Switch of all the artificial lamps and light.
To enjoy the smiling glow of this beautiful night.
He is all alone in the sky every night of the year.
Be his companion today to witness the brightest sphere.
Soak yourself in the soothing light of his healing rays.
More than enough to energize you for many, many days.
Look at his alluring, charming reflection.
In the cup full of saffron milk, with affection.
Celebrate this Kojagiri’s celestial Moon.
To be blessed of all the salubrious boon.
Namaskar, you lovely people, my greetings and good wishes on the occasion of Kojagiri Pournima. Wrote these lines in praise of the Full Moon of the Hindu Ashwin month.
Sharadiya Pournima, as it is also known, is celebrated in different parts of India in different ways. In Maharashtra and Bengal, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped. It is believed that Ma Lakshmi visits her devotees on this Full moon night and blesses those who keep an all-night vigil to pray and celebrate. Thus getting its name Kojagiri Pournima, KO JAGRIT meaning ” Who is awake?”, in Sanskrit. This Full Moon night is also called Kaumudi Pournima. Kaumudi meaning Moonlight.
The tradition in Maharashtra is to make masala milk -a heavenly concoction of milk, sugar, dry fruits like cashew nuts, almonds, and pistachios, infused with cardamom saffron, and nutmeg. The Masala Milk is kept open under the moonlight for a few hours with the thought that it will absorb all the healing rays of the Moon. Then it is distributed to all who have gathered for the celebration after the Puja.
In Bengal and North Eastern states, girls fast full day, worship Ma Lakshmi, and break the fast with milk and rice flakes. Here it is also called Lokkhi Puja. Our Puranas associate this day with Raas Lila by Krishna Bhagawan with Radha and the Gopis. Hence, in Gujarat, it is celebrated with Garba.
As with most Hindu festivals, Kojagiri Pournima is also tied with nature and human connection. Thus bringing humans closer to nature to reap the healing benefits of the cosmos. It is believed that Sharada Pournima is the day in the year when the Moon comes out with all sixteen Kala(s). In Hinduism, each human quality is associated with a certain Kala, and it is believed that the combination of sixteen different Kala(s) creates a perfect human personality. Lord Krishna was born with all sixteen Kala(s), and He is the complete incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The Moon has 16 phases (known as Kala). Out of 16 Kalas, only 15 are visible to us, and the 16th is invisible. The 16 Kala are ruled by female deities known as Nitya Devis. Each of the 16 Nitya Devis has a phase of the Moon, a mantra, a yantra, and its Shaktis. On Pournima or full Moon, all the Nityas are in the Moon, and the Moon is shining brightly. The Nityas are the Kalachakra or Wheel of Time. The Nityas are also the vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet.
Scientifically speaking, Moon is supposed to be closest to the earth and the moon’s rays are said to have curative properties. The vessel containing the sweet is prepared and left in the moonlight to be consumed later. Also, there is a seasonal change happening around this time of the year. With the end of monsoons and mercury starting to drop, there is a need to boost and strengthen the immune system to fight seasonal infections.
The end of the monsoon is known to aggravate “Pitta Dosha” (acidity) in the body. Ayurveda recommends cooling foods like Masala Milk to neutralize and balance the Pitta. In addition, it is also suggested that the use of silver glasses to serve masala milk enhances the healing properties of the Masala Milk. Silver is antibacterial, boosts metabolism and immunity, and has body cooling properties.
So, we can see this beautiful tie together of an astronomical event for harnessing health and nutrition and spiritual upliftment and providing a social platform for get-togethers. Well, long before Moon bathing became a fad, our ancestors had already created such an innovative idea to get all the benefits of mother nature.
Chalo Phir, Let’s pray tonight to Ma Lakshmi for well-being, bathe in the Kajagiri’s Moonlight and grab some stardust.
Kalyani S Kakade
Content Copyright: This Adbhut Life!
29, Ashwina Shukla Paksha, Chaturdashi 2078 Aananda, Vikrama Samvata Singapore, Singapore19October 2021