Sharad Purnima is one of the most religiously significant full moon nights in Hindu Calendar. It comes in the Sharad Ritu (season) and is observed on Purnima (full moon night) in the month of Ashvin (September/October). This celebration is also known as Kaumudi, i.e. Moonlight or Kojagari Purnima. Sharad Poonam is also celebrated as a harvest festival in many states of India and also marks the beginning of the winter season after monsoon.
SHARAD PURNIMA SIGNIFICANCE
Sharad Poonam is a spiritual festival that celebrates the moon in its utmost prime. Moon, on this day, comes out with all its 16 Kalas. In Indian astrology, it is believed that each Kala represents one human quality and an amalgamation of all these 16 Kalas make a perfect personality. It is believed that Lord Krishna was born with all the sixteen Kalas.
Moon of Sharad Poornima emanates rays which possess incredible healing and nourishing properties. Also, it is believed that the moonlight on this day drips elixir or Amrit. So, devotees on this day, prepare Kheer and put the bowl of this sweet dish in direct moonlight to gather all the positive and divine rays of the moon. The next day, this Kheer is distributed among all as Prasad.
The initiation of Purnimasi Vrat, i.e. fasting on all full moon nights, by newlywed women is done on Sharad Purnima Festival. This day is also associated with Lakshmi, Goddess Of Wealth. It is believed that if one worships Goddess Lakshmi all night long while observing a fast on Sharad Purnima is blessed with enormous wealth and prosperity even if there is no Lakshmi Yoga in his/her birth chart or horoscope.
The celebration of Sharad Purnima is also associated with Lord Krishna. It is also known as Raas Purnima owing to the belief that on the night of Sharad Poonam, Lord Krishna performed the divine dance known as Maha- Raas with his Gopis. Raas Purnima is celebrated on a grand scale in Brij and Vrindavan
SHARAD PURNIMA CELEBRATIONS
Sharad Purnima celebrations are associated with the worship of Chandra Dev (Moon) and Goddess Lakshmi. Devotees observe a day-long fast on this day and break the fast after performing the Puja and listening to Sharad Purnima Vrat Katha.