Karthika Masam (month) falls in Sharad Rythu, Uttara bhagam and the whole month is considered to be auspicious. The month gets its name based on full moon position and star in which it is situated. Since the full moon is in Krithika Nakshatram this month gets the name “Karthika Masam”.
Karthika Masam is the month of fasting and very good month to be close to lord Shiva.
Months from Ashadam to Karthika are called Upasana kalam. (Ashadam, Sravanam, Bhadrapada, Aasveyujam).
It is said, lord Shiva is watching everyone during this Upasana kalam and bless them accordingly.
Karthika Masam is considered to be very auspicious for Hindu’s. Both Shiva and Kesava (Lord Vishnu) like this month and people perform poojas during this month. River bath and performing vratham is considered very auspicious in this month.
Skanda Purana quotes:
Na karthika samoumasona kruthena samam yugam,
Na vedasadrusham shastram na tirtham gangaya samam.
No masam is equal to karthika masam, no Yuga is equal to satya Yuga, no science is equal to vedas, no other river is equal to ganga.
Maharshi Vasista explained the importance of Karthika Masam to King Janaka, later Sutha explained in detail to Shaunaka and other muni/sages. Every day in this month is considered to be auspicious, one has to know what acts will benefit them and can bestow with blessings.
Bath in river, upavasa, deeparadhana, deepa danam, salagrama Pooja, vana samaradhana are the rituals / acts to be performed in this month.
It is believed Sri Maha Vishnu resides in ponds, wells, and canals, so taking bath in them is prescribed to be best. If one cannot bathe in them, they can presume that all the sacred rivers water is in the water they have and take bath before sunrise.
Karthika Shuddha Padyami: Taking bath early in the morning and visiting the nearest temple and make a sankalpam (Oath) that let the almighty bless them to complete the karthika vratam without any hindrances, later see the akasadeepam.
Vidhiya: it is a day of inviting and felicitating brothers and sisters. If the sister is married, going to her home and having food made by her and present her gifts. Puranas state one who does will not be effected by Yama gandam.
Tanya: performing Kum Kum Pooja to Parvati Devi will bless women with a long life of the husband.
Chavithi: chavithi falling after Deepavali Amavasya is called as Nagula chavithi and celebrated as a festival, serving Nagendra (Snake lord) with the Bhavana that it is shiva roopa will bestow with all riches and take away illness.
On nagula chavithi, cow milk has to be offered in the ant hill in which snake rests, along with milk chalimidi, chimili, bananas, etc are offered. Children also burn crackers.
Lord Subramaniam is worshiped as illavelpu (family god), Subramaniam is depicted as a snake in India.
Panchami: known as Gyana Panchami, people performing Subramaniam archana as believed to be blessed with knowledge.
Shasti: offering / donating red color cloth to a bachelor bestows couple with children.
Sapthami: Offering / donating wheat wrapped in a red cloth will bestow a person with the long life.
Ashtami: Known as Gopalashtami, worshipping cow will give special results and bestow with riches.
Navami: starting from this day for 3 days Vishnu Trirathri vratam has to be performed.
Dashami: Perform Maha Vishnu Pooja at a temple.
Ekadashi: Known as Bodhanekadashi, Performing Vishnu Pooja gives best in life.
Dwadashi: Known as Kshirabdhi Dwadashi, in the evening worshipping Lord Vishnu in Damodhara roopam by placing the idol under Usiri (amla) tree and Tulsi tree will destroy all sins of a person.
Triyodashi: Offering / donating Sali grama will take away all the problems in life.
Chaturdashi: Known as Pashana Chaturdashi, celebrating it will give positive results in all works.
Karthika pournami: Very very auspicious day, taking bath in a river and lighting lamps in a lord Shiva temple will destroy all sins. Performing Sri Satyanarayana vratam will remove all dosha’s.
Karthika Bahula Padyami: Offering / donating Green leaf veggies will bring good luck.
Vidhiya: having Vanabhojanam will give good results over all.
Tadiya: Offering Tulasi mala (Garland) to guru/teacher and pandit/priest will bless with the increase in intellectual.
Chavithi: fasting during day and worshipping lord Ganesha with garika (grass) and placing the garika under pillow will relieve from bad dreams and bless with riches.
Panchami: offering nuka (broken rice) to ants and feeding rice to dogs will give good results in life.
Shasti: worshipping Grama devatha is good.
Sapthami: worshipping Lord Shiva with a garland made of Jilledu (madar) flowers will bless with riches.
Astami: reciting Kalabhairava ashtakam and offering a garland made of Gara (Vada) will bless with riches.
Navami: offering a tumbler made of silver or copper with water in it will make forefathers happy.
Dashami: Doing anna danam will please maha Vishnu and your wishes will come true.
Ekadashi: Lighting lamps, reading / listening to Puranas, jagarana in a Vishnu temple will give special benefits.
Dwadashi: annadanam or self-cooked food offering will bring good results.
Triyodashi: Worshipping Navagraha will remove all graha related doshas.
Chaturdi: On this Masa Shiva Rathri, performing Shivarchana, abhishekam will avoid untimely death and relieve of problems of grahas.
Amavasya: Offering / donating Dal, Salt, and other food items or performing anna danam will relieve ancestors of Naraka and can enjoy Swarga.
Bathing, offering danam and doing japam will give a lot of good results, people who cannot do them should at least fast, visit a temple and light a lamp on a Ekadashi or Dwadashi or Poornima or a Monday.
Fasting during the day and performing Rudrabhishekam in shiva temple and lighting earthen lamps with 365 wicks and cow ghee will destroy all sins, enjoy all the comforts of this world and find a place in punya lokam.
Bhagvan nama sankirthana, offering deepa, dhoopa, nivedyam will give mental peace, spirituality and happiness which can’t be described.