|2020 Happy Karthigai Deepam greetings. fancygreetings.com|
|2020 Katthigai deepam festival, Thiruvannamalai, TN. thehindu.com|
|Arunachala hill, Thiruvannamalai, TN, Karthigai Deepam.cybernag.in|
Karthigai (also spelled Karthikai) Deepam is yet another popular Hindu festival that normally falls on the evening of the full Moon day in the Tamil month of Karthigai (mid-Nov to mid-Dec). From Astronomy point of view, it is linked to the brightest star in the firmament Alcyone, in the Pleiades constellation. This festival is celebrated with more religious fervor in the southern sate of Tamil Nadu than elsewhere where the huge and popular Arunachaleswarer temple dedicated to God Shiva (Agni's sthalam), Thiruvannamalai gets the attentions of millions of devotees who throng the temple to watch the two week long-drawn festival beginning earlier with flag-hoisting on the temple premises. The most important part of the festival is the lightening of Bharani deepam in the temple and a huge oil lamp on the crest of the Arunachala mountain near the temple on the 29th of November, 2020 around 6 pm.
|Home-made karthikai deepam. en.wikipedia.org |
A The 3 twigs which hold the charcoal pack
B The exposed charcoal to ignite easily
C The layered charcoal packed in jute sack pieces
D The rope binding
Height might vary from 10 inches to 12 inches or more; Width: 3 to 4-inch width of the charcoal package ( en.wikipedia.org)............................
|Karthigai deepam festival, Kerala Vaikom temple. in.pinterest.com|
Karthigai Deepam, an ancient festival, often associated with God Shiva and God Muruga (Karthikaya) gives much importance to the lighting of oil lamps preferably earthen lamps (made from clay). The spiritual significance on this day is getting rid of ignorance, and ago and inviting knowledge, enlightenment and welfare of the society as a whole. The wick in the lamp symbolizes our ego, the oil represents nature that cultures the ego and the flame signifies the spiritual wisdom and knowledge. The lighting of oil lamps gets rid of the ego (wick) that retards the progress of our welfare by burning it out. Along with also goes out any negativity in our mind and this way our positivity is accentuated. In a way the message of Karthigai deepam is much similar to that of Deepavali festival. This deepam festival also hails the victory of Goddess Parvati over the demon Mahishasura, symbolizing the victory of good over evil forces. On Karthigai Deepam, Hindu families across Tamil Nadu will light the oil lamps in their homes in the evening only after the Bharani deepam is lit atop the Arunachala hill at Thiruvannamalai.
It is at the Arunachala hill, the mythology has it, that God Shiva appeared as a giant column of fire stretching heaven and earth. This is the reason why the huge oil lamp that is lit on the hill gets due importance as part of Karthikai deepam festival. Yet another mythological event is that Lord Muruga (Karthikaya) was born as six flames from the third eye of Lord Shiva and was brought up by six nymphs (called the Karthigai Pengal as six beautiful babies, who were later became unified by Goddess Parvati, consort of God Shiva into a beautiful boy with six faces called Shanmuga.(here, the six faces refer to his six gunas/traits). Third eye The third eye of Lord Shiva (in the fore-head) from all his six faces were used to create Lord Muruga as his son and the faces imply as follows:
Tatpurusha The face of Concealing Grace
Aghora The face of annihilation
Sadyojata The face of Creation
Vamadeva The face of Preservation/Healing/Dissolution/Rejuvenation
Ishana The face of Revealing Grace
The 6th face of shiva specified in literature named sri kanda puranam (Skanda Purana) .............
Chimney starter is similar kind of mechanism used, but it uses fuel to burn charcoal. Rope fire performance is another form of fire dancing and twirling with fired ropes which needs special skills, because the rope is ignited with fuel (from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karthika_Deepam)
Though, the enthusiasm among the Hindus during the Karthigai Deepam festival day is not very much noticeable, their religious fervor is never on the decline, a fact that a small group of people with anti-Hindu sentiments and certain political parties using secularism as a gimmick did not cherish the people becoming more religious than ever before. In a democratic country, hurting the sentiments of others' religious belief is very unfortunate. At stake will be the unity of people in the society and the country at a time when we are facing threats from neighboring theocratic country Pakistan and greedy China which is openly stealing bordering countries's areas.