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Karthigai Deepam 2023 date – Importance of Karthika Deepam - Prayer Chanted In Tamil

Karthigai Deepam is the festival of lights in Tamil Nadu and it is observed on the full moon day (or a day earlier) in the month of Karthigai (November-December). Karthigai Deepam 2023 date is November 26. The main event of the day is the lighting of traditional oil lamps in the evening after sunset. Karthigai is the name of one of the stars or Nakshatras and deepam is the term for light or diya. You can read the prayer chanted on the day in Tamil and English transliteration with meaning.

Note - Tiruvannamalai Karthigai Maha Deepam is held on the evening of November 26, 2023.

On the day, temples, homes and streets are decorated with traditional oil lamps. Special pujas and prayers are held in temples on the day.

The famous Tiruvannamalai Bharani Deepam is held during the period.

The lighting of lamp is an auspicious symbol and it is believed to usher in peace and prosperity.

In Kerala, the festival is known as Thrikarthika or Karthika Vilakku and is held in the month of Vrischika (November – December).

Importance of Karthigai Deepam 

Karthigai Deepam is also observed as Bharani Deepam and Vishnu Deepam in Tamil Nadu and is an auspicious day for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.

Talk about Karthigai Deepam and the picture that comes to mind is that of rows and rows of lamps or ‘vilakku’. On this day, every Hindu home lights the traditional Vilakku (diyas) in the evening. Locally, these lamps are known as ‘agal vilakku.’

The day is also highly auspicious for Lord Muruga devotees as he was taken care by the six Krittika stars and the celebrations on Karthigai commemorate his divine birth. In popular Tamil belief, Karthigai Nakshatra is the birthday of Murukan.

Karthigai Deepam is celebrated as Tirukarttikai in Tamil Nadu, KeralaSri LankaMalaysiaSingaporeSouth Africa and in other parts of the world which has Tamil population. People light lamps outside their home. 

Especially in Tiruvannamalai, rows of lamps are lighted on the hill and this is most popular Karthigai Deepam.

The lighted lamp is an auspicious symbol and it is believed to usher in prosperity and joy.

Greatness Of Karthigai Deepam Explained By Kanchi Maha Periyava

We light up a series of earthen lamps on the day of Karthigai or Kruttika Nakshatram in the month of Karthigai. At that time we have to sing this sloka as given in the shastras:

कीटा: पतङ्गा: मशका: च वृक्षाः
जले स्थले ये निवसन्ति जीवाः|
दृष्ट्वा प्रदीपं न च जन्म भाजा:
सुखिनः भवन्तु श्वपचाः हि विप्रा:||

கீடா: பதங்கா: மசகா: ச வ்ருக்ஷா:
ஜலே ஸ்தலே யே நிவஸந்தி யேவா: |
த்ருஷ்ட்வா ப்ரதீபம் ந ச ஜன்ம பாஜா:
ஸுகின: பவந்து ச்வபசா: ஹி விப்ரா: ||

keetah patangah mashakah cha vrukshah
jale sthale ye nivasanti jivah
drushtva pradeepam na cha janma bhajah
sukhinah bhavantu svapachah hi viprah

"We pray that, whosoever sees this lamp that we are lighting, they be worms, birds or mosquitoes or trees and such plants; all life forms which live in water or on earth; or may be human beings of whatever caste or creed; seeing this light may have the effect on them that all their sins are washed away and they may transcend the cycle of life and death and reach everlasting happiness"!

Significance Of Karthigai Deepam Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi has composed the following Tamil verse to explain the significance of the Karthigai Deepam that is lit on the Arunachala Hill every year. The stanza is as follows:

Ittanuvē nānām enu-madiyai nīttapbuddhi idayattē porundi-aga nōkkāladduvita mā-mey agac-chuḍar-kāṇ gai-bhūmaddi-yenum Aṇṇā malaicchuḍar-kāṇ meyyē.

Meaning: The true significance of seeing the flame (Karthigai Deepam) on Annamalai, which is the Heart centre of the world, is realising the Light of the Real Self that is one without a second, after discarding the notion ‘I am this body’ and making the mind abide in the Heart by attending to the source of the mind (through Self-enquiry and meditation).