Legend Behind Karthik Purnima : One of the great sacred texts,
Mahabharata demonstrates the story behind the holiness of Karthik
purnima. According to that, demon Taraka was killed by Kartikeya (Lord
Shiva’s son). Tarakasura’s three sons – Taraksha, Kamalaksha and
Vidyunmali. Usually demons are very intelligent and strong but they
misuse their knowledge and powers.
These three demons performed a severe penance for Brahma and got a boon
that they would live for thousand years in three strong, moving cities
called as Tripuri and they could only be destructed by an arrow which
makes the cities into one and sets them to fire.
After the end of thousand years of the negative rule of the three
demons, the Gods went to Lord Shiva and prayed to him to demolish the
asuras. Lord Shiva performed ‘Rudra Tandava’ (Dance of Lord Shiva which
is like an earthquake and also known as ‘Dance of Destruction’). ‘Rudra
Tandava’ rocked the three cities – ‘Tripuri’. Lord Shiva’s arrow pierce
through the three asuras at a time and the fire from his third eye burnt
As a commemoration of the demolition of the demons which occured on the
Full Moon day, the event is celebrated as Karthik Purnima or Tripuri
Poornima. Kartik pournami is also called as Dev Diwali as it is a
brighter day for the Gods who fought against the demons to destroy the
evil powers of them.
Rituals and Customs of Karthik Purnima : On the day of Kartik Purnima,
devotees perform ceremonial bath in the early morning and worship Lord
Shiva. In South India, devotees burn a small bundle of cotton threads
which are called as ‘Vatthulu’, which represents the burning of evilness
in the world.
Women light ‘Deepaks’ (Kartik Deepams) in the evening and they perform a
ritual of leaving those deepaks in nearest pond or lake.
Samudra Snan (Ritualistic bath) and Vanabhojanams (garden parties) are the popular rituals throughout India.