Paush Purnima- Significance and Observance
What is Paush Purnima?
Paush Purnima is one of the most sacred and auspicious days for Hindus which takes place on the full moon day of Paush month as per the Hindu calendar. A huge number of people take holy dips in sacred Yamuna and Ganga river on this day. According to the Gregorian calendar, the day falls either in the month of January or December. People from across the country gather at Prayag Sangam on the eve of Paush Purnima to perform the ceremonial bath. It is believed that there is a huge importance of Paush Purnima Vrat and bathing rituals as people get rid of their past and present sins and take a step closer to the path of attaining salvation (Moksha). Other than Prayag, Ujjain and Nasik are other famous pilgrimage places where the devotees perform holy bath on Paush Purnima.
Also See: Kumbh Mela - Shahi Snan
Paush Purnima Rituals
- The first and the most significant ritual to be performed on the day of Paush Purnima is to wake up early and observe holy bath in a sacred river during sunrise. The religious practice of offering ‘Arghya’ to Lord Sun is performed as a part of the ritual.
- After observing the holy dip, the observers are required to worship and offer prayers to ‘Shiva lingam’
- Devotees worship Lord Vishnu and keep a ‘Satyanarayana’ fast. They are required to recite the ‘Satyanarayana Katha’ and make sacred food which is offered to the deity.
- To conclude the rituals, Aarti is performed and Prasad (sacred food) is distributed among the invitees.
- Reading sessions for Bhagwad Gita and Ramayana is considered a significant ritual during this day.
- Across India, ‘Pushya Abhishek Yatra’ is performed in various temples of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna.
- People also perform several donations and charity work on this particular day of Paush Purnima where food, clothes, money and other essential things are provided to the needy people as a significant part of ‘Anna Daan’.
Paush Purnima Vrat Vidhi
- On this day, people take an early morning holy bath on the banks of sacred rivers
- After this, they observe a Paush Purnima Vrat by abstaining themselves from eating food and drinking water
- Then they perform Vishnu Puja either in temples or at their homes/workplace.
- Once the Vishnu Puja is completed, devotees recite Satyanarayan Katha.
- They chant ‘Gayatri Mantra’ or the ‘Om Namo Narayana’ mantra for 108 times in a row.
- The individuals then offer food and clothes to the needy.
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