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The Purnima on the day of Shukla Paksha in the Kartik month is known as Kartik Purnima. Kartik Purnima is also known as Tripuri Purnima and Ganga Snan.Hindus celebrate it as a day when God incarnated himself as 'Matsya' or Fish. Vishnu took the Fish Incarnation to save Vaivasvata, the seventh Manu and the progenitor of the human race from the Deluge.
Lord Mahadev killed a demon named Tripuri on this day and hence, it is known as Tripuri Purnima. Kartik Purnima has immense religious value according to the Hindu mythology. There is a tradition of taking a bath in Ganga and donating lamps on this day. It is believed that Kartik Purnima provides Dharma, Artha, Kama and Salvation.
Kartik Purnima is considered as an auspicious day according to Hindu mythology. It is considered to be day of Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Angira and Lord Sun. A person involving in baths, charity, donation etc on this day receives fruitful results. Shri Satyanarayana story is read on this day and lamps are lit on intersections, under Peepal trees, in temples etc. Prayers offered on each Purnima beginning from Kartik Purnima give positive results.
Kartik Poornima is also referred to as Tripuri Poornima. A bath in river Ganga and donation of a lamp hold special significance on this day. If on this day the Nakshatra is Bharani,Kruthika or Rohini then one can expect better fruits. It is said that, on this day that Lord Vishnu incarnated himself as a fish (Matsyavtaar). One who donates on this auspicious day is blessed with the fruits of 10 religious sacrifices (Yagya).
On this day the observer should worship the 6 Kruthikas, Shiva, Sambhuti, Santati etc at time of moonrise. One who ceremoniously donates a buffalo at night, is blessed and achieves highest state of celibacy (Shivapad). One should observe a fast on this day and should contemplate upon God. On doing so one is blessed and he/she also attains the Suryalok. If one donate a ram made of gold on this day one is freed from problems of Grahadosh (problems and curses of planets). There is a custom even of donating of Ksheer Shayya (an ocean). One should fill the dish with milk and should disburse a fish made of gold or silver in the dish an donate it.