Sharad Poornima or Sharath Purnima is the full moon day in the month of October and is closely associated with Lord Krishna and Radha and Gopis. According to Srimad Bhagavad Purana, the famous Raas Lila of Lord Krishna with Radha and Gopis took place on the night of Sharad Poornima. In 2016, date of Sharad Poornima is October 15.
The showering of Bhakti Raas on the Sharad Poornima night by Krishna on Gopis and Radha has been the 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.
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 is of great significance in Mathura, Braj, Vrindavan and Nathdwara.
STORY BEHIND SHARAD PURNIMA
Sharad Purnima is the full moon day in the month of Ashwin and some people keep fast on the day. People prepare Kheer (rice boiled in milk) under moonlight and it is consumed during midnight. A popular Kahani or story associated with Sharad Purnima is listened to on the day. The Sharad Poornima Vrat Katha narrates about the importance of fasting on the day and the benefits received from it.
One there lived two sisters. The elder sister was very pious and religious. She used to observe the Sharad Purnima Vrat with dedication. The younger sister was never interested in observing the great but used do some rituals for namesake and would end her fast by noon.
The elder sister had healthy and obedient children. But all the children of younger sister died at birth. The younger sister was very worried and once she approached a saint and narrated her problem.
The saint soon realized the problem – the younger sister has been observing rats disinterestedly. The saint said that when you observe a great you should observe it properly or should not bother to observe it at all.
The younger sister realized her fault and observed the next Sharad Purnima vrat with devotion.
Soon she gave birth to a child but the child too died immediately after death.
The younger sister then thought of a plan. She took the body of the dead child and covered it with a cloth and placed it on a chair. Now the baby with the cloth looked like cushion.
She then invited the elder sister to her home and asked her to sit on the chair on which the body of the baby was lying. As the elder sister bent down sit, the child started crying.
The elder sister was surprised and scolded the younger sister for being careless.
The younger sister then told the elder sister that the baby had died at birth and it has to come to life by your touch – the power of Sharad Purnima Vrat is responsible for reviving the child.
Soon the miracle happened in the house of spread around the kingdom and people started observing Sharad Purnima Vrat.