October 30, 2020: Sharad Purnima this year will be observed on October 30, Friday, celebrating the bounty and gifts of Goddess Mahalaxmi. It is accepted that believers who pray to the Goddess in the correct manner get blessed by her.
It is known by innumerable names throughout the country like Kojagori Purnima, Navanna Purnima, Kuamudi Purnima. Sharad Purnima is broadly celebrated in different parts of India, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh.
As Sharad Purnima is related to Lord Krishna, and along these lines, it is celebrated with much intensity and energy in many places of the northern district of India especially in Mathura, Vrindavan, Braj, and Nathdwara.
For the Odias, it’s Kumara Purnima which is celebrated with great fervour and joy.
Young girls are supposed to worship the Sun God at sunrise with a vessel made of coconut leaf filled with fried paddy.
The celebration has a different significance for Vaishnavites. It is said that upon the arrival of Sharad Purnima Lord Shri Krishna played out the Raas Lila with Radha and different gopikas in Vrindavan.
Thus, Sharad Poornima is otherwise called ‘Raas Purnima’.
Significance of Sharad Purnima
Sharad Purnima is viewed as one of the most sacrosanct Purnimas in Hindu Religion. It is accepted that on Sharad Purnima, the moon sparkles with all its sixteen kalas (arts). In Hinduism, it is accepted that an ideal human character comprises sixteen distinctive kalas. Every human quality is connected with a particular Kala.
Lord Krishna is accepted to have all the sixteen kalas and is considered as a total manifestation of Lord Vishnu, making him a Purna Avatar.
As Raas Purnima is related to the moon, loving God Chandra Dev is viewed as favourable by the Hindus. As per Hindu Astrology, the moon is accepted to be nearest to the earth on Sharad Purnima and is said to have restorative abilities for the mind and body.
In addition, Hindus accept that on Sharad Purnima, moonbeams trickle nectar. As per this belief, rice kheer is prepared, a popular Indian sweet dish, and people leave it under the twilight for the entire evening of Sharad Purnima.
This rice kheer gets braced with the twilight and is dispersed as prasad among the relatives in the first part of the day.
Upon the arrival of Sharad Purnima, one needs to get up before dawn and wear clean garments. Choose a space.
Purify the spot by sprinkling holy Ganga water on it. Introduce a sculpture of Lord Vishnu alongside Mahalakshmi by laying a red fabric over it.
Light a diya of ghee. Apply a tilak of kumkum to Lord Vishnu and Mother Mahalakshmi. Offer a lotus leaf wreath to Goddess Lakshmi. In the event that you wish, you can likewise offer a festoon of red blossoms.
Likewise offer a garland of yellow blossoms to Lord Vishnu. Salute the eight types of Mahalakshmi – Dhan Lakshmi, Vijay Lakshmi, descendants Lakshmi, Aishwarya Lakshmi, Aadhi Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Veer Lakshmi, and Dhanya Lakshmi Mata.
Then, place kheer in four dishes. Peruse Mahalakshmi Stotra, Lakshmi Narayan Hridaya Stotra, Vishnu Stuti, and Kanakadhara Stotra.
It is said that eating kheer kept in the twilight is beneficial for everyone. It is believed that by reciting the mantras of Mahalakshmi the evening of Sharad Purnima, an abundance of wealth is obtained in the house.
What one shouldn’t do on Sharad Purnima
On this day, individuals should not keep anything hot in the twilight. It is unfortunate to eat hot items within the sight of the Moon.
It is encouraged to keep anything sweet tasting in the twilight.
Timings of the puja or Shubh muhurat
Auspicious time for Sharad Purnima – October 30, Friday – 5.45am to October 31, Saturday, 8.18pm.
Nishita Puja auspicious time – October 30, Friday – 11.42pm to 12 midnight.
The Vrat katha of Sharad Purnima
As per a well-known legend, once there was a moneylender in a village who had two daughters. Both the sisters used to observe fast on Purnima. However, both had different views on fasting.
The elder sister was very pious and religious and used to observe Sharad Purnima fast with full devotion. She used to break her fast after giving Arghya to God Moon in the evening and never used to break her fast without completing it.
On the other hand, the younger sister was never very keen in observing the fast but used to observe it for the sake of doing it. She used to break her fast without completing it.
When they grew up, both sisters were married.
The elder sister gave birth to healthy children. But the younger sister had no child. All her babies died as soon as they were born. The younger sister was very depressed and to find a remedy for her sorrows she visited a saint and shared her misfortune.
The saint understood the reason of her sorrows and misfortune and told her that she had been observing Purnima fasts without any interest and devotion and due to which she has brought misfortune to herself. The saint advised her that if she observes the fast with full devotion and dedication her bad time would be over by the grace of God Moon.
The younger sister realised her mistake and observed the next Sharad Purnima fast with full devotion and rituals. After her penance and ritualistic fasting on Purnima, she gave birth to a child but unfortunately, this child too died immediately after birth.
The younger sister knew that her elder sister had the blessing of Lord Moon and she might have the power to make her child alive again. Hence, the younger sister made a plan and laid down the body of the child on a small bed and covered it with a cloth.
She then called her elder sister to her home and offered her to sit on the same bed on which the dead body of the baby was lying. As the elder sister was about to sit on the bed, her clothes touched the baby and the baby came back to life and started crying. The elder sister was surprised and scolded her younger sister for being so careless.
The younger sister then told her elder sister that the baby had died at birth and the baby came to life again by her elder sister’s touch. This effect was none other than due the grace of God Moon and the power of Purnima Vrat.
Since that day, the tradition of observing the fast on Sharad Purnima started. Gradually, the Sharad Purnima fast became popular and people started observing it with full rituals.