Sharad Purnima is on Sunday, 13th of October. On this day, the moon and the Earth are very close to each other. So the moon rays which have certain healing powers of nourishing the body and the soul of the common man are cherished auspiciously on this sacred day. It is the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin. There is a traditional celebration of the moon and the day is also called as ‘Kaumudi celebration’ which means moonlight celebration. In some regions, kheer is prepared and left in the moonlight overnight. In the morning it is consumed as Prasad that has many healing properties. Thus, the radiant powers of the moon are absorbed by the body. On Sharad Purnima, moon drips elixir to sustain and prolong life on the planet earth.
Besides the healing rays of the moon touching the earth on Sharad Purnima, the day is also perfect for the conduct of Dharmaraja mantra japa. Dharmaraja ritual also has great curative powers providing a double benefit to the devotees. Also power Gods like Rudra, Shakti, Krishna, and Lakshmi will be invoked for their close association with the moon and chanting mantras in their names bestows powerful blessings to the devotees.
The Sharad Purnima night is also seen as the night of love for couples. It is considered auspicious for the couples to express their love to each other under the moon. There is a legend behind this faith. According to Srimad Bhagwad Purana, the famous Raas Lila of Lord Krishna with Radha and Gopis took place on the night of Sharad Purnima. Since then, it became an auspicious ritual for the couples. This Raas Leela has also been the main theme for poets to fantasise about the love of the common man.
Sharad Purnima is also commemorated as the birthday of Goddess of wealth, Goddess Lakshmi. As per the Puranas, it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi takes a round of the earth to watch her ardent devotees on this day. In the morning, people who observe fast take a spiritual bath and worship their family God. Then they worship Goddess Lakshmi. Sharad purnima vrat katha is also recited. The Goddess is dressed in red and worshipped with sindoor. During the day, devotees chant prayers and the Lakshmi chalisa followed by Lakshmi aarti. At night, night vigil is observed. It is believed those who observe fast and night vigil on this day and worship Goddess Lakshmi, are blessed with wealth and prosperity. At night, rice and cow milk kheer or sweetened milk of cow by adding sugar are kept under the rays of the moon. Then it is offered to the deity of wealth and fortune and served among devotees as prasad. Bhajans are chanted the whole night with full devotion.
With Sharad Purnima celebration, preparations for Diwali also begin. It is the time of the year when the festivities are upon us and the mood for celebration has already begun.
Celebrate this day with fervour and joy. Happy Sharad Purnima!