Kartik Month 2023: Know significance, history, rituals and more
In the Hindu lunar calendar, Kartik is the most sacred month. Typically, it falls between October and November in the English calendar. The scriptures depict Kartik Maas, also called Damodar Maas, as the greatest month to do austerities.
Kartik, also called "Kartika" or "Karthika," is a month in the Hindu lunar calendar. It typically falls between October and November in the Gregorian calendar. Kartik is considered one of the holiest months in Hinduism and holds special significance for various religious and cultural observances, including the celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights. During Kartik month, devout Hindus often perform rituals, fasting, and prayers to seek blessings, purify their souls, and express devotion to their deities. The specific dates of Kartik month may vary from year to year based on the lunar calendar.
Kartik Month also known as Damodar Month (Maas), is the greatest month of the year where a devotee can purify himself in the holy month. Lord Shri Krishna is very fond of the month of Kartik. There is so much Bhakta Vatsalya this month. Even the slightest vrata will have a significant impact. Kartik Vratas, or the festival of presenting lights to Lord Krishna, commemorates the pastime of Lord Krishna being bound with ropes by Mother Yashoda and has an effect that lasts for one hundred lifetimes.
In some places, Kartik Month began on October 28 (Saturday) while others will start observing from October 29 (Sunday) to November 28, 2023.
The twelve-month calendar described in the Puranas (Vedic Scriptures) has each month controlled by a different avatar of Lord Vishnu. The months are arranged in accordance with the Nakshatra pattern; Kartik is one of these months, overseen by Damodar Bhagavan, and the Nakshatra pattern there is Kirtika (another name for Radharani based on her mother's name Kirtida). Krishna enjoys the month of Kartik because he is Bhakt-Vatsal (close to the heart), much as Radharani enjoys this month.
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).
The celebration of Kartik, which glorifies Lord Krishna by offering lamps, recounts the moment when Mother Yashoda bound Lord Krishna with ropes. The Puranas glorify the practise of observing vrata throughout the month of Kartik.
“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).
While giving Krishna her breast milk on Diwali Day, Mother Yasoda had to put Him down to tend to the boiling milk pan on the fire. When Krishna broke His mother's butter pots, He gave the contents to the monkeys as He was so unhappy. Mother Yashoda punished Krishna for his mischievous attitude by tying him with a rope to a sizable grinding mortar in the courtyard. The rope was too short by two fingers for her to tie around Krishna's waist. She tried again and again, adding more and more ropes, however, the ropes never got very long. Then, out of mercy for His tired Mother, Krishna consented to be bound. When Krishna was alone, he split two yamala-arjuna trees with a mortar, sending them tumbling to the ground. Narada Muni had cursed the sons of Kuber, Nalakuvera and Manigriva, who were imprisoned in these trees. They were now liberated.
Other festivals in this month:
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, Rasa-lila, Appearance of Radha-kund and many other festivals take place.