Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu
Kurma Jayanti commemorates the birth of Lord Vishnu's second incarnation, Kurma, the divine tortoise. This auspicious event is observed on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Vedic lunar month of Vaishakha, which typically falls in April or May according to the Gregorian calendar.
The celebration of Kurma Jayanti is not only a tribute to Lord Vishnu's incarnation as Kurma but also an acknowledgment of the role this form
How Kurma Avatar came into being
The tale of Samudra Manthan revolves around the quest to obtain the nectar of immortality, Amrita, by churning the cosmic ocean. The gods (Devas) and demons (Asuras) decided to collaborate in this endeavor, using the mighty Mount Mandara as the churning rod and the colossal serpent Vasuki as the churning rope.
The divine tortoise balanced Mount Mandara on his back, ensuring the churning could continue uninterrupted. This act not only facilitated the churning process but also saved the universe from collapse.
Several divine treasures and celestial beings emerged from the ocean during the churning, including the divine physician Dhanvantari, who carried the pot of Amrita (divine nectar). Eventually, Lord Vishnu intervened once more, this time in the form of the enchantress Mohini, to ensure that the Amrita was distributed only among the gods, preserving the cosmic balance.
Celebrating Kurma Jayanti
On this day, devotees worship Lord Vishnu, seeking his blessings for strength, stability, and perseverance in their lives. The festival is marked by various rituals, including early morning baths in holy rivers, special prayers, and the offering of flowers, incense, and sweets to the deity.
Devotees also recite sacred texts, such as the Vishnu Sahasranama, which extols the thousand names of Lord Vishnu, and listen to the story of Kurma Avatar.
The festival highlights the importance of this form, particularly in the Samudra Manthan event, where Kurma's intervention ensured the churning's success and the preservation of cosmic balance. By celebrating Kurma Jayanti, devotees honor Lord Vishnu's role as the preserver and seek his divine blessings for strength and stability in their own lives.