The first Monday of the month of Kartikam is
considered very powerful. Read on to know more from the story of the
Karkasa, a beautiful girl who turns to a dog and how she returns back to
her beautiful body.
The Day 1 of the Kartika Puranam consists of two sections:
Section 1 primary tells us about how Sage Sootha (Sootha maharshi)
tells the Kartika Puranam to Saunikadi Maha-rishis and Maharshi
Vashistha telling about the rules of the Kartika puranam to King Janaka.
The section was elaborated about what to do during the month and how to
start about. The beautiful explanations by Vashistha keep readers close
to their ears.
Section 2 comprises of a story as a part of the
Kartika Somawara Vratham (the first Monday of Kartika Masam). The story
is about Nishturi, the daughter of a Brahmin, who falls into bad habits
during her teen years. Nisthuri was deep into bad habits that she is
often referred as 'Karkasa' by everyone.
As time for marriage
comes, Karkasa's father decides to marry her to 'Misra Sharma', a
Brahmin from Saurasthra. Misra Sharma is good, humble and a well
educated young Brahmin who follows religious traditions with great
devotion. Karkasa marries Misra Sharma and because of the humble
mentality of Misra Sharma, Karkasa continues to enjoy all she wants to
do. As days pass by, she takes more advantage of the gentleness of Misra
Sharma and begins to shout at and even beat Misra Sharma. Misra Sharma
continues to bear with her even when she does bad things in order not to
hamper the good name earned by his family in the society. Karkasa
however makes use of the situation and continues to be enjoying in the
presence of other men. She even began to have physical relationships
with other men disregarding her husband and in-laws.
One day, one
of her comforts tells her that they are meeting at odd times because of
her husband and that they can enjoy even better when her husband is not
there. The same night, Karkasa kills her husband by banging a large hard
rock on his head. She even takes the dead body to the outskirts of the
city and throws it into an old well. Her in-laws, afraid of her and
unable to do anything, remain calm, and runs away from. With no husband
and in-laws to stop her, Karkasa felt more freedom and enjoyed even
more. She even made men to get her money grabbed from their wives.
As time passed by, her beauty and vigor began to get down. With her
blood becoming lighter, she began to be easily prone to diseases. Since
she had physical intimacy with many men, she was even prone to sexually
transmitted diseases. Soon she lost all her money and began to it find
difficult to get food, water, clothing or even a place to stay. The
diseases have led her to death. No one in the society came forward to
take her to the burial ground.
Upon her death, soldiers from the Yama Lokam - the land of the dead,
comes and takes her to Lord Yama, the Lord of Death. Yama Dharmaraja
assigns a variety of punishments to her. She is made to stick to a
hot-iron pillar as punishment for ignoring her husband and spending time
with other men. She is banged in her head with a hot mace for killing
her husband. Hot mercury is poured into her ears for shouting at her
husband and beating him. Because of her cruel acts, her family in the
prior ten ages and the later ten ages were also made to suffer. After
suffering in the Yama loka for some ages, she is allowed to be born on
earth as a dog for fifteen ages.
In her fifteenth age, she took birth in the land of Kalinga as a dog.
She used to stay at the house of a Brahmin. The Brahmin who was
following the traditions during the month of Kartikam, at night, has
left some food outside his house which the dog eats. As soon as the dog
ate the food, she began to get to know her past and began to shout for
help. The Brahmin comes out of the house and was first surprised seeing a
dog speak. He then enquires what has happened to her. The dog tells him
that she was born as a dog for 14 times prior to her current life and
that she does not know how she was able to get to know what has happened
to her in her past lives.
The Brahmin, using his power, gets to know the whole episode of the
dog, and tells it about what has happened in the past. The dog, upon
knowing her past, began to beg the Brahmin for Moksha. He then decides
to transfer the Punya gained by him on one of his Kartika Somavaram (The
Monday of Kartika Masam) to the dog. The dog upon taking the punya,
leaves the avatar of the dog and turns in to a beautiful woman.
"Hence, you should follow the Kartika Somavaram", says Vashistha to King Janaka.