Purnima in the Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month is known as Ashwin or Sharad Poornima. It is also known by the name of Raas Poornima. As per Vedic Astrology, this is the only day in entire year, when Moon is full of its sixteen virtues and the rays that it showers the world with are consider equivalent to Elixir (Amrit). In North and Central India, milk pudding (Dudh ki Kheer) is kept in the moonlight; on the night of Ashwin Purnima. It is assumed that if the rays of Moon fall on pudding, it becomes more helpful and pure.
Ashwin Purnima Vrat Puja Vidhi
On this Poornima, special worship rituals are performing in temples. They are as follows:
- Vow for the fast in the morning and take a bath in a holy river, lake or pond.
- Adorn the deity with good-looking clothes and jewelleries. Call (Avahan) to the Gods by sitting (Asana) and performing Achaman (process of cleansing of a person before Pooja). After that, devotion the God and offer clothes, Akshat (rice), perfume, flowers, Naivedyam, lamp (Diya), Tambul (Betel or Paan) and Dakshina to them.
- Mix Ghee and sugar in Pudding (Kheer), made from cow milk, and offering it to the God during middle of the night.
- During the night, when moon is placed in middle of the sky, worship God Chandra and offering Kheer as Naivedyam.
- Keep Kheer Vessel in moon light at night. Eat it on the next day and contribute it as Prasad to others as well.
- One should listen to the Katha on Ashwin Poornima. Before that, place water in a metal pot, wheat grains in a glass, and Roli and rice in a Dona (plate made with broad dried leaves). Then, worship the metal pot (Kalash) and offer Dakshina.
- Worship God Shiva and Goddess Parvati as well as God Kartikeya on this day.
Significance of Ashwin Purnima
The whole bath and fast begins with Ashwin or Sharad Poornima. Mothers worship Gods and Goddesses for the blessing (Mangal Kamna) of their children. On this day, Moon comes very near to the Earth. As it is autumn season during this time, therefore the weather remains quite favorable. Neither there are clouds in the sky nor dust and soot. Falling of moon rays on a person’s body during the night is also considered favorable during Sharad or Ashwin Purnima.