Yesterday, on October 18, 2013, was Sharad Poornimaa. Sharad Poornimaa is the most important Poornimaa of the year among the 12 Poornimaa. This was Aashwin Maas Poornimaa. Almost the whole month was of festival month. First 15 days were dedicated to our Pitri (ancestors), next 9 days were dedicated to 9 forms of Durgaa, the next day was dedicated to Raam's victory over Raavan - Dashaharaa; and this last day of the month, Poornimaa, was the most important Poornimaa of the year - Sharad Poornimaa.
From today starts the holiest month of the year - Kaarttik Maas. It is the most favorite month for both Vishnu and Shiv. Vishnu who slept on Aashaadh Shukla Ekaadashee wakes up on Kaarttik Shukla Ekaadashee - after 4 months of sleep. This is the greatest thing for Vishnu Bhakt. A lot has been said in Puraan in the praise of this month. This month has been said to be the sin destroying month.
Whatever Poojaa you do in this month gives great Punya (merit) to the doer, that is why one must do at least something to earn Punya, if not all, such as - Jaap of Hari's name. Snaan in Brahm Muhoort, Deep Daan (lighting lamp) in the house or a temple, fasts (any kind of fast which is possible for you), any kind of Daan (charity), daily Aamalaa or Peepal or Tulasee tree worship, lighting lamp near Tulasee plant, applying Tilak from Tulasee's soil etc are the most Punya giving actions of this month.
About Snaan, Shiv Jee says to his son Kaarttikeya - "O my dear son, Taking bath in this month before sunrise is equal to taking bath in the holiest of holiest rivers, and sleeping on the ground in this month is equal to donating a piece of land to Braahman."
Padm Puraan gives an interesting story about Deep Daan - Once in a temple of Vishnu, there lived a mouse who used to eat the ghee from the extinguished ghee lamps which had been offered by devotees to Him. One day when she felt hungry to eat ghee, she tried to eat the ghee from a lamp which was not yet extinguished fully. While eating ghee from the lamp, the cotton wick got stuck in her teeth. Since the ghee wick had a flame, the mouse started jumping in front of the Deity and thus died due to fire. But Vishnu accepted the jumping of that mouse with a lit ghee wick in her mouth as His Aaratee and so He liberated her - the highest goal of one's life. If somebody lights a lamp in a Vishnu temple even for a short time in the month of Kaarttik, his millions of sins acquired from million Kalp (one Kalp equals 1000 Chatur-Yug) are destroyed. This is best Punya Karm during the Kaarttik month.
Next Blog about Festivals in Kaarttik Maas