Kartik Purnima Snan falls on purnima tithi of Shukla paksha in the month of Kartik according to the Hindu calendar. It is believed that Lord Vishnu took Matsya Avatar on the eve of Kartik Purnima. So bathing in river Ganges, lighting lamps on its banks and donating things to the needy on this day gives results equivalent to the results of 10 yagyas. This year Kartik Purnima is falling on 12th of November 2019.
King Bhageerath brought Ganga to the Earth. The king was suffering from a curse of a Brahmin. He underwent intense penance and brought river Ganga to the Earth. River Ganga is pure and possesses the religious power of all sacred ponds, rivers and lakes in the world put together. It is believed that a devotee who bathes for even once in the river derives the benefit of bathing in all sacred water bodies.
As the Ganga snan is always merit-bestowing, when a holy bath is taken in the sacred river on this day, one gets infinite merits. Hence millions of devotees, ascetics and saints throng to the places where Ganga resides. These places include Prayag (Ganga), Haridwar (Ganga), Ujjain (Kshipra) and Tryambakeshwar – Nashik (Godavari). All religious rituals and spiritual practices such as chanting performed at the banks of River Ganges bestow benefits thousand times more when compared with other days. The benefits of auspicious karmas performed after having a spiritual bath in the river are infinitely more than other times. Many devotees have a holy bath in this sacred river with the intention of nullifying their sins.
Benefits of Ganga Snan on Kartik Purnima:
Taking bath in the sacred river gives the benefit of bathing in all the sacred ponds and rivers in the world.
Bathing in Ganga destroys the devotee’s sins committed knowingly or unknowingly.
Devotees who take bath in river Ganga on this pious day attain freedom from bondage.
Hindus believe that any rituals performed at the banks of this river will bring fortune and wash away impurities.
The Purana – ancient Hindu scriptures say that the sight, name, and touch of the river bestows heavenly blessings.
Devotees having a bath in the river on this day should also perform fast, havan and feed the needy and poor. It is believed that by doing this the pain and suffering of the performer’s life end.
Rituals performed by devotees on Kartik Purnima:
On this day, devotees get up very early and take the holy dip at the time of sunrise. They offer arghya to the rising Sun and offer prayers to the Sun God. While taking the holy dip, devotees express their gratitude towards Goddess Ganga and pray for her divine blessings. People also observe a day-long fast and perform Rudra Abhishek by bathing Lord Shiva in milk and honey. Satya Narayan vrat is also performed on Kartik Purnima.
For Hindus, Kartik Purnima is one of the most sacred days in the Hindu calendar. Ganga Snan is a very religious and important ritual to be performed by the Hindu devotees on this day. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal all over the country. The festivities may vary from region to region but the spirit of this festival remains unchanged.