Sharad Purnima (Photo Credits: File Image)
October 13, 2019, is a full moon day and is of much importance and significance for Hindus in India. People will be celebrating Sharad Purnima also known as Kojagiri Purnima. It is a harvest festival that is observed according to the customs and rituals of different regions in the country. The main deity of the Hindu festival is Goddess Lakshmi as one believes it to be her birthday. In her honour, devotees perform Lakshmi Puja. Bengalis observe Kojagori Lokkhi Puja while people from other states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra perform Kojagari Laxmi Puja for the divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. Moonrise time on Sharad Purnima day is of utmost importance. And in this article, we will look at Sharad Purnima tithi (date), Kojagari Lakshmi Puja Vrat vidhi (rituals), and significance and benefits of Sharad Purnima Kheer or Amrit Kheer!
The festival is known by several names like Sharad Purnima, Kojagiri Purnima, Kojagari Poornima, Kumara Purnima, Kojagiri Purnima, Navanna Purnima and Kaumudi Purnima. In Gujarat, it’s called Sharad Poonam. It falls on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (corresponding to September or October). The harvest festival marks the end of the monsoon season. Moon is considered highly auspicious on Sharad Purnima as one believes it is only time of the year when it rises with solah kala or sixteen attributes. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was solah kala sampoorna and a true incarnation of Lord Vishnu. So, devotees who worship the Lord Chandra Dev or Sharad Purnima moon, they receive heavenly blessings. And as mentioned above, the festival is dedicated to Maa Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity in Hinduism.
Mythological Legends Associated With Sharad Purnima
1. Some legends state Lord Krishna performed the Raas Lila in Vrindavan with Radha and her sakhis who were other gopis, a total one hundred and eight in number. Raas Lila is referred to as “Dance of Divine Love.” It happened one divine night when Radha and gopis upon hearing the sound of Shri Krishna’s flute sneaked from their households to perform a dance. This is why Sharad Purnima is also known as Raas Purnima. This is an important day for newlyweds and couples to express their love for each other.
2. It is also believed Goddess Lakshmi was born on Sharad Purnima. According to the mythological legends, Maa Lakshmi visits the earth on this day riding on her owl. She checks upon the actions of human beings on Sharad Purnima night. In fact, devotees believe Goddess Lakshmi visits every house and asks ‘Ko jagarti?’ meaning ‘Who is awake?’ And those awake are blessed with wealth and prosperity. Bengalis celebrate it with a lot of fun and fervour. The festival right after Durga Puja celebration holds a lot of significance for them. Kojagari Lakshmi Puja 2019 Date & Time in Bengal: Know Sharad Purnima Shubh Muhurat and Significance of Kojagori Lokkhi Puja.
3. Lord Indra, the God of Rains, seated on his elephant, Airavata is also worshipped. Lord Shiva with his consort Parvati and carrier Nandi are also worshipped. So is, Shiva and Parvati’s son, Lord Kartikeya by women.
Sharad Purnima 2019 Puja Tithi and Moonrise Time
According to Drik Panchang, Purnima Tithi Begins – 24:36+ on October 12, 2019, and Purnima Tithi Ends – 26:38+ on October 13, 2019. As for the Moonrise time on Sharad Purnima Day, it will be 18:16.
Sharad Purnima 2019: Know The Importance Of This Harvest Festival That Falls On October 13
Sharad Purnima Vrat Puja Vidhi
Sharad Purnima is also important for both newly-married and unmarried girls. Women seeking the desired partner observe Kojagari Purnima Vrat. In Odisha, they take holy bath early morning and observe fast for Lord Kartikeya. Ladies offer food to the sun and observe fast. At the moonrise, they offer food to the moon and break the fast by consuming parched rice and milk (kheer).
The celebrations vary from region to region. In Bihar, newlywed exchange makhana (fox nuts) and view moon holding a silver coin in hand. At many places, viewing moon directly is prohibited. They place a bowl of milk and see the reflection of the moon in it. And then there are regions where people keep delicacy such as kheer or pudding with parched rice and milk under the moon. It is also dubbed as Sharad Purnima Kheer or Amrit Kheer.
Significance and Health Benefits of Amrit Kheer
While mythological legends say, rays of Sharad Purnima moon is no less than Amrit or elixir of life as Chandra Dev possesses the solah Kala on the day. This is why kheer kept under the moon rays have curative properties. And this claim might not entirely be far-fetched and can have some scientific connection to it. As we all know, Sharad Ritu (Autumn Season) has excessively hot days followed by cool nights. This leads to pitta or acidity in our body and consumption of kheer is an excellent remedy for acidity. This is why one recommends consuming ‘Amrit’ kheer on Sharad Purnima.