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Sharad Purnima

October 28, 2023

Sharad Poornima

Sharad Purnima, often called Kojagari Purnima, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Ashwin, typically in late September or early October. The festival marks the end of the monsoon season and the arrival of the autumn, or Sharad, season in India.

This festival has a unique significance in Hindu tradition as it is believed that on this night, the moon showers the Earth with the nectar of life or Amrit through its rays. The moon is at its brightest and closest to Earth, symbolizing the fullness and abundance of the season. The day is linked with prosperity, happiness, and the divine presence of the Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity.

On Sharad Purnima, devotees fast and perform rituals to worship Goddess Lakshmi. After a day-long fast, families gather to worship the moon in the evening. They prepare a special Prasad (offering) of Kheer, a sweet rice pudding cooked in milk, sugar, and dry fruits. The Kheer is kept in the moonlight throughout the night and consumed the next morning. The moonlight possesses healing and nourishing properties on this day, and it is believed that consuming Kheer soaked in moonlight brings health and prosperity.

The festival has regional variations across India. In Gujarat, it’s celebrated with the famous ‘Garba’ dance, and people gather in large numbers to dance around the deity of Goddess Durga. In West Bengal, it marks the end of Durga Puja, and in Orissa, it’s associated with Lord Kartikeya.
One of the most beautiful legends associated with Sharad Purnima involves Lord Krishna. It is believed that on the night of Sharad Purnima, Lord Krishna played his flute in the enchanting forests of Vrindavan, captivating the Gopis (cowherd girls). This night is remembered as the ‘Rasa-Lila’ or ‘Rasa Purnima,’ symbolizing divine love and devotion. Thus, in many parts of India, especially in Mathura and Vrindavan, special prayers and events are organized to commemorate this divine event.
In recent years, Sharad Purnima has gained attention for its health implications. Some believe that the moon’s rays on this night carry medicinal properties, particularly beneficial for improving immunity and digestion. This notion, though rooted in traditional beliefs, is finding increasing acceptance among health-conscious individuals and is promoting the significance of this festival among the younger generation.
Overall, Sharad Purnima is a festival that marks the celebration of nature’s bounty, health, prosperity, and divine bliss. The day invites us to enjoy the beauty of the full moon and the onset of the cool autumn season, making it a symbol of the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Sharad Purnima is more than a religious festival. It embodies Indian culture’s diversity and richness, reflecting our age-old traditions, beliefs, and deep-rooted respect for nature. It serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all life and nature’s bounty that nourishes and sustains us. The festival, with its varied customs and traditions, continues to hold a special place in the hearts of millions, making it a cherished celebration of life, prosperity, and divine love.


October 28, 2023
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