Sharad Purnima - The Nectar of Moon
Sharad Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day which falls in the month of Ashwin (September-October). It is also known as Kamundi day as Kamundi means moonlight and the night of the Sharad Purnima is filled with moon rays. It is believed that on this day the moon is closest to the earth. This day is known as Sharad Poonam in Gujarat and in places like Braj, Mathura, Nathdwara and Vrindavan, It is an important Hindu pilgrimage site where Krishna spent his childhood days. Mathura- It is a city in North Indian State, Uttar Pradesh, known for being the birthplace of Krishna it is celebrated as Raas Purnima. The day also marks the end of monsoon and onset of winters and also the harvesting period.
According to a legend, there were two married sisters. The elder was very sincere and devotional while the younger one was careless and irresponsible. The elder sister performed all festivals and fasts according to customs and rituals. She also used to perform the fast of Sharad Purnima. The younger sister tried to follow her sister’s dedication but it was only namesake. She observed fast but not wholeheartedly and broke them by noon.
The result was visible as the elder sister had very obedient and healthy children but all the children of younger sister use to die on their very first day. She was worried and thus decided to meet a sage. When she told her problem to him, he realized her fault and told her either to not observe a fast at all or to observe it wholeheartedly. The younger sister obeyed the command and performed the next fast with utmost dedication. She had the opportunity of being a mother again but her child died again. She realized the mistakes she had committed will waver off only with time. She then made a plan according to which she placed the dead body of her child in a blanket and kept it on a chair. She then invited her elder sister to her home and offered her the chair. Thinking of the baby as a pillow, she sat on the chair but suddenly, the child started crying. He came back to life.
The younger sister narrated the complete incidence to her elder sister and thanked her. The elder sister had become so auspicious by observing the Sharad Purnima’s fast that her single touch could bring a dead child to life. The word spread around the village and everyone started observing the fast after understanding its significance.
It is believed that on Sharad Purnima, moon has such power that it bestows sixteen kinds of differ qualities on a person born on the day. Those sixteen qualities make the living being perfect and ideal and KrishnaKrishna
It is described that there are three aspects of the Supreme that must... was born on such a day. He had all such qualities and was a replicate incarnation of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,...
Also, it was on this day, that Krishna performed his Ras Leela. Apart from RadhaRadha
Radha, also known as Radhika and Radharani was a Gopi (milkmaid)..., he was loved by various other gopis and as he played his flute, no gopi could stay away from his charm. They all left their houses and families and sneaked away to the forest to be with the one they loved. Krishna danced with them throughout the night and he was so affected and impressed by their love and bold stand that he created as many Krishnas to accompany each gopi. They all were so mesmerized and happy that they didn’t not realize the hours that had passed away while dancing. It is believed that Krishna stretched the night to one night of BrahmaBrahma
According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)... which equals to billions of years in human’s life.
Women take an early bath and wear new clothes. They prepare themselves for the fast. They are allowed to consume fruits and liquids, but other solid food is to be avoided. People sing and dance remembering Krishna. It is also considered the night of love and many couples express their feelings for each other.
At night, people worship the moon and offer flowers, rice and water. They do not look at the moon directly but rather through a vessel filled with boiled milk. The above mentioned legend, regarding the significance of the day is also read or narrated.
The most common practice is to prepare Kheer It is a sweet pudding made up of rice, broken wheat, milk and sugar. It is often flavored with dry fruits and cardamomon the day and leave it on the terrace to observe the rays of moon. The night is believed to sprinkle nectar and as the sweet dish is fortified with moonlight, it is later distributed as prasadam as among friends and family members.
Orissa and Bengal
The day is celebrated a bit differently in Orissa as Kumar Purnima. Karttikeya, the handsome son of ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... is known as Kumar and a fast is observed on the day by unmarried ladies to have a handsome life partner like him. But there are no rituals related to worshipping Gods, rather the Sun and Moon are prayed to. Women take a purificatory bath in the morning and make offerings to the Sun. They then spend the day singing and dancing and at night the offerings are made to the Moon. Family members get together to play game of cards. The son-in-laws visit the houses of their parent-in-laws in the evening and they are bestowed with gifts and special treatment.
In Bengal, people observe Kojagara Puja It is a prayer ritual performed to make offerings, honoring, evoking or worshipping gods. The ceremony can also be performed to pay homage to the beloved ones who are deadon the day and worship LakshmiLakshmi
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess who is regarded as the ultimate deity of wealth... In order to attain wealth and prosperity. They stay vigil at night as it is believed, on this day, Lakshmi blesses only those who stay awake all night. Devotees keep themselves busy with game of dice and spend their time singing hymns in the honor of the Goddess.
Expected mothers should observe the fast in order to gain a healthy baby. Mothers whose children are suffering from any kind of illness should also do the same.
As the moon is nearest to the earth at this night, it is believed that the moonlight has some curative qualities which are spread around the planet. Eating the kheer drenched with moonlight is believed to cure diseases. People spend their night on terrace and stay vigil at night, performing activities and incurring good health.
People consume puffed rice with cold milk on this day and the scientific reason of doing so is that that the day marks the shift in the season. The days turn out to be hot but night are cold. Such weather conditions create acidity and by consuming puffed rice with cold milk, one can avoid such problem. Therefore the day and the customs followed also have health benefits and the moonlight positively affects the mind, body and soul.