This Year Vaikuntha Chaturdashi fall on Thursday 2nd November 2017.
About Vaikuntha Chaturdashi:
According to Shiva Purana, once, Lord Vishnu left his home Vaikuntha and went to Varanasi to worship Lord Shiva at Vaikuntha Chaturdashi. He promised to worship Lord Shiva with a thousand lotus. Singing hymns to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu discovered that he was missing a Lotus. Lord Vishnu, whose eyes are often compared to Lotus, tore one off and offered it to Lord Shiva. Satisfied with his devotion, Lord Shiva restored his sight and rewarded him with the Sudarshana Chakra, Disc, and Sacred Weapon. Kartik Shukla Chaturdashi is also known as Kartik Baikunth Chaudas. Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva have promised to open the gates of Paradise to Vaikuntha Chaturdashi for their faithful.
According to a legend of Vaikuntha Chaturdashi, Dhaneshwar, a Brahmin who had spent his life committing sins, went to the shore of the Godavari River to make a sacred plunge and wash away his sins. It was Vaikuntha Chaturdashi, and a large number of devotees offered mud lamps to the river. Dhaneshwar mingled with the crowd of devotees. After Dhaneshwar’s death, his soul was taken by Yama to hell for punishment. However, Lord Shiva intervened and told Yama that the sins of Dhaneshwar were cleansed because of the contact of devotees with Vaikuntha Chaturdashi. Dhaneshwar got a place in Vaikuntha.
Meaning of Vaikuntha Chaturdashi:
To observe fast on Vaikunth Chaturdashi is of immense importance. A bath should be taken early in the morning. You must wear clean clothes. Lord Maha Vishnu should be worshiped with flowers, lamps and sandalwood. According to an ancient belief, Lord Vishnu promised that he would offer a thousand lotus flowers to Lord Shiva in Kashi. Those who offer a thousand lotus flowers to God relieve themselves of all suffering and go to Baikunth Dham after death. Devotees should light 14 lamps on the river bank in the afternoon. Kartik Shukla Chaturdashi is a symbol of unity between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
Celebrations and rituals:
The devotees of Lord Vishnu offer him a thousand lotuses and recite Vishnu Sahasranama. The festival is also celebrated as Kartik Snan by the devotees of Vishnu. In Rishikesh, the day is observed as Deep Daan Mahotsav to commemorate the occasion when Lord Vishnu awakens from his sleep. In Vaikuntha Chaturdashi, Lord Vishnu receives a special honor in the shrine of Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi. The temple is described as Vaikuntha. Both deities are ritually venerated. Lord Vishnu offers Tulsi leaves to Lord Shiva, and Lord Shiva offers Bael leaves to Lord Vishnu. The devotees perform puja after taking a bath. They fast all day and offer the divinities mixed turmeric rice, sandalwood paste, holy Ganges water, flowers, incense, earthen lamps and camphor.