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Sharad or Kojagiri Purnima 2017: Legend and Importance

Last Updated: 4/4/2017 2:24:11 PM

Many Hindi and Urdu poets have written a lot about Night of prosperity i.e. Sharad Purnima. This special day is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September-October). This year Sharad Purnima or Kojagari Purnima or Raas Purnima will be celebrated on 5th October.

Sharad Purnima is known as the harvest festival. The rainy season is over and the brightness of the full moon brings special joy. This is a traditional celebration dedicated to the moon and is also called the Kaumudi celebration, ‘Kaumudi’ meaning moonlight.

At the night, goddess Laxmi is worshiped and night vigil is observed. According to folklore, once a king was going through bad phase, and was in great financial straits, then his queen observed this fast and night vigil, and worshiped the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Consequently, they were blessed by the goddess and they regained their prosperity.

Some people also believe that on this night, Laxmi goes around from place to place asking, "Who is awake?" ("Kojagarti?") and shows her pleasure on those she finds awake. Hence, the night is spent in festivity and various games of amusement, in honor of the goddess. So, people sit in the moonlight singing songs, or keep themselves entertained in some other way.

The Legend Behind It

There was a moneylender in a village, who had two daughters. Both girls used to have fast on Purnima. But, both have different views on that. Elder sister used to had full hearted faith in god and never broken a fast uncompleted. On the other hand, the younger one regularly committed the same mistake.

Both girls were married, but the younger girl had no children. In fact, her all babies had died just after the birth. She asked the reason to astrologers. They told her about the mistakes of incomplete fast. Astrologers told her straight forwardly- “You never completed Purnima fasts, and this is the reason for causalities. If you will observe Purnima fast with full faith and all rituals, something good can happen.”

Girl observed Purnima fast with full devotion and all rituals. Astrologers advised her in all the procedure. She gave birth to a baby boy soon after. Unfortunately, he also died within few days. Younger sister laid him down on a small bed and covered him with a cloth. She called her elder sister and asked her to sit on same bed. Elder sister was just about to sit but suddenly she heard the child crying. Her Ghaghra had touched boy before she sat that caused the boy to cry. Elder sister screamed on younger one and said- “You wanted to taint me. He could have died if I sit.” Younger sister replied- “He had already died. He became alive because of you, because of your fortune.”

Since that day, this Purnima fast become popular. Younger sister was very happy to see her son alive. She vowed and pronounced to fulfill the Purnima Vrat with proper rituals without any exception.

Rituals for Observing Fast

It’s great belief in Hindu tradition that Moon showers ambrosia. Devotee should make Kheer-Puri on this evening and should be dedicated to god. After that Kheer must be kept at roof or open area. During night, all members of family should sing bhajans. Next day Prasad of Kheer should be distributed.

On this day in the morning, adorn the deity with beautiful cloths and ornaments. Worship him with incense, akshat, flowers, earthen lamp, sweets, betel leaves and nuts, alms etc after placing the deity on a block.

One should observe fast after taking the bath properly and restrain one’s senses. A wealthy person should place a golden idol of goddess Lakshmi on a gold or earthen urn (Kalash) covered with a cloth and worship her with various rituals. One should light hundred gold, silver or earthen lamps full of purified butter (ghee) after the moon rises.

One should prepare ‘Kheer’ mixed with ‘ghee’ and place the utensils filled with it in the moonlight. After three hours pass, one should offer that Kheer to goddess Lakshmi. Offer this dainty to holy Brahmins later and observe vigil the subsequent night with alleluia and Bhajan-Keertan. Take bath and present the golden idol of goddess Lakshmi to Acharya after dawn. In the western state of Gujarat, the night is known as Sharad Poonam. In Gujarat, people celebrate it by playing Garba and Raas.

More from the section: Dharm
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