Saturday, October 23, 2010
Kartik – The Holiest Month
Kartik is the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar. It usually overlaps with the months October & November in the English calendar. Kartik Maas, also known as Damodar Maas, is described in the scriptures as the best among months for performing austerities.
Lord Shri Krishna says, “Of all plants, the sacred Tulasi is most dear to Me; of all months, Kartik is most dear, of all places of pilgrimage, My beloved Dwarka is most dear, and of all days, Ekadashi is most dear.” (Padma Purana, Uttara Khand 112.3)
Kartik or the festival of offering lamps to Lord Krishna, glorifies Lord Krishna’s pastime of being bound with ropes by Mother Yashoda. Observing vrata in the month of Kartik is glorified in the Puranas.
“As Sat-yuga is the best of yugas (ages), as the Vedas are the best among scriptures, as Ganga is best of rivers, so Kartik is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Krishna.” (Skanda Purana)
This vrata began yesterday and one may observe the following foremost activities throughout the entire month of Kartik:
Japa – chanting the holy names of the Lord.
Worship the Lord by offering ghee lamps (diyas), flowers, incense, food, etc.
Practice brahmacharya – celibacy.
Worship of Tulasi Devi.
The month of Kartika is the best of all months, and it is in this month that many special festivals like Dhan-Teras, Diwali, Govardhan Puja, Bhai Duj, Tulsi Vivaah and various others take place.
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.”
“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.”
More about the Glories of Offering a lamp during Karttika
In the Skanda Purana it is said: “When one offers a lamp during the month of Karttika, his sins in many thousands and millions of births perish in half an eye blink.”
It is further said: “Please hear the glories of offering a lamp during pleasing to Lord Kesava. O King of brahmanas, a person who offers a lamp in this way will not take birth again in this world.”
“By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one attains a pious result ten million times greater than the result obtained by bathing at Kuruksetra during a solar eclipse or by bathing in the river Narmada during a lunar eclipse.
O Tiger of sages, for a person who thus offers a lamp burning with ghee or sesame oil, what is the use of performing an asvasmedha-yajia?
“Even if there are no mantras, no pious deeds, and no purity, everything becomes perfect when a person offers a lamp during the month of Karttika.
“A person who during the month of Karttika offers a lamp to Lord Kesava has already performed all yajnas and bathing in all holy rivers.
“The ancestors say: When someone in our family pleases Lord Kesava by offering to Him a lamp during the month of Karttika, then, by the mercy of the Lord who holds the Sudarsana-cakra in His Hand, we will all attain liberation.”
It is further said: “By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one burns away a collection of sins as big as Mount Meru or Mount Mandara. Of this there is no doubt.
“A person who offers a lamp during the month of Karttika attains a result that cannot be obtained with even a hundred yajnas or a hundred pilgrimages.
“Even a person addicted to all sins and averse to all pious deeds who somehow offers a lamp during Karttika becomes purified. Of this there is no doubt.”
“O Narada, no sin exists anywhere in the three worlds that will not be purified by offering a lamp to Lord Kesava during Karttika.”
“A person who offers a lamp to Lord Krsna during Karttika attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.”
“As fire is present in all wood and may be extracted by friction, so piety is always present in the offering of a lamp during the month of Karttika. Of this there is no doubt.
It is further said: “O King of brahmanas, when someone offers Him a lamp on the full-moon day of the month of Karttika, Lord Krishna, finding that He does not have sufficient money to repay that gift, gives Himself in exchange for that lamp.
In the Padma Purana it is said: “One who offers a steady lamp to Lord Hari during the month of Karttika enjoys pastimes in Lord Hari’s splendid spiritual world.
(found in the Padma Parana of Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa, spoken by Satyavrata Muni in a conversation with Narada Muni and Saunaka Rsi)
We warmly welcome you and your family to ISKCON Scarborough on Fridays(6.30pm),Saturdays(6.30pm) and Sunday(10.30am) to offer ghee lamp to Lord Damodar.