Purnima holds a lot of importance in Hinduism, but the Purnima (full moon day) of the month of Ashwin i.e. the Sharad Purnima is considered to be the biggest Purnima in Hinduism. It is celebrated on a full moon day which marks the end of monsoon. It is also known as Kojagari Purnima or Kaumudi (moonlight) celebration. From the astrological point of view, the moon is considered to be the closest to the Earth on this day. The rays of the moon are believed to contain nourishing elements due to which there is a rain of rays of Amrit (nectar) from the moon on earth on this day. That’s the reason why people make kheer at night, keep it under the moonlight and then eat the kheer in the morning so that they can lead a healthy life. This year Sharad Purnima is on:
Date: Saturday, 28th October 2023
Purnima Tithi Begins: Morning 04:17 AM (October 28, 2023 at 04:17 PM)
Purnima Tithi Ends: Night 01:53 AM (October 29, 2023, at 01:53 AM)
The word ‘Sharad’ focuses on the ‘Sharad Ritu’ (season). Though it is a festival of harvest, it has religious significance for the followers of Vaishnavism as well. It is believed that the individuals who worship Goddess Lakshmi and keep a fast during the day are blessed even if they do not have Lakshmi Yog in their astrological horoscope.
On this auspicious day, people observe fasts, perform puja, take sacred baths, worship Lakshmi-Vishnu, and celebrate with traditional dances and folk songs. There is a special rule for worshipping Mahalakshmi on this day. On this day, people stay up late at night to offer prayers to the moon goddess. People, especially newly wedded couples, keep fast for the entire day to receive blessings for good health, wealth, and happiness.
According to a legend, on this day, the Moon God narrated the story of Lord Rama to Maharishi Valmiki, which inspired him to write the epic Ramayana. This day also marks the end of Lord Rama’s 14 years exile and his return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. Another folk tale states that the Moon was once cursed by his father-in-law Daksha, to wane daily as punishment for neglecting his 27 wives (the 27 daughters of Daksha). On Sharad Purnima, the Moon and his wives reunite, which is why moon is believed to shine with its unparalleled brightness on this day, hence the name ‘Sharad’. The bright harvest moon represents prosperity, and its rays epitomise the divine nectar of immortality, as per Hindu beliefs.
The last lunar eclipse of the year is on the date of Sharad Purnima this year. This lunar eclipse can be seen in India due to which its Sutak period will be valid. According to the Vedic calendar, this lunar eclipse will start in India from 01:06 am on October 28 and will continue till 2:22 am. The Sutak period of this lunar eclipse will start 9 hours before the eclipse. In this way, Sutak will start from 4:44 pm on October 28, which will continue till the end of the eclipse.
Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy Sharad Purnima 2023! May this auspicious full moon night bring your health, wealth, and eternal bliss.