how divinity and positivity spreads around your place of dwelling. People pray for the longevity and welfare of their family members.

— If one can visit Tiruvanamalai, you’d be lucky to watch the Karthigai Deepam, a massive glow of light on the hill to the chant of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ or you could also watch it live on your favourite channel on television.

— Overall, the lamps, the festivity and the spirituality of Karthika Deepam remind us that goodness and optimism is what is needed to tide over evil and negativity.

A Day to Usher In Good Fortune

In Andhra Pradesh, on Karthigai Deepam, a lamp with 365 wicks is lit to ward off all troubles and reciting Karthiga Puranam is considered very auspicious as it will bring wealth and good fortune.

Lighting the lamps on Karthigai Deepam day protects us from evil eyes and evil forces and helps bring peace and prosperity in our life. Praying honestly to God and offering special rituals on Karthigai deepam gives the power to shed off fear and bring success in all spheres of life.