Thiruk kArththikai

Thiruk kArththikai is one of the auspicious vratas observed by the devotees. It comes in the kArththikai star in the month of kArththikai (mid November to mid December). Throughout the month lamps are lit in the front of the house in the evening and the morning. On the Thiruk kArththikai day the whole house is decorated with the oil lamps. ThiruvaNNA malai is famous for Thiruk kArththikai.

Once Brahma and Vishnu due to the ego started arguing with each other " who is the greatest". Both claimed to be the greatest, instead of doing their duty. At that time the God appeared in the form of fire and told them whoever finds the top or bottom of the fire is the greatest. Brahma took the form of Annam (a bird) and tried to find the top of the file pillar. Vishnu took the form of VarAha( giant pig) and tried to see the bottom of the pillar. As the God has no limit in His size or power, both of them could not see either top or bottom of the fire. When their ego went down and they prayed the God, He appeared before them. The day in which the God appeared as a pillar of fire is Thiruk kArththikai.

This vradha indicates the non measurable infiniteness of the God and shows that the God is the light that will drive away our ignorance. Lamps are lit in the houses to pray His "Jyothi Swarupam".

kArthigai festival
Reference to kArthikai in thirumuRai:
 
வளைக்கை மடநல்லார் மாமயிலை வண்மறுகில் 
துளக்கில் கபாலீச் சரத்தான்தொல் கார்த்திகைநாள் 
தளத்தேந் திளமுலையார் தையலார் கொண்டாடும் 
விளக்கீடு காணாதே போதியோ பூம்பாவாய். 		2.47.3 
Reference to kArthikai in sangam literature:
 
"..... மதி நிறைந்து,  
அறுமீன் சேறும் அகல்இருள் நடுநாள்:  
மறுகுவிளக் குறுத்து, மாலை தூக்கிப்,  
பழவிறல் மூதூர்ப் பலருடன் துவன்றிய   
 விழவு.....  "   - akan^AnURu 141 
 
"அருவி ஆன்ற உயர்சிமை மருங்கில்   
 பெருவிழா விளக்கம் போலப் "   - akam 184 
 
"நலமிகு கார்த்திகை நாட்டவர் இட்ட 
தலைநாள் விளக்கின் தகையுடைய ஆகிப்" - kAr nARpathu 
 

See Also:
1. umA mahEshwara vrata observed on the Karthigai paurNami.

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