2020 Ashwin Purnima
What is Ashwin Purnima?
Ashwin Purnima falls on the Full Moon day during the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin. It is celebrated as a harvest festival and it marks the end of monsoon. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in the night. Ashwin Purnima is also known as Sharad Purnima, Kojagari Purnima and Kuanr Purnima.The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm at Vrindawan, Braj and Nathdwara.
What is the Story or Katha behind Ashwin Purnima?
According to the legends, a trader had two daughters. They both used to keep Purnima Vrat to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. The eldest daughter used to observe the Purnima Vrat with complete rituals whereas the younger one used to keep fast neglecting the rituals.
After marriage, the eldest daughter was blessed with a healthy son but the child of the younger one could not live longer. This happened many times. All her babies died as soon as they were born. Depressed by these instances, the younger visited a saint and asked for the solution. The saint told her that all this happened because she has kept the Purnima Vrat without any devotion and proper rituals. The younger daughter realized her mistake and observed Sharad Purnima Vrat with complete rituals. However, even after that her next child died immediately after birth.
The younger daughter knew that her elder sister was blessed by Lord Chandra and can make her child alive again. She hid the body of her son on a small bed and covered it with a cloth. Afterwards, the younger daughter called her elder sister and asked her to sit on the same bed where her son was lying. While the elder sister was sitting her clothes touched the body of the dead boy. It evoked the life of the baby and he started crying. The elder sister, out of shock, scolded her younger sister and asked her the reason to do it. The younger sister told her that the baby has regained his life due to the touch of her elder sister. As the sister kept the Purnima fast with great devotion, she became pious and blessed. Since then, Sharad Purnima Vrat became famous among devotees and they started observing Vrat on Ashwin Purnima to get blessings of Lord Chandra, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Maha Lakshami.
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What is the significance of Ashwin Purnima?
Ashwin Purnima or Sharad Purnima is the day when the Moon comes closest to the earth. On this day, the moon shines at its utmost and its light becomes soothing and healing. There is no dust and soot in the sky and the weather remains quite favourable. It is believed that the Sharad Purnima is the only full moon day when the moon is full of its 16 Kala(s) or virtues. On this day, the moon drips nectar of eternity or Amrit and the moon light attains the properties that may nourish one’s body and soul. Thus, on Sharad Purnima occasion, people keep water in the copper utensil or put rice-kheer in the moon light for the whole night. They eat it the next morning and also distribute it among their family and relatives.
In some parts of India, Sharad Purnima is associated with Lord Krishna who is said to be born with sixteen Kalas of personality. In Braj, it is celebrated as Raas Purnima, the day when Lord Krishna performs Maha Raas or divine dance of love with Goddess Radha and other Gopis.
As per Hindu Scriptures, Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity, was born on the day of Sharad or Ashwin Purnima. It is said that on the full Moon of Ashwin, Goddess Lakshmi takes rounds of the earth in the night and watches actions of all the human beings.
Sharad Purnima is also known as Kojagari Purnima which literally means who wakes up the whole night. It is said that those who stay awake for the whole night of Sharad Purnima and worship Goddess lakshmi receive immense blessings and wealth, even if they don’t have any Dhan Yoga in their birth chart.
In Odisha, Sharad Purnima is considered as Kumar Purnima. On this day the native girls observe fast and worship Lord Kartikeya to get a suitable life partner. They break their fast in the evening after worshipping the moon.
What are the Rituals Performed On Sharad Purnima?
On the occasion of Sharad Purnima, various special rituals are performed. Here is a quick glance to them.
- Wake up early in the morning, take a bath in a sacred river, pond or lake.
- Observe Purnima Vrat or fast and visit nearby temples or at home, offer prayers and adorn the idols of Lord Krishna and Goddess Lakshami with beautiful clothes and jewellery. Afterwards, worship the deity and offer lamps or Diyas, Betel or Paan, Naivedyam, flowers, rice, clothes, perfume and special offerings or Dakshina.
- Prepare Kheer made of cow’s milk and mix some Ghee and sugar in it. Offer this Kheer to Lord on the Sharad Purnima night.
- Put water in a copper pot, wheat grains in a glass and rice in a plate made of leaves and then worship the pot and offer Dakshina. Later, listen to the story of Ashwin Purnima and seek the blessings of the Lord.
- When the moon is in the middle of the sky and shining bright with its whole moonlight, worship Lord Chandra and offer Kheer as Naivedyam.
- Keep the Kheer under the moon light for the whole night and take it as a prasad on the next day. Eating this Kheer and distributing it among others is considered beneficial healthwise.
- Worshipping Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and God Kartikeya is said to be very auspicious.
Poornima fasting throughout the year
According to the Hindu calendar which starts from Chaitra month (March-April), the full moon that falls throughout the year is as follows: -
|S.N.||Hindu Month||Purnima Vrat Name||Purnima Other Names or Same Day Festivals|
|1||Chaitra||Chaitra Purnima||Hanuman Jayanti|
|2||Vaishakha||Vaishakha Purnima||Buddha Purnima, Kurma Jayanti|
|3||Jyeshtha||Jyeshtha Purnima||Vat Purnima Vrat|
|4||Ashadha||Ashadha Purnima||Guru Purnima, Vyasa Puja|
|5||Shravana||Shravana Purnima||Raksha Bandhan, Gayatri Jayanti|
|6||Bhadrapada||Bhadrapada Purnima||Purnima Shraddha, Pitrupaksha Begin|
|7||Ashwin||Ashwin Purnima||Sharad Purnima, Kojagara Puja|
|8||Kartika||Kartika Purnima||Dev Diwali|
|9||Margashirsha||Margashirsha Purnima||Dattatreya Jayanti|
|10||Paush||Paush Purnima||Shakambhari Purnima|
|11||Magha||Magha Purnima||Guru Ravidas Jayanti|
|12||Phalguna||Phalguna Purnima||Holika Dahan, Vasanta Purnima|