Vaikuntha Chaturdashi – Worship of Lord Shiva and Vishnu
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What is Vaikuntha Chaturdashi?
The Shukla Paksha Chaturdasi of the Kartik month is called Vaikuntha Chaturdasi or Baikunth Chaudash. In Rishikesh, the day is observed as Deep Daan Mahotsav to mark the occasion of Lord Vishnu waking up out of his sleep. This day is also known as Kartik snan day by the Vishnu devotees.
Who is worshiped on this day?
Lord Shiva and Vishnu are revered on this Day.
Devotees keep a fast on this day which ends at the time of dawn on the next day.
When is Vaikuntha Chaturdashi?
Vaikuntha Chadurdasi has two legends one involving Lord Vishnu and Shiva the other containing Dhaneshwar a sinner and Lord Shiva.
As per Shiva Purana, Once Lord Vishnu left his abode Vaikuntha and set off to Varnasi to worship Lord Shiva on this Day. He had vowed to revere Lord Shiva with 1000 lotuses and sing hymns praising him. It so happened, that one of the lotuses from the 1000 lotuses went missing. The lord of Vaikuntha also known as kamala Kannan, meaning ‘Lotus eyed, plucked off one of his eyes and offered it to Lord Shiva. Pleased with Vishnu’s devotion Lord Shiva restored his eyes and awarded him with his scared weapon the Sudarsana Chakra.
Dhaneshwar was released from hell and got a place in Vaikuntha!
Once there lived a Brahmin named Dhaneshwar who spent his whole life committing several sins, To wash away the sins he visited the Godavari river, as it was Vaikuntha chadurdasi day the banks of the river Godavari was crowded, he was mixed in the crowd. Later when he died, his soul was produced before Lord Yama to be sent to hell for punishment, but Lord Shiva intervened and moved him to heaven as he was touched by the devotees of the Vaikuntha chadurdasi, whose mere touch cleansed Dhaneshwar of his Sins.
Fasting is the main ritual that is to be followed on this day.
Devotees wake up early, bath and wear clean clothes.
Flowers, Lamps and sandalwood are offered to Lord Vishnu.
Devotess offer 1000 lotuses and recite the Vishnu Saharsanama.
Rituals at Varnasi.
On the Vaikuntha Chaturdasi day Lord Vishnu is given a special place in the Kashi Vishwanath temple. The temple is considered to be Vaikuntha. Today Lord Vishnu is said to offer tulsi to Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva is said to offer Bilva leaves to Lord Vishnu. Devotees worship both the deities with fervor. People fast and offer sandalwood paste, Turmeric mixed rice, the sacred water of the Ganges, incense, flowers, earthen lamps and camphor to the deities.
The Kartik, Shukla paksha Chaturdasi day marks the unity of Lord Shiva and Vishnu. As per the legend Lord Vishnu offered Lord Shiva 1000 Lotuses hence, it is believed that devotees who offer 1000 lotuses and light 14 lamps in the banks of the river in the evening are relieved from their suffering and reach the Baikunth Dham after death.
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