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How to perform Ksheerabdi Dwadasi Pooja / Vratam

Ksheerabdi Dwadasi falls on the 12th day after Deepavali Amavasya in the Hindu month of Kaartika Maasam. It is an auspicious day for the Hindus, particularly the married women. On Ksheerabdi Dwadasi day, married women, mostly in the Southern states perform Tulasi Pooja in the evening. Holy Basil plant is worshiped by the married women on this auspicious day for a happy and blissful married life.

Ksheerabdi Dwadasi has its own importance and signficance. Mostly, married women observe fasting in the daytime on this auspicious day, though it is not compulsory.

Procedure for performing Tulasi pooja
  • Refresh yourself with a shower in the evening and dress in a traditional way i.e wear pattu sari.

  • Clean the potted plant and smear turmeric paste around the pot i.e Tulsi kota.

  • Decorate the pot with dots of kumkuma and rice flour. Draw 'Kalyanam bottu' (special way of putting bindi to the brides during wedding) at the center of the dots.

  • Decorate the plant and the pot (Tulasi kota) with colorful flowers and flower garlands.

  • After you are done with decorating the plant, clean up the area / yard around the Tulasi plant and decorate the floor with muggulu / rangoli.

In some regions, a twig of Indian gooseberry plant (Amla) is placed beside the Tulasi plant as it is believed that Lord Vishnu resides on this tree during the auspicious month of Kartik. Holy Basil plant is also known by the name 'Brinda' and is considered as one of the incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi - the wife of Lord Vishnu. However if you don't find a twig of this plant, don't worry, you can even place amla beside the plant in case these are readily available. Worship with full devotion is more important than anything else.
  • Once you are done with the cleaning and decorating work, you can get into the kitchen for the preparation of naivedyam which you can do as per your family custom.

  • Some families prefer to make different items of atukulu / poha / flaked rice. However, there is no hard and fast rule for preparing naivedyam. You can also prepare vada pappu - soaked moong daal to which you can either add sugar or you can also add little salt, chopped green chillies and little lemon juice. In addition to the prepared naivedyam, you also need offer 4 or 5 varieties of fruits which include banana, coconut, oranges, apples and dry fruits like dates, raisins, almonds etc. However these are not compulsory but it is 'yadha sakti' i.e depending on your affordability.
  • Keep diyas / deepams, oil, wicks, camphor (karpoor) for arti, agarbatti (incense sticks), flowers, betel leaves for taambulam, kumkum and other required items like aarti plate etc handy.

  • Arrange deepams as per your family custom. Generally one earthen lamp with 12 cotton wicks is lit for this pooja. Or else you can even place 12 oil lit earthen lamps and place these around the Tulasi kota.

  • Offer agarbatti and start performing the pooja by reciting Tulasi Ashtottaram / Tulasi Ashtottara Sata Namavali.
  • After the pooja is over, offer naivedyam, then tamboolam (usually two betel leaves and 1 or 2 bananas or any available fruit), then neerajanam / aarti.

  • While offering neerajam / aarti you can sing the famous Annamayya keertana Ksheerabdi Kanyakaku and then  mantra pushpam.

  • Finally seek the blessings of Tulasi Devi and Sri Maha Vishnu by prostrating ('saashtangam') before the goddess.
Those who are doing the Vratam need to either listen or read the Vrata Kadha. After completing the pooja / vratam take the offerings / naivedyam with devotion.

Date of Ksheerabdi Dwadasi - Wednesday Nov 1, 2017.
Dwadasi timings - from 2.51 p.m (IST) of Oct 31 till 2.38 p.m (IST) of Nov 1, 2017.

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