Kojagiri Pournima (Sharad Pournima)

On the night of Kojagiri Pournima (full moon), Deities Lakshmi and Indra are worshipped. As the legend goes Deity Lakshmi descends on to the earth at midnight and endows the one awake, with bountiful wealth and prosperity. Let us try to understand the importance of this day and about the puja (ritualistic worship) to be performed, through this article.


1. Date as per Hindu lunar calendar (tithi)

Kojagiri Pournima is a festival celebrated on the Pournima in the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin.


2. History

The Holy text Shrimadbhagwat states that it is on this day that Shrikrushna performed the Rasotsav (Divine play through dance, with the milkmaid devotees (gopis) ).


3. Various ways of describing Ashwin Pournima

Ashwin pournima is also known as kojagiri pournima, Navanna pournima, or Sharad pournima. Navanna pournima is celebrated on the day that the pournima or full moon is complete.

A. On ashwin pournima, after midnight Shri Lakshmi devi goes around asking ‘Ko jagarti’ which means ‘who is awake?’ That is why this day is known as Kojagiri pournima.

B. On Ashwin pournima, the farmers express their gratitude to the nature by worshiping the new harvest and offering Naivedya. Hence this day is also known as Navanna pournima.

C. Ashwin pournima falls during the Sharad season (rutu). Hence, this is also known as Sharad pournima.


4. Significance

A. The moon which symbolises Chandrama, the Moon Deity is tranquil and Bliss-endowing just like Chandrama. Seekers are able to experience tranquility akin to the moon from Incarnations of God, hence Deities Rama, Krushna etc are also referred to as Ramachandra, Krushnachandra etc. It is because of this virtue of the moon that in the Holy Shrimadbhagwadgeeta, Chapter 10, verse 21 Shrikrushna says, ‘Among the planets, I am the moon’.

B. At midnight Deity Shri Lakshmi descends from the atmosphere of the moon onto the earth and asks ‘Ko jagarti’ meaning ‘who is awake ?’ and blesses the one awake with wealth.

C. On this day vibrations of the Energy of Will (Icchashakti) of Shri Lakshmi, from  the concept of Adishakti (The Primal Mother), are functional in the universe. Fulfillment of desire with expectation of procuring wealth occurs on this day. This concept helps in purification of the physical and mental bodies and in making the mind happy. On this day a mission acquires a special functional ability, rather strength, to accumulate wealth.

D. Frequencies emitted into the environment on the day of Kojagiri Pournima

Frequencies Amount (%)
1. Spiritual emotion (bhav) 25
2. Divine Consciousness (Chaitanya) 20
3. Bliss (Anand) 30
4. Peace (Shanti) 25
Total 100


5. Implied meaning

Only the one who is awake and alert on the night of Kojagiri is able to partake of Divine nectar (amrut) ! Kojagar is derived from three words ko+oja+agar. On this day through the moonlight we receive Bliss in various levels as Atmanand, Brahmanand etc. in the form of soul energy (oja), in abundance. But to be able to partake of that Divine nectar Sages ask ‘Who is awake ? Who is alert ? Who is aware of the greatness of this nectar? The one who is awake and alert and perceives its greatness becomes a beneficiary of this Divine nectar !’ – H.H. Parashram Pande Maharaj, Sanatan Ashram, Devad, Panvel.


6. How to celebrate this festival

‘On this day the meal consists of items prepared from the newly harvested crop of grains. At night Shri Lakshmi and Deity Indra seated on His vehicle, the elephant Airawat, are worshipped. After the puja puffed rice and coconut water are offered (naivedya) to Deities and deceased ancestors and are then served to all guests as Holy sacrament (prasad). Milk is boiled and condensed in the beautiful moonlight of the Sharad (autumn) season and is offered to the moon and then partaken of as Holy sacrament. Moonlight has some medicinal properties. Hence this milk is good for health. On this night people stay awake all night and play entertaining indoor games. The following morning food is consumed after the fast.

Condensed milk


7. Reasons for worshipping Deities
Lakshmi and Indra on Kojagiri Pournima

A. On this day the moon earnestly pleads with these two Deities to manifest in their Principle forms on the earth.

B. Deity Lakshmi endows Bliss and Deity Indra endows tranquility. These two Deities are worshipped on this day as They appear in the environment in forms of Their Principles and as Their Principles are more active on this day than those of other Deities.


8. Puja of Deities Lakshmi and Indra

A. Puffed rice and coconut water are used in this puja. The former gives happiness and the latter, coolness. Hence these two substances are used by an embodied soul (jiva) to attract frequencies of Bliss and tranquility respectively, towards it.

B. The moon is offered condensed milk because on this day by looking at the reflection of the moon in the milk we can imbibe the Moon Principle emanating from it. The form and Principle of the moon in both, the gross and subtle forms, are imbibed by this milk.

C. Remaining awake : At midnight Deity Lakshmi descends from the atmosphere of the moon on to the earth and pleased with those who are awake showers Her grace upon them. That is why it is a tradition to remain awake on the night of Kojagiri Pournima.


9. Astrological significance of viewing the moon on Kojagiri pournima

At night, by viewing the reflection of the moon in the milk one obtains the benefit of having consumed Amrit (the divine nectar) which enters the milk through the medium of the moons rays. This happens when the moon transits through the ashwini nakshatra (star sign) on ashwin pournima. The Ashwini kumars are the presiding Deities for the Ashwini nakshatra. The Ashwini kumars are also the Vaidyas of Deities. By propitiating the Ashwini kumars, it is said that even the most terrible of diseases can be overcome. Therefore, viewing the moon on Ashwin pournima is much more significant compared to any other full moon through the year.

According to astrology the moon is responsible for one’s mental health. One’s mental state, be it happiness or unhappiness, are related to the moon. If the status of the moon (chandrabal) is weak in someone’s horoscope, then they are susceptible to increased mental strife around the time of a full moon. However, if the moon is strong in someone’s horoscope then the full moon or moonlight brings their talents to the fore. Such people get inspired to write poems.

Astrologers study, the status of the moon in the horoscope to understand the bliss of motherhood that one will enjoy. On Ashwin pournima, a mother performs aukshan to her eldest child in the moon’s presence. This is to signify her gratitude for having been bestowed the bliss of motherhood for the first time by her eldest child.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy text ‘ Appropriate method and science in celebrating Holy festivals ‘

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