Why Sharad Purnima is observed?
As any other festival that are celebrated in India there are many folklores that are associated with it, sometimes there are more than two stories attached to it.
Sharad Purnima is also associated with many such lore. Some of which we shall try to see in this content.
First, the festival is mainly associated with Goddess Lakshmi. It is said according to the mythological scriptures that Goddess Lakshmi who is also referred as the goddess of wealth in India was born on the day of Sharad Purnima.
And so, the main deity associated with the worshiping and the observance of the festival is Goddess Lakshmi.
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The festival is also said to be associated with the worshiping of other Hindu gods and goddess such as Lord Shiva and even God Indra.
It is observed in many parts of India that the idols of the Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi; his significant other and Nandi the said chariot that is associated with Lord Shiva.
As this festival has another story associated with it which we shall know in sometime, Lord Indra is also worshiped on the occasion of Sharad Purnima.
He is said to be the Lord of Rain, and so he too is worshiped. Idol of god Indra along with his ride an elephant named Airavat are placed in the altar or the place of worship.
One tale that is associated with the festival is that there are said to be a total of 16 attributes that a human being possesses and that under the moon of Sharad Purnima the attributes are revealed or shown.
However, so far only Lord Krishna has been able to show and have all the 16 attributes. The attributes are referred as kala in Hindi.
As lord Krishna is one of the form of Lord Vishnu he is said to be a complete form of Lord Vishnu by showcasing all the 16 attributes.
Lord Rama who was also a form of Lord Vishnu was only able to possess 12 attributes or kala. One common lore that is attached to this festival is the story of two sisters.
It is said that there were two sisters who were very different from each other by nature.
The elder sister is said to be hardworking and filled with devotion whereas the other sister the younger one was hardly diligent and dedicated as a result the elder sister was blessed with good life whereas the other sister had to suffer through many difficulties in life.
This festival is mainly associated with married women. This festival is primarily celebrated by newly married Hindu women where they keep fast and break their fast at the night i.e. the night of Sharad Purnima.
The festival is celebrated at the time of October and November that would be Ashvin if gone according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
It is a festival associated with the celestial movement of the moon and the moon on the night of Sharad Purnima is said to very auspicious.
It was previously mentioned that the festival is primarily associated with Goddess Lakshmi and it is her that is primarily celebrated and worshiped.
It is said that on the night of Sharad Purnima Goddess Lakshmi takes a round of the Mother Earth to find the doings of the living creatures of the Mother Earth.
Goddess Lakshmi is said to bring wealth and prosperity to the family and so she is worshiped ardently by the members of the family. As mentioned before that the rain god or God Indra is also worshiped on the festival of Sharad Purnima.
The festival is also a great occasion for the farmers of the country. The month of October and November are the harvest month and so the farmers are found to be harvesting the crops and selling them in the markets to gain fruitful fortune.
The moon on this days is said to be very pious and divine. And the full moon on the Sharad Purnima night is said to bring good vibes in the house and into the lives of people.
The rituals associated with Sharad Purnima
There are no steadfast rules as what rituals are to be followed. However, it is mostly seen that the majority of the festivals are celebrated with utmost care and dedication and that there should not be any mistakes while performing any of the rites.
The festival of Sharad Purnima or Sharad Poonam as it also called in some parts of India mainly in the Gujarat region is mainly celebrated by the newly married women.
It is a major festival for them as they keep fast on this day and the fast that they keep on the festival of Sharad Purnima is said to be the beginning of the all the fasts that they shall keep within a year and in their newly married life.
The festival is primarily focused on worshiping the moon god. As it was mentioned earlier that the moon on the Sharad Purnima is very auspicious and so the rays of the moon are said to be divine and carry the essence of pious nectar in it.
The rays of moon are said to fall on the sweet prepared with rice and curd along with sugar making the dish pure and blessed to take.
The sweet dish is then consumed by the family members and the newly wedded girls so that they can break their fast and begin the journey of their newly married life with the blessings of the moon on Sharad Purnima.