The mystical moon, the circle of hope, light and power. The moon is a symbol, universally representing the rhythm of time as it embodies the cycle. The phases of the moon symbolise immortality and eternity, enlightenment. Spiritual advisers think full Moons can therefore create intense aspects of energy. This is because the lunar and solar energies are thought to be in a balanced cosmic harmony.
The result of this Full Moon’s astrological energy is amplified emotions, feelings and mental ability, but simultaneously, significantly improved vision and potential possibilities may be brought to the fore. Such occasions are considered an important time for gratitude and acknowledging just how blessed we are.
Sharad Purnima is a harvesting festival which is celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin. It is also known as Kojagiri Purnima, which means ‘who’s still awake’. It is known by this name as people in Bengal spend the entire night worshipping Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity. It is the harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin. Sharad Purnima marks the end of monsoon. Devotees observe fast on Kojagiri Purnima and break the fast at the end of the day by eating Kheer, which is offered to the moon-god. According to the Puranas, Goddess Lakshmi takes the rounds of Earth to watch the actions of human beings.
According to the Hindu belief, this is the night when Lord Krishna performed a dance with utmost intimacy and permeated the whole universe with divine love. It is also believed that the angelic dance of Lord Krishna with Gopis of Vrindavan stretched the night to the extent of one night of Lord Brahma, which was equivalent to billions of human years.
Early in the morning, unmarried girls wake up and take bath before the sunrise. They perform a pooja to the sun god. This pooja is known as ‘Janhi Osa’. They observe the fast throughout the day. When the moon rises in the evening, they make offerings to the moon god.
Sharad Purnima Celebration
The night of Sharad Purnima is spent in celebrating the Goddess Lakshmi by singing devotional songs, playing games and dancing under the moonlight. People who fast the entire day take only fluids like coconut water or milk. Under the moonlight, the milk and rice are prepared into kheer. This kheer is consumed after keeping it under the moonlight for some time.
Why Kheer is offered to Moon God during Sharad Purnima?
It is believed that moon showers ‘amrit’ or elixir on Sharad Purnima. Thus, people put the kheer pots on the terrace to absorb the nectar showered by moon. It is supposed that moon is in its most powerful form on Sharad Purnima as it comes the closest to the Earth. The ‘amrit’ is said to have healing and health-giving powers.
Sharad Purnima Kheer Recipe
You’ll be needing 1 bowl of soaked rice, 2 cups of milk, sugar, cardamom powder, saffron strands, and dry fruits to prepare this recipe.
How to make Sharad Purnima Kheer
Heat the milk in a thick-bottomed pan. When the milk reduces to 3/4th of its original quantity, add the soaked rice. Keep stirring to prevent catching on the bottom of the pan.
When the rice is cooked and tender, add sugar according to taste and cardamom powder. Stir the ingredients well. Add dry fruits and few strands of saffron.
Mix it well and cook it till the mixture becomes thick. Take it off the heat.
Garnish the kheer with grated almonds, cashews and raisins.
(Ref: Reshu Manglik)