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Sharad Purnima

sharad-purnima Sharad Purnima- 16 faceted Moon
Sharad Purnima. Full Moon in the month of Ashwin (Sun in Libra). Third full Moon during Sun in Southern hemisphere (Lunar Phase of Earth)
Sharad season falls between the monsoon and winter. It covers the autumn as such which is marked by hot days with cool nights and aggravations of pitta that result in much disease.
A popular Hindu Blessing goes like this:

पश्येम शरदः शतम् । जीवेम शरदः शतम् ।

Pashyema Sharadah Shatam I Jeevema Sharadah Shatam I
May we see a hundred Autumns I May we live a hundred Autumns I

बुध्येम शरदः शतम् । रोहेम शरदः शतम् ।

Buddhyema Sharadah Shatam I Rohema Sharadah Shatam I
May we know for hundred Autumns I May we ascend a hundred Autumns I

पूषेम शरदः शतम् । भवेम शरदः शतम् ।

Pooshema Sharadah Shatam I Bhavema Sharadah Shatam I
May we prosper a hundred Autumns I May we be a hundred Autumns I

भूयेम शरदः शतम् । भूयसीः शरदः शतात् ।
Bhooyema Sharadah Shatam I Bhooyasee Sharadah Shataat I
May we adorn a hundred Autumns I May you be for more than hundred Autumns I
Atharva Veda 19:67

May you live a hundred autumns = may you have a healthy body to survive through a hundred seasons of disease. Sharad occurs in Dakshinaya, the movement of the Sun in the southern hemisphere which, in Ayurveda is called the Visarg Kaal- the time that Lunar energy is predominanat whence the Sun returns to the Earth its essence that was drained during its Northern movement in Uttarayana, Adaan Kaal in ayurveda. Yogically, these periods symbolise the shift of focus between the spiritual(uttarayana), Solar energy and the physical(Dakshinaya), Lunar energy. The Uttarayana period is of the nature of the Sun, where the spiritual aspect and the self (soul) are in play; while Dakshinayana is of the nature of the Moon when the physical body aspect and the mind come into play. Humans are blessed with the discriminating awareness of the influence of the movement of the planets and stars and can use this knowledge accordingly to create a healthy, holistic and consciously intuitive lifestyle.
The Full Moon of Sharad falls in the center of Visarg Kaal, which is the time of focus on the Physical strength being regained. Up until now, in its initial phase, visarg Kaal had festivals which recommend fasting, but after this full moon, the festivities will be all about feasting. For eg. The period from the dark moon before this full moon was Navaratri, which entails nine days of fasting at the autumn equinox to detox the body and prepare it for the feasting season of winter ahead. The fifteen days before Navaratri were for the commemoration of ancestors and the bhog offered to them consists of Kheer - sweet rice and milk pudding. This is the best counter to Pitta that rises after monsoon and needs cooling. The best and last of the kheer eating season falls on Sharad Purnima and has the maximum significance. Rice is the grain that is astrologically assigned to the Moon: with milk and sugar candy, it is the perfect antidote to hot pitta aggravations. Grandmothers science mandates to offer a bowl of kheer to the Moon tonight and keep it out all night long to absorb the Moon's beneficial rays. Next day, this kheer is consumed as the most curative blessing of the Moon. 

This is a night of Kojagrata, wakefulness. Sleeping is prohibited until 3am. Today is the birthday of Goddess Laxmi, who emerged from the churning of the ocean. It also is the birthday of the most handsome of the Gods: Kartikeya, son of Shiva and Shakti. In eastern parts of India, young girls worship the moon to beget a handsome groom. Krishna also performed the Maha Raas Leela with the Gopis and Radha in Vrindavan on this very day. In Gujarat, the festival is celebrated with Dandiya Raas Garba where couples dance together under the moonlight. Todays full moon is the official Valentines day of Indian culture and is dedicated to lovers and declarations of love.

The Moon is the closest to Earth on Sharad Purnima: the night that the maximum essence of Earth is returned in full flow. Medicinal herbs gain their highest potency. The Moon showers its nectar upon the Earth (AmritVarsha) with all his 27 wives(the constellations) and is fully complete in all its sixteen Kalas (facets of personality: In the perfect human, the personality has 16 facets​). All 16 Kalas of the Moon are not visible together throughout the year, except on Sharad Purnima. The 16th facet, representative of AdiShakti(Supreme Shakti) herself is not visible to mortals. HaTha yoga is synonymous with the energy of the Sun and the Moon which are as resident within the physical body as much as in the universe. The body is made of the five tattvas/elements. Each shift according to the energies of the Sun and Moon and planets in the seasons. Yogis know how to read the cosmos to create the balance that Yoga is all about: the aligning of energies at different phases of the universal shifts with the human organism that is very much a part of the macrocosm.

Sharad Purnima is the beginning of the harvest season. Ayurveda prescribes herbs to be plucked only in specific moon phases for their optimum efficacy. Up until Diwali, the crops will be harvested and then for Diwali, which falls on the coming new moon, the markets will be flush with freshly harvested grains and herbs. Markets are full of shoppers- it is time to get rid of old monsoon mould, whitewash, spring clean the home, and paint afresh a celebratory canvas of life. These very mundane chores are cathartic and a significance of embracing novelty ahead: Thus, the very motivating aspect of Laxmi, the bestower of wealth and who only enters a clean home is associated with the fifteen days upto the new moon on Diwali.

Chanting of Vishnu Saharanama, Krisna Madhurashtakam, Kanakdhara strotam, Shreesuktam are particularly recommended for Sharad Purnima. 

May the light of Yoga see our bodies gain and maintain health through many Sharad Purnimas so that we may eventually realise to the divine light within each of our souls.

 

Comments 1

Guest - Dr.Nisha on Wednesday, 24 October 2018 11:05

Very informative.Specialy about indian culture ,science and aayurveda connection .Thaks a lot for this update .

Very informative.Specialy about indian culture ,science and aayurveda connection .Thaks a lot for this update .
Guest
Tuesday, 16 July 2019