Sharad Purnima, also known as Kojagiri Purnima, Kumara Purnima, Navanna Purnima, is a harvest festival observed on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September to October), marking the end of the monsoon. On this auspicious day, many divine pairs like Radha Krishna and Shiva Parvati are worshiped along with the Moon and offered kheer and flowers.
In Odisha, unmarried women keep fast with the popular belief of getting their suitable groom(kumara).
In many parts of Gujarat, Garba (an ancient form of dance) takes place in the presence of moonlight.
The Kojagari Purnima involves the practice of the Kojagara Vrata. People perform this Vrata under the moonlight after fasting for the day. Maa Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, is worshipped on this day as it is believed to be her Janam Diwas.
Bhagwan Indra, the God of Rains, along with his elephant Airavata is also worshipped. It is believed that on the night of Sharad Purnima, the raas (a form of dance) of Radha Krishna also occur on this day.
Rituals and Significance
On this day, newly married women start their Purnimasi fasting for the year.
It is believed that Sharad Purnima is the only day in the entire year when the Moon is in its full shape and full of its sixteen Kala. According to Hindu Dharma, rays of the Moon have specific healing properties which nourish the human body and the soul. Doodh-Poha is left under the moonlight for a couple of hours to absorb its healing properties, and then it is consumed.
It is said that Maa Lakshmi descends on the earth to watch the actions of human beings on this day.
The full Moon has just arrived, and I believe Maa Lakshmi is observing the Adharmics. Along with Maa Parvati and Maa Saraswati, Mata Lakshmi forms the Tridevi of Hindu goddesses, and I hope they give us the Shakti (power) to withstand the winters. Jai Mata Di!