Sharad Purnima is celebrated on a full moon day which marks the end of monsoon as per the Hindu lunar month Asvina. It is also known as Kojagari Purnima or Kaumudi (moonlight) celebration, as it is a belief that the Moon rays spread the Amrit (elixir of life) on the Earth. This year Sharad Purnima is on October 13, 2019.
The word 'Sharad' focuses on the 'Sharad Ritu' (season). Though it is a festival of harvest, it has religious significance for the followers of Vaishnavism as well. It is believed that the individuals who worship Goddess Lakshmi and keep a fast during the day are blessed even if they do not have Lakshmi Yoga in their astrological horoscope.
There is also a scientific reason behind the practice of drinking cold milk on Sharad Purnima. Sharad Ritu brings in scorching hot days and chilled nights. In such a climate, our body gets affected by 'pitta' or acidity. As a curative remedy to 'pitta', people consume rice flakes and milk.
Importance of Sharad Purnima
This festival is called as Sharad Poonam in Gujarat. This day shows two significant aspects in the farmers' lives - good harvest and prosperity, and blessings from a supreme power that controls all human accomplishments and ventures.
After completion of Durga puja, this festival bears such importance that almost every family of West Bengal celebrates it. It is celebrated as Kumar Purnima in Orissa. The good-looking son of Lord Shiva, Kumar or Kartikeya was born on this day. Unmarried girls worship Kumar as a prayer to be blessed with handsome husbands.
As per Hindu Astrology, the Moon is said to be the closest to the Earth on Sharad Purnima and is said to have healing powers. This way, the rays of the Moon heal our body and soul on this particular day.
Hindus believe that Lord Krishna began his Raas Leela with Radha and the gopis on the night of Sharad Purnima. Hence, people also play Raas on the night of Sharad Purnima.
What to do on Sharad Purnima
People, especially newly wedded couples, keep fast for the entire day. One who fasts on Sharad Purnima receives blessings for good health, wealth, and happiness.
- On Sharad Poornima, people should worship Lord Krishna, Moon God and Goddess Lakshmi to seek their powerful blessings. It is believed that on this day Goddess Lakshmi descends on Earth and showers blessings of prosperity and wealth to the ones who stay awake for that night.
- People prepare sweet dishes of milk, especially Rice Kheer. They keep it under the moonlight on Sharad Purnima night. The Moon rays which fall on the Rice Kheer are said to enrich it with their healing properties. It should be then distributed among all and taken as 'Prasad'.
- You should stay awake for the whole night. You can sing songs devoted to Lord Krishna, Moon God, and Goddess Lakshmi to keep the environment positive and praise the divine.
- You should avoid having spicy food and only have Rice Kheer and other sweet dishes made of milk.
Ganesha wishes a very Happy Sharad Purnima and fruitful blessings to all.
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With Ganesha's Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks Team