Sharad Poornima is an important occasion of worship for the members of the Hindu community. It is basically a harvest festival that is celebrated on the full moon day in the lunar month of Ashwin. It usually falls during the months of September or October according to the Gregorian calendar. This year, Sharad Poornima falls on the 5th of October.
Sharad Poornima is known by many names like Navanna Poornima, Kaumudi Poornima and Kojagiri Poornima. The people of various parts of the country worship different deities as per their popularity in the region. Kojagari vrata is kept in honour of the Goddess Lakshmi. Lord Indra who is the king of gods and the bringer of rains is also worshipped on this day. Lord Shiva, his consort Goddess Parvati are honoured on this day too.
On this auspicious occasion, let us learn about the interesting facts and legends related to Sharad Poornima. Read on to know more.
The Meaning Of Kojagiri
It is said that the word Kojagiri is derived from the Sanskrit words Ko Jagriti which means ‘who is awake'. It is said that the Goddess Lakshmi roams the earth on this night asking, ‘Ko Jagriti?' When she finds someone awake and deep in worship, she blesses them with wealth and prosperity.
The Legend Of 16 Kalas
A kala is a quality that a human being is born with. It is said that there are 16 kalas in all and only the most perfect man has all the 16 kalas. Lord Krishna is perhaps the only man to be born with all the 16 kalas and is called the complete and perfect man. It is said that Lord Rama was born with only 12 kalas.
On the night of Sharad Poornima, the full moon comes out resplendent with all the 16 kalas and it is the only night in a year that this happens.
The Healing Moonlight Of Sharad Poornima
It is believed that on Sharad Poornima, the moon rises with properties that heal the body and soul of human beings. The rays of the moon are said to be dripping with nectar and that it nourishes human beings from inside out.
To take advantage of this phenomenon, people make kheer, made with rice. This kheer is then left out in the moonlight overnight for it to soak up the goodness of the rays. The next morning, the kheer that is infused with the powers of the moonlight is served as prasad to the members of the family.
The Night Of Raas Leela
The famous Raas Leela-the divine dance of love-took place on the night of Sharad Poornima. As the legend goes, one Sharad Poornima night, that was basking in the light of the full moon, Lord Krishna played a tune on his flute. The melody was so enchanting that all the Gopis in the Brij region came out of their homes in a trance-like condition. They danced to the tune of the flute; and, with each Gopi, danced a Krishna.
It is said that by the power of his maya, Lord Krishna stretched a single earthly night into a night of the Brahma. A night of the Brahma equals billions of years on earth.
Sharad Poornima Vrat Katha
Sharad Poornima vrat katha is to be read after performing the vrat. It exalts the benefits of performing the vrat properly.
Once there lived two sisters who were the daughters of a moneylender. Both the girls observed the fast of Sharad Poornima. While the eldest daughter fasted with devotion, the youngest daughter was not very bothered by its intricacies. The elder daughter would consume food only after she had offered arghya to the moon god. On the other hand, the younger daughter would not even see the fast through.
The two girls grew up and got married. While the elder daughter was blessed with good and beautiful children, the babies of the younger daughter died soon after they were born.
The younger daughter visited a saint who told her that she had been observing the Sharad Poornima vrat without any true devotion. Doing so had brought this misfortune upon her.
Next Sharad Poornima, the younger daughter performed the Sharad Poornima with full devotion. She gave birth to a baby soon after, but it too died in some time.
She believed that her elder sister will be able to remedy her problem. She placed the body of the baby on a cot and covered it with a sheet. She invited her elder sister to her home and made her sit on the cot. The elder sister sat on the cot and her clothes came in contact with the baby's body. As soon as this happened, the baby came alive and started crying.
The elder sister was startled. The younger sister told her about how the baby was dead and had come alive at the touch of the elder sister. They both believed that this had happened due to the grace of the moon god and the effect of the Sharad Poornima vrat.