Sharad Purnima 5th October 2017
Sharad Purnima also known as Kojagiri Purnima or Kumar Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on Purnima (full moon day) of the Hindu lunar month Ashwin (September / October). It is one of the most celebrated Purnima in the Vedic calendar. It is believed that Sharad Purnima is the only day when the moon is at its fullest, meaning with all the sixteen Kalas (Art / Grace / Membrane). In Hinduism, it is believed that each human is associated with certain Kala. Those with all sixteen Kalas are considered as the perfect human personality. Lord Krishna was born with sixteen Kalas. As per Ayurveda, the moonlight on this night is believed to possess amazing medicinal properties. Hence people stay awake throughout the night under the moonlight to rejuvenate the body.
Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Indra are worshipped and a night vigil is observed. It is said that during Kojagiri Purnima night Goddess Lakshmi visits every house and asks ‘Ko jagarti?’ meaning ‘Who is awake?’ Those awake are blessed with prosperity. In the Eastern part of India, the day celebrated as Lord Kartikeya’s birthday and is called ‘Kumar Purnima’. Unmarried girls observe fast and perform Puja to seek a husband like Lord Kartikeya. There is a traditional celebration called ‘Kaumudi celebration’. Kaumudi means moonlight. In the Braj region (western Uttar Pradesh), Sharad Purnima is also called as Raas Purnima. This is the Purnima that celebrates Krishna dancing with the Gopis. It is believed that it was on this night when Krishna performed ‘Maha Raas’ and upon hearing the divine music from Krishna’s flute, Gopis of Vrindavan reached the forest to dance with Krishna. During this Maha Raas Krishna created several look-alikes to dance with each Gopi.
It is believed that on this day the moon is closer to the earth and it showers elixir of life upon people. The rays have certain healing properties that nourish the body and soul. There is a ritual of inserting a thread into the needle on this night. It is believed that children who do this develop very strong eyesight throughout their life as the cool moonlight stimulates the optic nerves of the eyes. On this day people prepare Kheer and after fasting throughout the day consume the Kheer only after it has been exposed to the rays of the moon for its rejuvenating qualities. Hence the night is considered effective to those suffering from chronic diseases like Asthma. There is also a tradition of drinking cold milk during this fast as during ‘Sharad ritu’ days are hot and nights are cold. During such weather acidity becomes predominant and consumption of milk is a good remedy to get rid of acidity.
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