Sharad Purnima also known as Kojaagari Purnima, Kumar Purnima, Rasa Purnima, Sharath Purnima or Kaumudi Festival is an Indian festival being celebrated on the Purnima (full moon day) of the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin every year.
The bright light on this full moon day marks the changing season, the end of monsoon. It is basically a harvest festival which brings end of the rainy season and the brightness of the full moon brings special joy. On this day people observe fast and worship moon and Satya God, Indra on Erawat (white) elephant and Mahalakshmi. People hear story related to the festival and in the third part of the day, perform Aarti of elephant for getting favorable results.
It is believed that on this night Goddess Lakshmi visits from place to place asking “Kojagari??” and bless those who are found awake, also, that rays of moon shower Amrit, on this day, therefore people stay awake for the whole night. There is general practice of preparing kheer (Sweet dish), poha (Rice flakes) or sweets and offered before God in moonlight through out the night and distributed as Prasad on the next day. It is also said that on this day lord Krishna created a Maharas Lila with Gopis (Expression of love by graceful dance).
As per story a moneylender had two daughters. Both of them used observe a fast but one used to complete it in a systematic manner and the other used to leave it incomplete. As a result, child born to the 2nd daughter always used to die. In worry the second daughter asked Pandits the reason behind it. Pandits told her that all this was happening because she used to leave the fasts incomplete. The Pandit asked her to observe the fast of Sharad Purnima to keep her child alive.
The second lady laid her dead child on a bed and covered him with a cloth. Then, she called her sister and asked her to sit. As the clothes of her elder sister touched the baby, he came back to life. The elder sister scolded her and said that if by chance she would have sat on the baby, he could have died. The 2nd lady said, “the baby was already dead. He got his life back on getting touched by your clothes.” From that time, tradition of observing the fast of Sharad Purnima is carried on.
This fast is observed for longevity of child and receiving wealth. This day, idol of goddess Lakshami is established and worshipped. Next day morning, idol of Mata Lakshami is handed over to an Acharya.
It is also believed that on this day as moon and the earth are very close to each other, the moon rays have certain healing properties of nourishing the body and the soul.
Sharad Purnima 2016 Date :
In the year 2016, Sharad Purnima will be on 15th October 2016.