The Date, Legend And Significance:
The full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (corresponding partly to the months of September and October of the Gregorian calendar, and sandwiched between the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali) is celebrated as the festival of Sharad Purnima or Sharad Poonam. The festival is also known as Kojagiri Purnima or Kuanr Purnima. This year it falls on October 23, 2018. On this day, the people in some parts of India worship Lord Vishnu and his incarnation Lord Krishna, while others worship Goddess Laxmi. In Odisha, the great son of Lord Shiva – Kumar or Kartikeya is worshipped. But, the luminary – the Moon is considered to be the central figure of this festival. It is believed that the Moon showers nectar on the devotees who stay awake all night and offer sweets, especially Kheer, which is essentially a porridge of milk and rice. Moreover, worshipping the Shree Yantra
on this day is said to bring great results. This festival also signals the end of the monsoon season and heralds the season of harvest, and devotees fast all night and partake of the prasada of the Kheer on the next morning, believed to be suffused by the nectar dripping from the full moon of the night before. Sharad Purnima festival falls two weeks prior to Diwali
and one month before Kartik Purnima.
This is one of the most auspicious days to conduct remedies for strengthening the planet Moon.
The Astrological Connection:
Ganesha says that Sharad Purnima festival has a strong astrological connection and significance. On this powerful day, the Moon is said to be visible to the naked eye in its brightest form. If in your Birth Chart
, the Moon is afflicted, or is in a weak position, then this is one of the best days to conduct remedies to please the benevolent planet. As per Vedic Astrology, you can conduct remedies like worshipping the Chandra Yantra
, offering milk and water to a Shivling in the nearest Shiva temple, wearing the gemstone Pearl, and donating milk and white items to the needy. A strong Moon can bless you with great mental peace, good relations with mother and maternal relatives, abundant prosperity, good decision-making abilities and all-round happiness.
The Kheer holds a special significance in this festival as it acts as an antidote for the 'pitta' tatva or bile in the body.
The Scientific Connection:
Like most ancient customs, Sharad Purnima too has its scientific justification. The summer is coming to an end, and in such changing weather people tend to be afflicted by 'pitta' or acidity, and the cool preparation of Kheer acts as an antidote.Another belief has it that unmarried girls who fast during Sharad Purnima and worship the Sun
, will be blessed with a very handsome husband, just like Lord Krishna who is said to have begun his Raas Leela with the Gopis on this night.
Here are some of the do's and don't's that a devotee should follow to gain maximum benefit from the festival of Sharad Purnima:
* Undertake a fast on the night of Sharad Purnima.
* Prepare Kheer by boiling milk and rice and place it in a bowl in the open, say on a terrace or in a balcony, where the moon rays fall directly into the bowl. You can also add some dry fruits of your choice to the preparation.
* Break your fast the next morning by consuming the same Kheer.
* Avoid preparing or eating anything spicy.
* Try not to eat or sleep on this night.
* Eschew the thoughts of desire, wealth and lust.
With Ganesha's Grace,