Category: Holidays » Hindu holidays
Full moon days in Hindu calendar are known as Purnima in North Indian states, Pournami in South Indian states and Poonam in Gujarat. All Purnima days in Hindu calendar are significant as Purnima days either coincides with important festivals or Jayanti days in the calendar.
Apart from festivals and Jayanti days, many families traditionally observe a day long fast on Purnimasi days in the year. Full moon days are also very significant to perform Satya Narayana Puja.
Ashwin Purnima is the full moon day falling in the month of Ashwin (September – October). The other names of this Purnima are Sharad Purnima, Kaumudi festival and Kojagara Purnima. This Purnima has multifaceted significance since this day is connected to a number of mythological events.
It is said that the moon has sixteen aspects or Kalas. In the whole year, Ashwin Purnima is the day when the moon shines in its fullest brilliance. It is said on this day the moonlight drops nectar on the earth’s surface. Therefore the moonlight during the night of Ashwin Purnima is endowed with medicinal properties. Ashwin Purnima regulates and nurtures all the animals and plants on the earth.
During Krishnavatar, Lord Krishna played his mesmerizing divine flute on the night of Sharad Purnima or Ashwin Purnima. All the Gopikas were drawn to him like magnets are drawn towards the magnet. Krishna multiplied himself into several forms and danced with each of the Gopikas. With His divine power, Krishna magnified the time during the one night into several thousands of years in order to drown all the Gopikas into divine ecstasy. This is called the Maha Raas Leela of Krishna.
Mythology says on the day of Sharad Purnima Mother Lakshmi and Shri Dhanvantri Bhagvan emerged from the ocean when the gods and demons churned it in pursuit of the immortal nectar. Therefore this Purnima is highly auspicious to perform Lakshmi puja and Dhanvantri puja.
The story of Ashwin Purnima puja is mentioned in the Sanat Kumara Samhita. Once upon a time, there lived a pious Brahman named Valit. He performed the pujas and the annual rituals of his ancestors diligently. His wife was uncooperative and insulted him all the time since his earnings were not sufficient for the family. After he offered Pinda Daan to his ancestors on a day, he asked his wife to deposit the Pinda is running water. Instead, she threw it in the drainage. Being upset and broken-hearted, Valit left the house for the forests. In the forest, Lord Shiva asked him to do the Kojagara Purnima vrat. Due to the puja, he returned home wealthy and prosperous and lived happily thereafter with his wife.
The most important event during the Ashwin Purnima is Lakshmi Puja performed during midnight. Install the picture or idol of Mother Lakshmi and offer Shodasopachar or sixteen types of offering. At the end offer arati and pray for the welfare of the family members and to invite wealth and prosperity into the household. In some regions, mid night puja is offered to Lord Shiva and Parvati also called as Uma Maheshwara Puja.
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