How to do a Krithigai Pooja

Importance of Krithigai

There are 27 Nakshatras/stars in Vedic astrology, and Krithigai is one of them. Hindus perform Krithigai Pooja on the day on which this star occurs. Krithigai day is believed to be very auspicious for the worship of Lord Muruga
 
The Skanda Purana says that Krithiga, a cluster of stars in the sky, came into being with the birth of Muruga. Muruga was born as 6 flames from the third eye of Lord Shiva. The Fire God (Agni) and Wind God (Vayu) took the flames to Saravana Poigai, a pond. The flames turned into 6 babies, which floated on lotus flowers. They were found by the Karthigai Pengal (maidens), who raised them. Later, Goddess Parvati embraced them, and they became one baby with 6 heads.

How to do a Krithigai Pooja

Lord Shiva was pleased with the Karthigai Pengal for taking care of Muruga and gave them the status of Nakshtras for their service. He also told them that those who worshipped Muruga on Krithigai days would have their wishes fulfilled. Another name for Muruga is Karthikeya which is derived from the Karthigai maidens.
 
Krithigai star comes once every month. However, Thai Krithigai occurring in Jan-Feb, and Aadi Krithigai(July- Aug) are considered very special as they fall in the months when the Uttarayana and Dakshinayana Punyakalam begin. Uttarayana marks the Sun’s northward journey, and Dakshinayana, its southward journey. These two periods correspond to dawn and night in heaven, respectively, so they are considered auspicious. 

How to find Krithigai star day?

In many monthly calendars, you can see a ‘star’ symbol on one of the dates. That day will be Krithigai.

The Krithigai Pooja is very similar to the Vellikkizhamai Poojai or Friday Pooja. Some devotees make some offerings when doing the Pooja. Others may just break a coconut. The only thing that differs is the ‘nadu veedu’. 

How to Do the Pooja?

Take a bath and clean the house by sweeping and mopping it. Non-vegetarian food must be avoided. Draw a kolam at the house entrance.

Items Needed

  • Kumkum
  • Turmeric paste
  • Flowers
  • Kolam powder/Chalk piece
  • Sandal paste
  • Fruits (any)
  • Incense sticks (optional)
  • Oil (gingelly oil preferred)/ghee
  • Cotton wicks
  • Matchstick
  • Camphor
  • Pooja items

Preparing the Pooja room/area

Clean the Pooja area and Pooja items. Put turmeric paste and kumkum on the Pooja items. Wash the idols with some water. Apply sandal paste and kumkum dots on them. Use flowers to decorate the idols of the deities. 

Preparing the ‘Nadu veedu’

The ‘nadu veedu’ personifies the deity, and we make offerings to it. You can draw it on the wall, wood or stone. Coat it with turmeric paste initially. Draw the strokes with kumkum powder. Sometimes, people use namakatti.

Arranging the Items

Draw a kolam in front of the nadu veedu. Arrange the Pooja items on the kolam. Keep a fruit (two bananas, pomegranate, etc) before the Pooja items. Keep betel leaves and nut (Vethala paaku) along with the fruit as an offering to the deity. Place some flowers at the entrance (on top of your main door). Pour oil or ghee into the lamps and the cotton wicks. 

Pooja Timings

Avoid Rahu kalam and Emakandam times, as these are inauspicious. Do the Pooja at a good time or neutral time.

Starting the Pooja

Close the bathroom doors and the back door of your house. Keep the front door open so that the Gods can enter our house. If the Pooja is in the evening, switch on the lights at the entrance and all the other rooms. Light the lamps. An additional lamp may be lit and kept near the entrance of the house, facing the east.

Light the incense sticks. This will remove negative vibrations. Now light the dheebakal and begin the Pooja. Use a camphor ball. Show arathi to Lord Ganesha first. Go out and show arathi towards the Sun. Then show arathi to the main door of your house, and then to all the idols while ringing the bell. 

Ending the Pooja

Once the pooja finishes, put the bell down. Take some drops of water from the panjapaathiram and pour them on the floor. Kneel down and worship the deities. Married women should apply some Kumkum to their mangalsutra at the end and pray for their husbands’ well-being. After a while, fetch the lamp that was near the entrance of the house. Put out all the lights.

Thai Krithigai Viratham

Devotees observe a fast during Thai Krithigai. It is kept for the entire day. It may be a complete fast without eating anything or even drinking water. Or you can eat fruits once during the day with some water. Observing the Thai Krithigai Viratham can bring good health, wish-fulfillment, and protection from negative energies. One can gain success and peace in life. Those whose marriages are delayed and those who lack progeny can benefit from this Viratham. Worshipping Muruga also helps to get the blessings of Goddess Parvati.

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