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Karthika Masam : Somavara Vratam, significance and rituals

Though all Mondays are considered as the day of Shiva, Monday’s in Karthika masam is special according to the Skanda puranam. One of the name of Lord shiva is Soma, the Lord Someshvara, Who wears the soma, the moon crescent on the matted hair.

The normal process of Karthika Somavara Vratham would be to fast for the whole day, perform the Rudra Abhishekam by chanting the Rudra Namakam and Rudra Chamakam. Then eat after seeing the stars.

Ways to observe the Vratam

Wake up before the dawn

Take bath in a river / pond or a head bath at home

Meditate Lord Shiva

Light the diya when still stars in the sky

Visit ShivaTemples

Perform Rudraabhishekam / If not Archana

Offer Bilva leaves to lord

Take the blessing of an elderly couple as the Parvathi – Parameshwara

One can do complete fasting or till evening with fruits or dinner in the evening

Evening light the Ghee Diya in the Shiva temple with 1000 wicks

Do the Deepa Danam to a brahmin


One who observes this vratam would get to enjoy many pleasures in this world and finally would reach the Kailasham. It is said that The moon has observed this Vratam and got his “moonness”. He saluted the Lord Gauri and Shankara and requested that this Vratam be called “Somavara Vratam” (One of the names of the moon is soma. One of the name of Lord shiva with goddess umA is also soma) and whoever follows this Vratam should get their wishes materialised by the grace of the Lord and finally should get the liberation and God granted his boon.

Long ago a princess called Seemanthini was observing this Vratam regularly. Then two young boys cunningly came as if they were a married couple. The princess worshiped them. The young boys really became male and female couple. The austerous sage Vasishta got the chaste Arundhathi as his wife. One gets blessed by the shiva-shakti on observing this vratam sincerely.

Performing of Ekadasa Rudra Abhishekam

It is considered auspicious to perform “Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam” on Karthika Mondays. Hence many Devotees of Lord Shiva would perform the Ekadasa Rudra Abhishekam, throng the temple who cannot perform them at home. All the Shiva temples do the “Rudra Abhishekam”.

Deepa Daan (offering lamps)

Worship the Lord by offering lamps (diyas), flowers, incense, food, etc. Lighting a diya before the Lord is called as “deep-daan” and affords immense religious merits when performed during the Karthika month.

In the Padma Purana, Karthika Mahatmya, there is a very famous story of a mouse.

In a temple of Lord Vishnu, there was a mouse who used to eat the ghee from the extinguished ghee lamps which had been offered by devotees to Him. One day when she felt hungry to eat ghee, she tried to eat the ghee from a lamp which was not yet extinguished. While eating ghee from the lamp, the cotton wick got stuck in her teeth. Since the ghee wick had a flame, the mouse started jumping in front of the Lord’s Deity form and thus died due to fire. But Lord Sri Vishnu accepted the jumping of that mouse with a lit ghee wick in her mouth as His aarti. In the end, He gave her liberation, the highest destination.

If somebody burns a lamp in the temple of Lord Shri Hari even for a short time (in the month of Karthika), then whatever sins, he has acquired for millions of kalpas (one kalpa equals 1000 yugas) are all destroyed.”

Hence Of all gifts, the gift of a lamp during the month of Karthika is the best. No gift is its equal.”

The Pushkar Puran states, “The person who lights the lamp of sesame (til) oil in the name of Lord Shri Hari in the month of Karthika (during Sandhya) gets unlimited prosperity, beauty, blessedness and wealth.”


Must read : Ayyappa Swamy – Deeksha, Pilgrimage & Devout Worshippers

Must Read : Karthika Masam : Rituals that Blend Your Life

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