Sharad Purnima
Idols of goddess Laxmi
Idols of Kojagori Laxmi, an avatar of goddess Laxmi worshipped on this day
TypeHindu
SignificanceArrival of Winters
CelebrationsWorshipping, offering flowers and dishes to deities, dancing
BeginsFull Moon Day, Ashvin
DateAshvin full moon
FrequencyAnnual

Sharad Purnima (also known as Kumara Purnima, Kojagari Purnima, Navanna Purnima,[1] Kojagrat Purnima[2] or Kaumudi Purnima[2]) is a religious festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September to October), marking the end of the monsoon season. The full moon night is celebrated in different ways in various cultural regions across South Asia.

On this auspicious day, many divine pairs like Radha Krishna, Shiva Parvati and Lakshmi Narayan are worshipped along with the moon and are offered flowers and kheer (sweet dish made of rice and milk). Deities in temples are usually dressed in white color signifying the brightness of moon. Many people observe full day fasting on this night

Significance

Vallabhacharya temple cloth for Sharad Purnima festival - Western India (19th c. - 1927)
Vallabhacharya temple cloth for Sharad Purnima festival - Western India (19th c. - 1927)

The Kojagari Purnima concerns the observance of the Kojagara Vrata. People perform this Vrata under the moonlight after fasting for the day. Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, is significantly worshipped on this day as it is believed to be her birthday.[3] Lord Indra, the God of Rains, along with his elephant Airavata is also worshipped. It is believed that on the night of Sharad Purnima, the raas (form of dance) of Radha Krishna also takes place along with their Gopis.

To participate in this divine raas, Lord Shiva has taken the form of Gopeshwar Mahadev. Vivid descriptions of this night are given in Brahma Purana, Skanda Purana, and the Linga Purana. It is also believed that, on this full moon night, Goddess Lakshmi descends on the earth to watch the actions of human beings.[4]

Celebration

This day is celebrated differently in various regions of India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

In many parts of the Gujarat, garba dance is performed in the presence of the moon light.[5]

In Odisha, on this day unmarried women keep fast with the popular belief of getting their suitable groom(kumara). Unmarried girls worship the moon on the occasion of this festival.The puja starts in the early morning when the moon sets with new dress.A kula(made of bamboo strips) is used during the puja.The Kula filled of Ricepuff,sugarcane, betel,Supari,cucumber,john Coconuts,and seven fruits like apple,banana etc. And in the evening they worship the full moon again. Then they break their fast and take food. At night they play many kinds of games. The festival is very beautiful in the light of the full moon. followed by an Aarti. In the evening they break their fast by preparing a dish containing the fried paddy of the morning along with the fruits, curd, and jaggery to offer the moon god before the 'tulsi' plant. After this maidens play games and sing songs under the light of the full moon.

Kheer is served as a offering on this day
Kheer is served as a offering on this day

In northern and central states of India, such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, kheer is prepared during the night and kept under the moonlight in a open roofed space throughout the night. The kheer is then eaten as a prasad on the next day. It is believed that on this night, amrit (elixir of gods according to Hinduism) is dripped from the moon, which is collected in the kheer.[6]Also, goddess Laxmi is worshipped on this night.[7][8] In Mithila region of Bihar, there occurs a festive atmosphere in the house of newly married groom. Groom family distribute betel and Makhana gifted from bride family to their relatives & neighbours.[9][10]

In Bengal and Assam, the night is known as Kojagari Purnima. Kojagari translate to 'who is awake' in Bengali. It is believed that goddess Laxmi visits people's houses on this night and checks whether they are staying awake or not and then blesses them if they are awake.[4]

In Nepal, the day is known as Kojagrat Purnima and it concludes the 15–day Dashain festival celebrations.[2] Kojagrat translates to 'who is awake' in Nepali. Similar to the traditions of eastern India, Nepalese Hindus wake up all night offering reverence to goddess Laxmi.[11] It is also the last day to receive the Dashain tika from ones relatives.[12]

Valmiki Jayanti

Main article: Pargat Diwas

The birth anniversary of Valmiki, the composer of Ramayana is observed on this day and this day is also known as Valmiki Jayanati and Pragat Diwas.[13] The legendary poet and writer is remembered on this day.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Maharashtra State Gazetteers: Ahmednagar. Director of Government Printing, Stationery and Publications, Maharashtra State. 1976. p. 282.
  2. ^ a b c "आज कोजाग्रत पूर्णिमा, दशैंको समापन गरिँदै". Online Khabar (in Nepali). Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Sharad Purnima 2017: Laxmi Puja or Kojagiri Purnima Date(Tithi), Significance and Bhog Rituals". NDTV.com. 5 October 2017. but the Laxmi Puja observed on Sharad Purnima is believed to be one of the most significant ones. It is performed on the full moon day in the month of Ashwin in Hindu lunar calendar. Believed to be the birthday of goddess Lakshmi, it is also celebrated as Kunar Purnima or Kojagari Purnima - the harvest festival signifying the end of the monsoon season.
  4. ^ a b "Sharad Purnima 2022 date, time: Kojagiri Lakshmi Puja tithi, mahurat, vrat rituals". DNA India. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  5. ^ "शरद पूर्णिमा पर खेला गरबा, भगवान को लगाया खीर का भोग". Dainik Bhaskar (in Hindi).
  6. ^ "Sharad Purnima 2022 Date: जानें शरद पूर्णिमा में रात भर खुले आसमान के नीचे क्यों रखी जाती है खीर". Times Now Navbharat (in Hindi). Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  7. ^ Edudwar, Team. "Kojagara Puja 2022: Vrat Date & Time, Importance, Pooja Vidhi". Edudwar. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  8. ^ "Kojagari Puja 2022: कल है कोजागरी पूजा, जानें मां लक्ष्मी के पूजन का मुहूर्त और महत्व". Dainik Jagran (in Hindi). Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  9. ^ "आज है मिथिलांचल का लोकपर्व कोजागरा, माता लक्ष्मी की जरूर करें आराधना". ETV Bharat News. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  10. ^ "शरद पूर्णिमा आज, बन रहा है गजकेसरी का शुभ योग". Hindustan (in Hindi). Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  11. ^ "सकियो दसैँ, महालक्ष्मीको आराधना गरी मनाइयो कोजाग्रत पूर्णिमा". Naya Patrika (in Nepali). Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  12. ^ "आज कोजाग्रत पूर्णिमा, गर्नुहोस् यी काम". Farakdhar || Nepal's Online Magazine (in Nepali). Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  13. ^ Dutta, Raajwrita (9 October 2022). "Happy Valmiki Jayanti 2022: Wishes, Images, Messages, Quotes, & Greetings". TheQuint. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  14. ^ Sharma, Mahima (9 October 2022). "Valmiki 2022 Jayanti: Date, Significance and Celebration | - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 October 2022.