We are into the month of Karthigai and Karthigai Deepam is of course the most important festival this month. Karthigai Somavara Vratham for Lord Shiva on Mondays is considered highly meritorious. Ayyappa devotees start the Ayyappa Deeksha Vratam and take a pilgrimage to Sabarimala in this month.
Though Karthigai month festivities are celebrated mostly in South India, in the Northern part of India and mainly Kashi, a very unique festival called 'Vaikunta Chaturdashi' is celebrated in the lunar month of Karthik on Shukla Chaturdashi. Interestingly, it is one of those rarest days jointly dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. As per the Shiva Purana, Lord Vishnu once took sankalpam to offer 1000 lotuses to Lord Shiva while performing Sahasranama puja, and upon completing 999 discovered he is short of one lotus (which was not visible due to Shiva Leela). Thereupon Lord Vishnu who is called the Lotus eyed one, prepared to offer one of his eyes in place of the thousandth lotus. Moved by his love, Lord Shiva appeared and presented him with the most powerful discus Sudarśana Chakra. Since then the chakra became an integral part of Maha Vishnu. This story from Shiva puranam is also referred to in Saint SenthanAr's thirupallandu:
'மாலுக்குச் சக்கரம் அன்றருள் செய்தவன் மன்னிய தில்லைதன்னுள்...'
(The Lord who bestowed the chakra (discus) weapon upon Vishnu, the Lord who dwells in Chidambaram...)
The special significance of Vaikunta Chaturdashi is that it is the only day when Lord Vishnu enjoys special honor in the sanctum of the Shiva temple of Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi, and on this day both Shiva and Vishnu are worshipped. Most remarkably Bilva leaves are offered to Vishnu, and Tulsi is offered to Shiva as both the deities are ritually worshipped as if they are worshipping each other. On the next day, of Kartik Purnima, oil lamps are lit at homes, in the temples, and the ghats of the sacred river Ganga.
The Krittika nakshatram is accorded the foremost position in the Nakshatra sooktham. Astronimically Krittika is one of the hottest and brightest star cluster comprising of six branches (Pleiadus cluster). Traditionally, the six branches are represented by six Krittika PeNgaL. When Lord Murugan manifested as six babies emanating from the six sparks from the eyes of Lord Shiva, the Krittika PeNgaL nurtured them. Later, with mother Parvati's embrace, the six infants conjoined into a single force, thus Lord Murugan became Arumugan on this day. Karthigai celebrates the day of this divine unification of Karthikeyan and also honours the Krittika PeNgaL.
A popular belief associated with Karthigai Deepam is that on this day Lord Shiva appeared before Lord Vishnu and Brahma as a pillar of fire with no end and no beginning. This is celebrated with great fervour at the Arunachaleshwar Temple in Tiruvannamalai with Maha Deepam lit atop the hills. The divine energy of Shiva, emitted in the form of light radiates all over the cosmos. The Arunachala itself is regarded as a manifestation of Shiva rather than just his dwelling place and it is said that Arunachala smaranam with true devotion by itself would propel one towards liberation. There is a saying
"darshanaat aabhra sadasi jananaat kamalaalaye,
kaashyantu maranaan muktih smaranaat arunaachale"
(One gets liberation by darshanam at Chidambaram, by jananam in Thiruvarur, by maraNam in Kashi, while mere smraNam / thought of Arunachala will suffice).
The illumination from lamps is believed to bestow peace and prosperity in life and ultimately propel one towards the higher goal of moksha. The esoteric meaning behind the Karthigai deepam is that the light removes the innate darkness/negative traits, and thereby one moves towards spiritual upliftment and inner transformation.
Deepa MangaLa Jyothi Namo Nama!
We wish all our patrons a very happy Karthigai.
Important days this month:
||30th Nov, 14th Dec
SIS December Satsang
In keeping with the continuing tradition of monthly Satsangs, December 2021 Satsang will be conducted online.
Date/Time: Sat, Dec 4th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM London
Zoom meeting details: Please join
by clicking this link: Dec 2021 Satsang
by using Zoom meeting id: 841 9340 8871 and passcode 1234
Satsang will include reciting
- Vishnu Sahasranaman and Mahalakshmi Ashtakam
- Lalitha Sahasranaman
- Hanuman Chalisa
- Short spiritual talk
Please attend with your family and importantly involve the next generation.
SIS Satsangs are generally held on the first Saturday every month. If you wish to conduct the Satsang at your home, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post Event Update
SIS Deepavali 2021 Celebrations
We are absolutely delighted to have celebrated our first face to face event after a gap of nearly two years. It was a great pleasure to celebrate our SIS Deepavali event at Canons High School, Edgware on 6th November 2021. There were more than 200 attendees reflecting the continuing popularity of our flagship events even during these challenging times. We were extremely glad to receive great feedback that the performances were of excellent standard and enjoyed by all, a huge thanks to all performers for their time and effort.
We thank all attendees for their participation, support, encouragement, and cooperation in adhering to the covid safety guidelines that enabled to make the event a grand success despite the challenging times.
We thank the SIS members as well as the sponsors for their support and whole hearted participation and look forward to your ongoing support.
You can reminisce the memories of the evening by viewing the photos of the event
We are glad to inform you that 'South Indian Society' is now an eligible charitable organization in AmazonSmile.
AmazonSmile is a wonderful initiative where Amazon donates to charities chosen by customers, everytime an eligible purchase is made and there is absolutely no additional cost to the customer. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.co.uk on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping App for iOS and Android phones. The prices, manner of shopping, account, etc., remain the same with the added bonus that AmazonSmile will donate a portion of the purchase price to the selected charity.
You can find more details about this initiative in this link, SIS - AmazonSmile.
We request you to select 'South Indian Society' as your favoured charity by clicking this link: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1053076-0.
SIS WhatsApp group
In addition to continuing with our email communication, we have a WhatsApp group as a broadcast only group to communicate information regarding SIS events and updates. If you would like to join, please open this email on your phone and click on SIS WhatsApp group invitation link. Alternatively, you may email email@example.com with your mobile number and we will add you to the group.
We trust that the articles that we are publishing on the website
are interesting and useful. We are encouraged by the number of
hits that have gone up multi-fold. Please visit www.sisnambalava.org.uk,
read the articles and let us know your views. We are very keen
to receive your feedbacks and views and will be uploading more
interesting articles. We welcome articles written by our members
that are relevant to the objectives of SIS, ie., South Indian
arts, culture and vedic religion and these will be uploaded
after review by the editorial panel. Please feel free to ask for
South Indian Society as an organisation has come to shape with
lots of hard work and contribution from several veterans of our
community in this country over the years. We sincerely thank
each and every one who has contributed towards the growth of
this organisation. This organisation runs for YOU and without
YOUR involvement, contribution and participation it cannot