The Sharad Purnima or Kojaagari Purnima or Kumar Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September–October). It marks the end of monsoon. There is a traditional celebration of the moon and is also called the 'Kaumudi celebration', Kaumudi meaning moonlight.
At night, goddess Lakshmi is worshiped and night vigil is observed. According to a folk-tale, once a king fell on evil days, and was in great financial straits, but then his queen observed this fast and night vigil, and worshiped the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Consequently, they were blessed by the goddess and they regained their prosperity.
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.
According to Srimad Bhagvad Purana, the famous Raas Lila of Lord Krishna with Radha and Gopis took place on the night of Sharad Poornima.
The showering of Bhakti Raas on the Sharad Poornima night by Krishna on Gopis and Radha has been a main theme for poets and philosophers and still continues to attract the fantasies of common man. The Sharad Poornima night is also seen as the night of love and couples come out at night to face the moon and express their love.
It is also said that the moon is close to the earth on the day and due to this the rays of the moon has several curative properties.
Determination of Date
Sharad Purnima is celebrated on Ashwin Purnima falling during night. If Ashwin Purnima falls on two days and falls or does not fall during night then it is celebrated on second day.
How to Celebrate
In the early morning the girls after their purificatory bath wear new garments and make food-offerings to the sun. They observe fasting for the day. In the evening when the moon rises they again make Puja offerings of a special variety and take it after the rituals are over. It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. Many areas of caostal Odisha the unmarried folk wear new clothes. The songs are of special nature like 'Kuanra punei jahna go '.They also play a kind of game known as Puchi khela. They also indulge in other varieties of country-games.On this day the son-in-law is also honoured with gifts.
In some regions, Poha, puffed rice, and kheer, sweet, is prepared and left in the moonlight and is consumed later. In some areas, the full moon is not seen directly instead it seen on a vessel filled with boiling milk.
Sharad Poornima Vrat (Fast)
(For the fulfillment of wishes and for the protection of children)
According to astrologer full Moon of Shrad Poornima is most powerful Moon of the year, so, on this day fast should be observed and different Gods and Goddesses especially Goddess Mahalaxmi should be worshipped.
Method of Observing Sharad Poornima Vrat
This fast is observed on the Poornima of bright half of Hindi month Ashwin. After having bath worship your family God by performing Shodashopchar Puja. After worshipping family diety Goddess Mahalaxmi should be worshipped on this day as she wanders here and there to bless her devotees. Read Sharad Poornima Vrata Katha. At night mix sugar in the milk of cow and keep it under the rays of Moon. Offer it to your favourite God and Laxmi and serve among devotees. Chant Bhajans in the night.
Aarti Shri Lakshmi Ji Ki
Om jay lakshmi mata, maiya jay lakshmi mata|
tumko nisidin sevat, har-vishnu-dhata | Om jay......
uma, rama, brahmani, tum hi jag-mata|
surya-chandrama dhyavat, narad rishi gata | Om jay......
durgarup niranjni sukh-sampatti-data|
jo koi tumko dhyata, riddhi-siddhi-dhan pata| Om jay......
tum patal-nivasini, tum hi shubh data|
karm prabhav-prakashini, bhavnidhi ki trata| Om jay......
jis ghar men tum rahtin, tahan sab sadgun ata|
sab sambhav ho jata, man nahin ghabrata| Om jay......
tum bin yagya n hote, vastra n koi pata|
khan-pan ka vaibhav, sab tum se ata| Om jay......
shubh-gun-mandir sundar, kshiroddhi-jata|
ratn chaturdash tum bin, koi nahin pata| Om jay......
mahalakshmiji ki arti, jo koi nar gata|
ur anand samata, pap utar jata| Om jay......
mahalakshmi namastubhyan namastubhyan sureshvari |
haripriye namastubhyan namastubhyan dayanidhe |