Kojagiri Purnima in 2013 is going to be celebrated on the 18th of October 2013. Kojagiri Purnima is an Indian festival celebrated to invoke the blessings of Moon. Kojagiri Purnima, as the name suggests, falls on Purnima or on the full Moon day, but in the Hindu month of Ashwin. It is also the harvest festival. Crops sown come to maturity around this festival. It is a period of good harvest, as food is drawn out from these crops. Availability of enough food and finally a break to the farmers from working day and night on the fields leads to merrymaking and spreads happiness all around. So, this festival of Kojagiri Purnima is celebrated with all the excitement. Kojagiri Purnima marks an end to the monsoon season. It is also known by names like Sharad Purnima or Raas Purnima.
Kojagiri Purnima in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, the festival of Sharad Purnima is celebrated under the name Kojagiri. Kojagiri Purnima is associated with the Moon god and it is believed that Moon god is the brother of Goddess Lakshmi. So, it is said that on the day of Kojagiri, Goddess Lakshmi comes and blesses the people who are awake at night, with wealth and prosperity. So, people gather together at night and indulge in merry-making and do fun activities all through the night. People sing songs and dance together, share some good chats under the bright light of full moon and keep themselves awake.
The Legend of Kojagiri Purnima
While celebrating Sharad Purnima in 2013, it is a good idea to know the legend associated with it. The legend of Lakshmi Kojagiri Vrat is associated with a Brahmin man Valit. It is said, that this legend is told as Lakshmi Kojagiri Katha by Valkhilya Rishi to the other Rishis.The legend of Kojagiri related to Goddess Lakshmi goes like this.
There was a man named Valit, who lived in Magadha. Valit was a poor Brahmin. Though he was poor he believed in god and was very religious. He was married and his wifes name was Chandani. She used to speak foul with him and used to harass him even over very small and petty things. Chandani always had conflict of interest with her husband, Valit. Valit was very well aware of her behavior. So, one day when he had to perform the Shradh ceremony of his father, he refused and told her that he will not perform any ritual for his father. But, because she used to oppose him in all his decisions, he had to call Brahmins on her insistence and perform the ceremony. Valit told his wife to throw the Pindas in the river. But, she did not agree and instead threw the Pindas in a cesspool. This behavior of Chandani annoyed Valit to the core. He was so fed up with this attitude that he left his own house and then, he went straight to the forest. In the forest, he was amazed to see three Naagkanyas performing a pooja. He got to know that they were performing Lakshmi Kojagiri Pooja and also that they have kept Lakshmi Kojagiri fast. The three Nagakanyas asked Valit to play the game of dice with them and he agreed. With the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi Valit won a lot of money through this game of dice and became very rich. Valit, with his newly accumulated wealth went back home. There his wife welcomed him with all the respect. And they lived happily with all the wealth and prosperity.
Kojagiri Purnima - Sharad Poonam
In Gujarat, Kojagiri Purnima is celebrated under the name of Sharad Poonam. According to Hindu Mythology, it is said that once Lord Krishna called all the Gopis from Vrindavan to play Raas Leela with him on this particular night of Sharad Purnima. This was to test their love for him, that whether they would risk damaging their social status by stepping out of the house in the night which was a taboo during those days. But, to his delight, all the Gopis came and won his heart. Krishna took forms to match the number of Gopis who came to dance with him, and to perform Raas Leela with them. The Gopis were pleased with this gesture but also started feeling proud about themselves and said that their devotion towards Krishna cannot be excelled by anyone else. This angered Krishna and to teach them a lesson, he disappeared in the middle of the Raas Leela. Gopis started crying out of remorse and they started singing Virah geet( a song of parting ways from their loved one- Lord Krishna). However, the memories they had of that night were very precious. So, every year the Gopis gathered together on this night, they sang, danced and remained awake the whole night in remembrance of that beautiful night, they once spent with Lord Krishna. Even to this day Sharad Purnima is celebrated in Gujarat and Raas Leela is arranged on a big note.
To know more about Lord Krishna and all his leelas, click here, Lord Krishna
Rituals Performed During Kojagiri Purnima 2013
On Sharad Purnima, people observe fast. It includes fasting from the intake of solid food. Liquids such as milk and water can be taken while observing the fast. At night, milk is boiled until it thickens and takes the form of kheer. Then dry fruits are also mixed in it. This kheer is then kept directly under the Moonlight, as a Prasad, to invoke the blessings of Moon. It is said that the Moon pours its light in the form of amrit(nectar) into this kheer and whoever drinks it, will feel blessed, free from all the impurities and negativities in life. Some people also follow a practice of needling a thread directly under the Moonlight. It is said that following this practice improves the vision.
Kojagiri Purnima in 2013 And Its Significance
There is a great significance of celebrating each and every festival and so is the significance of Kojagiri Purnima. It is said that on the day of Kojagiri Purnima Moon comes closer to earth. Moon has some powers of purification of body and soul. These powers are good for nourishment of body. So, people sit under the Moonlight to absorb these powers of Moonlight and purify their body and soul. May this Kojagiri Purnima bring you all the good fortune that you wished for. Wishing you all a happy Kojagiri Purnima 2013 !!