Kurma Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Kurma or tortoise. According to Hindu calendar, it falls on the ‘Purnima’ or full moon day in the month of Vaishakh, which corresponds to May-June in the English calendar. As per Hindu legends on this very day, Lord Vishnu in the form of ‘kurma’ lifted the colossal mountain Mandaranchal Parvat on His back while ‘Ksheera Sagara Manthan’ or ‘churning of the milky ocean’ was performed. Since then, Kurma Jayanti is being celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Kurma. Kurma avatar is the second avatar of Lord Vishnu and Hindu devotees worship Him religiously on this day with full passion and devotion. On this day, special pujas and rituals are performed in Lord Vishnu temples all over the country. ‘Sri Kurman Sri Kurmanatha Swami Temple’ in Andhra Pradesh celebrates this festival in a very grand style that attracts devotees from different parts of the country.
Rituals during Kurma Jayanti:
During Kurma Jayanti, devotees observe a stringent fast that begins from the previous night and continues throughout the day. Those who observe Kurma Jayanti vrat do not sleep the whole night but stay awake, reciting ‘Vishnu sahasranaam’ and other sacred Vedic mantras. Lord Vishnu is worshipped with great devotion and affection on this day. Devotees pray to the God for removing obstacles in life and for divine blessings that ensure prosperity and success. In the evening, devotees visit Vishnu temples and participate in the rituals held there. Offering donations to Brahmins is also a significant event of this day. One can offer anything as donations including food, money, clothes, etc., depending on one’s financial capacity.
Significance of Kurma Jayanti:
Kurma Jayanti is an auspicious Hindu festival, when the Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu is worshipped by the devotees. As per Hindu mythology, ‘Mandaranchal Parvat’ was used for churning the Milky Ocean during the celestial event of ‘Khseera Samudra Manthan’. When the mountain began to sink, Lord Vishnu took the form of a giant tortoise and held the Parvat on His back, which enabled the successful completion of ‘Ksheersagara Manthan’ that bestowed 14 divine gifts or ‘ratnas’ and also the immortal elixir to the Gods or ‘Devas’. Then onwards, Kurma Jayanti attains great religious significance and Hindu devotees praise the greatness of Lord Vishnu. Kurma Jayanti day is considered auspicious for starting construction work because it is believed that Yogmaya resides with Lord Kurma. This day is also very suitable for shifting into a new house or starting work related to Vaastu.