Karthigai or Krithika is one of the 27 nakshatras in Vedic astrology. The day this star appears is celebrated as Krithigai. As we know the 27 nakshatras follow a certain sequence based on Moon and when Moon moves to Krithika constellation, it is observed as Krithigai or Karthika Vratam. This festival is dedicated for Lord Muruga as it is His birth star. Special pujas and rituals for Lord Muruga are performed to please Muruga for His blessings.
Karthika Vratam 2023
Mon , 2nd Jan 2023
Legend of Krithigai Vratam
Skanda Purana talks volumes about Lord Muruga, events associated with His birth, childhood, His bravery in war, His penance, and His kundalini yoga skills. Lord Muruga was created from the Third eye of Lord Shiva in the form of 6 fiery flames that later became six baby boys. These six babies were taken to their foster mothers or Karthigai Pengal- Celestial maidens by Lord Agni and Lord Vayu. They nurtured and cared for the six babies until their boyhood. Once they attained boyhood, Goddess Parvati in the form of Vameshvari, amalgamated all six boys into a single boy with six heads and named him Shanmuga- A lord with six faces. He went onto win huge battles with demons and guard Pleiadeans, unveil Kundalini techniques to the mankind.
Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati blessed Karthigai maidens with a boon that their day will be celebrated as Karthigai Nakshatra and will be special for Lord Muruga. Thus, honouring Karthigai Nakshatra is perceived as honouring Lord Karthikaya as well.
Significance of Krithigai Vratam
This Krithika Star has two presiding deities, Lord Agni (Fire element) and Lord Muruga. Sanskrit word Kritika means "Sharp Spear" or "Critical" and denotes destruction of toxic masculinity, negativity, and mental impurities. Lord Muruga or Lord Skanda or Karthikeya who is the Commander in chief of the Celestial Army of Godly Forces was said to be born in this Nakshatra. Lord Agni is a lord with Seven Sharp fiery Tongues, and He signifies burning desire for knowledge. Observing this festival or any pooja ritual on this special star boosts mental and spiritual wealth.
This festival is very famous in South India and people follow this vrat with utmost devotion. The devotee takes a holy bath early hour or in the brahma muhurtha. The house is cleaned and the pooja altar is set up. Devotees fast all day on Krithigai and break their fast after evening pooja. An Idol or a picture of Lord Muruga is placed in the centre or on a pedestal with flower decorations. Traditionally, people make a live lamp out of rice flour and jaggery called Maa Vilakku, lighting it with ghee is very considered auspicious. Perform hydration ceremony (Abhishekam) to the idol, offer flowers or garlands. Lamps, Incense sticks or Dhoop, sandal paste, Holy ash, neivedhyam- preferrably milk payasam are offered to Lord Subrahmanya during arati. Pooja rituals are performed both morning and evening. Slokas chanted include Tamizh slokas like Kanda Shasti Kavacham, Kanda Sashti Kavacham and Subramanya Ashtotra.
The Krithika nakshatra of Tamizh month of Aadi or Vedic Ashada month that falls between July - August is considered highly auspicious for spiritual pursuits. It is said that divine forces descend down in this month to bless the Earthlings and are readily available to answer our prayers. In the yogic world, Aadi or Ashada month falls in the Dakshinayana, when the Sun transits from Southern Hemisphere from the Northern hemisphere. This is the time period to turn to the Gurus, Lord Muruga being the Guru of the Gurus- Gnanaguru who preached the meaning of OM- sound to Lord Shiva, this month's Karthigai is special.
Benefits of Krithigai Vratam
All Karthika Vratam dates in 2023 and Karthika Nakshatra Timing
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Jan 02, 2:24 PM - Jan 03, 4:26 PM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Jan 29, 8:21 PM - Jan 30, 10:15 PM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Feb 26, 3:59 AM - Feb 27, 5:18 AM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Mar 25, 1:19 PM - Mar 26, 2:01 PM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Apr 21, 10:59 PM - Apr 22, 11:24 PM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : May 19, 7:29 AM - May 20, 8:02 AM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Jun 15, 2:12 PM - Jun 16, 3:07 PM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Jul 12, 7:43 PM - Jul 13, 8:52 PM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Aug 09, 1:32 AM - Aug 10, 2:29 AM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Sep 05, 9:00 AM - Sep 06, 9:20 AM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Oct 02, 6:24 PM - Oct 03, 6:03 PM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Oct 30, 4:42 AM - Oct 31, 4:01 AM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Nov 26, 2:05 PM - Nov 27, 1:35 PM
Karthika Nakshatra Timing : Dec 23, 9:19 PM - Dec 24, 9:19 PM