Be benefactors of this romantic night noted as the gift of moonlight - Mahesh Bang

Sharad Purnima night which is known as the night to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul, will occur in South Africa on October 12 from 9.06pm onwards and continues until 11.08pm on the night of the 13th. This year, we are fortunate to celebrate this over two nights. Astrologically, this is the best opportunity for all those romantic at heart to stay awake with your beloved and enjoy the ambience that the moon radiates with a candlelit dinner. So, on both nights, the moon will be closest to the earth and at its brightest. It is believed that when this occurs, the moon directs its divine rays on the Earth and with its full compliment of 16 kalas. A special calmness, good cheer, serenity and eternal nourishing power is radiated by the moon. Therefore, on this night, the moon showers nectar (Amrit) on human beings. Exposure to moonlight, at least until midnight, is encouraged during this period, to receive the “Amrit”.

Ritual, legends, religious and astrological significance and benefits of Sharad Purnima:

● On the evening of October 12 prepare a kheer dish (made with rice, cow’s milk, sugar and dried fruit), it can be covered with a transparent net if necessary, and it must be exposed to moonlight only after 9.06pm. Before sunrise the next day, or at midnight offer the kheer dish, at first, to your favourite deity, before it is distributed or eaten by your family. This can be repeated on 13th night but until 11.08pm.

● Astrologically, this is called the “Night of Prosperity”. On this night, Mother Lakshmi is believed to visit places where people are awake and engaged in spiritual activity and she would reward them with wealth and prosperity, even if it is not in accordance with their horoscope.

● The happiness (positive thoughts) and sorrow (negative thoughts) are all projections of the mind. According to vedic astrology, the mind is governed by the Moon. If your “ruling planet” is the Moon and has a weak presence in your horoscope, then observe the rituals and fast on this day to strengthen the moon’s presence. It will keep you calmer throughout the year and it will combat depression.

● According to “Shrimad Bhagavatam”, Lord Krishna performed “Raas Leela” with his beloved gopis and Radha. The worship of Lord Krishna has special significance on this night.

● Kartik, the most revered and one of the holiest months of the year and the last month of “Chaturmas”. This month of fasting begins with Sharad Purnima. According to Shree Sanatan Goswami, any good deed performed in this month is multiplied exponentially. So any acts of charity, chanting, performing rituals like lighting diyas (lamps), worshipping Tulsi Devi and bathing before sunrise, will draw much benefits.

● In India, Lord Hanuman’s presence is felt strongly, especially in “Salasar Dhaam” temple, which is a three-hour drive from Jaipur. There, a big festival happens between the day of the first Navrathri to Sharad Purnima, where a million people take darshan (to see the deity). Here, it is said that wishes are easily fulfilled, in a righteous way, at this temple. Many South Africans have visited the temple to enjoy the experience in the past.

● Lord Murugan (Kartikeya), son of Lord Shiva, can be easily pleased on this night.

● It is believed that the Moon and the Earth are closer on Sharad Poornima night and it has been said that the moon’s beams have several curative properties at this time. Exposing food to the moonlight nourishes both the body and the soul. Therefore, kheer is prepared and exposed to the moonlight at this time. In ayurvedic terms, the kheer has great benefits for asthmatic and psychiatric patients. It improves any disorder caused by “Pitta” dosha.

● It’s an ancient exercise if a person threads a needle on this full moon, their eyesight could improve. If possible, thread the needle 108 times. It is a form of “Trataka.”

● It is advisable for pregnant women to drink coconut water exposed to moon light. If the woman looked at the moon, she would feel its tranquillity. It is also known to improve the baby’s skin glow, features and mental capacity.

●The main purpose is to align ourselves with the cosmic pull and vibrations that is radiating from the moon. This is possible when our spine housing our chakras are upright and so, in an appropriate position for awakening and energising our kundalini.

● It is advisable for a family to read the Shree Hanuman Chalisa 108 times on this night or as often as they can.

● During this entire month of Karthik, if one gets up early and consumes “Amla” (Indian gooseberry), available in spice shops, daily then it will keep one youthful and keeps skin disorders away. If one can acquire organic amla, it is extremely beneficial as amla ingredients are considered the backbone of Ayurveda. Priests encouraged to distribute kheer SPECIAL ATTENTION: In India, on the morning after Sharad Purnima night, kheer is distributed in temples which are flooded with devotees, who desire to eat the divine parsad (kheer). I humbly request all the head priests and devotees of temples in South Africa to include this divine experience in their temple programme, so that devotees could enjoy great blessings.

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