Our festive season is in full swing, with a variety of festivals occurring simultaneously. Across India, Hindus recently observed Navratri and Durga Puja, which culminated with Vijaya Dashami (or Dussehra). And now, we are all set to celebrate Sharad Purnima, also known as Kojagari Purnima.
This year, Kojagari Purnima falls on October 9, 2022 Sunday. This is the harvest festival that marks the end of the monsoon season.
What is Sharad Purnima/ Kojagari Purnima?
Kojagari Purnima also called as Kojagari Lakshmi puja is the worship of Goddess Mahalakshmi. This is a pay of respect to Goddess Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
In the Hindu calendar, Sharad Purnima is one of the most celebrated festivals. It is believed that Sharad Purnima is the only day in the year when the moon appears with all sixteen Kalas. Hinduism believes that the combination of sixteen different Kala creates the perfect human personality. Thus, the importance of Sharad Purnima stands out brightly.
On this day not only does the Moon shine with all sixteen Kalas, but also its rays have certain healing properties that nourish both body and spirit. On Sharad Purnima, it is also believed that the moon rays drip nectar. As per mythology, Goddess Lakshmi revolves around the orbit of the earth masked as white moonlight to bless her devotees. It is believed that to those who stay awake the entire night will bestows wealth and good health.
How Sharad Purnima celebrated?
The celebration begin early in the morning. Girls are dress in new outfits and give food to the sun as part of the rituals. During the whole day, nothing will be eaten except liquids such as milk and coconut. It is usual to make a sweet dish as kheer at night and offer it to Goddess Lakshmi.
They clean and decorate the courtyard using rice flour paste, creating Rangoli patterns on the floor and walls. The god of the region are brought and worshipped into the courtyard.
It is customary to give kheer, fox nut, and betel leaves to the gods. On this auspicious day of Sharad Purnima, the kheer - a famous Indian sweet dish made of cow milk, rice and sugar is prepared and left in the moonlight for the whole night.
After fasting throughout the day, puja at night is performed with the lightning of 106 candles or lamps, incense sticks and offering of flowers. A rice-kheer that is believed to be invigorated and fortified by the moonlight is consumed and distributed as holy offering (prasad) in the morning.
Nature is supposed to open an entrance permitting humans to uncover deep potential within themselves. This tradition inspired creation of many Hindu ceremonies and celebrations. With such a rich legend, history and tradition behind it, it can be said that Sharad Purnima is the most celebrated and promising of all the Purnimas or Full Moon nights.
Wishing you and your loved ones an auspicious Sharad Purnima!