Kurma Jayanti 2022 Date - Sunday, 15 May
Tithi - Vaisakha Shukla Purnima
Kurma Jayanti is a Hindu festival that celebrated the birth anniversary of Lord Kurma - 2nd avatar of Lord Vishnu. It falls on Purnima of the Hindu month Vaisakha. According to the Gregorian calendar, this day falls during May-June. On this day, Lord Vishnu was incarnated as Kurma(tortoise). And he lifted the gigantic Mandar Parvat on his back during the Samudra Manthan. Devotees worship religiously on this day with full gaiety and dedication. On the occasion of Kurma Jayanti, special pujas and ceremonies are also organized in Lord Vishnu temples.
On this day, a strict fast is observed by devotees where they don’t have a single grain of food. The fast begins the night before and continues the following day. The observer of this fast does not sleep at all on the night of the fast and stays awake reciting Vedic mantras, especially the Vishnu Sahasranaam.
Devotees seek divine blessing for the removal of obstacles from their lives and also seek prosperity and success. On this day, devotees also visit Vishnu temples in the evening and perform aarti. Devotees also offer donations to brahmins which is considered an important event of the day.
It is believed that on this day Lord Vishnu took the form of Kurma or tortoise and lifted the gigantic Mandaranchal Parbat on his back during the churning of the ocean. Since that day, Kurma Jayanti is celebrated in the honor of Lord Kurma. This is the second avatar of Lord Vishnu among his ten avatars or the Dashavatar.
The Kurma Avatar was reincarnated as a result of a curse by Durvasa. Durvasa once presented a garland to the king of the Gods, Indra. Indra put the garland gifted by Durvasa on Airavat, the elephant’s head. The elephant happened to throw the garland on the ground. Seeing this, Durvasa was infuriated and he cursed Indra that ‘his entire kingdom be destroyed’. This very curse led to the churning of the ocean.
As a result of the curse, the devas were on the verge of defeat. As a last resort, the Devas went to Brahma. Brahma advised the devas to take refuge in Lord Vishnu. As advised the Devas approached Lord Vishnu, Vishnu announced that, in order to defeat the Asuras, the ocean needed to be churned. On churning, Amrita or nectar would be produced, and that nectar would help the Devas to be immortal. And in this way, the Devas would get triumph over the Asuras.
It is an auspicious festival for the Hindus. During the event of Samudra Manthan or the churning of the ocean, Lord Kurma took the Mandaranchal Parbat on his back and helped in the churning. Without this Kurma avatar, the ocean would not have been churned and the fourteen divine ratnas would not have emerged. Therefore, Kurma Jayanti holds great significance for the Hindus and devotees to express their gratitude in the form of observing fast and offering donations. This day is also considered auspicious for initiating constructions, shifting into a new house, or any other work-related to Vastu. On this day, special pujas and ceremonies are organized in Vishnu temples all across the nation. People worship the Kurma avatar religiously and with full devotion.