Pournami – the full moon day, is considered an auspicious day in Hindu religion. The Pournami that falls in the month of Paush is known as Paush Pournami. Paush Pournami marks the beginning of Magha month – a month ideal for performing austerities. Ritualistic bath in sacred rivers like Ganga,Triveni sangam at Prayag, Dashashwamedh Ghat at Varanasi and other sacred rivers is considered very auspicious and is believed to help people to get rid of their past and present sins and take them a step closer to the path of attaining Moksha (salvation).
In some places, Paush Pournami is also celebrated as ‘Shakambari Jayanti’
and on this day Goddess Shakambari (an avatar of Goddess Durga) is worshipped with utmost devotion. This festival revolves around Shakambari Mata, who is also known as Devi Bhagwati also an incarnation of Goddess Shakti.It is believed that Goddess Durga incarnated as Shakambari to alleviate famine and severe food crisis on earth. She is also know as the Goddess of Vegetables, fruits and green leaves and depicted with green surroundings of fruits and vegetables. Shakambari Purnima is the last day in the 8-day long holiday of Shakambari Navratri, which begins on Ashtami and ends on Pournami in Paush month.”
Tribes living in rural parts of Chhattisgarh celebrate Charta festival (the harvest festival) on Paush Pournami day, people rejoice this festival with exceptional warmth and enthusiasm.
Significance of Paush Pournami
Paush Pournami reminds us that we are a part of this cosmos, creation and nature. Every human is connected to the universe in an inseparable way. Therefore, it is always important that we conduct ourselves in sync with the universe at large. Over a period, we are burdened with the all the sins that we carry with us. Paush Pournami is an occasion to relieve oneself of our sins and make a fresh start. In this way, this day helps us refresh and recharge.
Importance of Paush Pournami
According to Vedic Astrology and Hindu beliefs, Paush is known to be the month of Lord Surya. Worshipping him leads to salvation, which is why on this day, devotees in mass numbers take a holy dip and offer water to Lord Surya.
Since this is said to be the month of Sun and Pournami as day of Moon, the mystic combination of Sun and Moon can be witnessed on Paush Pournami. Worshipping both Sun and Moon on this day results in blessings and wishes being fulfilled.
On the auspicious occasion of Paush Pournami, worshippers come together in one faith and bathe in holy water, do charity, pray to Sun God, chant and fast to attain salvation. Resolve to fast before taking a holy bath.Offer holy water to Lord Surya while chanting mantras.
Food, clothes, money and other essential things are distributed to the needy. Any sort of charity and daan (donations) done on Pausha Pournami will provide exceptional outcomes. People do philanthropy according to their individual ability.
Auspicious functions on Paush Pournami
Paush Pournami is celebrated with great zeal all across the country. Several religious functions and activities take place in various pilgrimages and holy cities.
It is believed that the holy bath during Paush Pournami liberates the soul from the continuous cycle of the birth and the death. After the holy dip, devotees worship Lord Shiva and spend some time in Sadhana and meditation. The religious practice of offering ‘Arghya'(offering to God) to Lord Sun is performed as a part of the ritual.Devotees also keep the ‘Satyanarayana’ vratam and worship Lord Vishnu with full devotion. Special prasad is prepared to offer to the lord. To conclude the rituals, Aarti is performed and Prasad (sacred food) is distributed among the invitees.
Reading the holy books Bhagwad Gita and Ramayana is considered a significant ritual during this day. On this day of Paush Pournami, distinctive ‘Pushyabhishek Yatra’ begins in the temples of Lord Krishna all over India.
People also chant ‘Gayatri Mantra’ and the ‘Om Namo Narayana’ mantra for 108 times in a row.Paush Pournami also has exceptional significance as it befalls during the period of the distinguished ‘Maha Kumbh Mela’.
Significance of Paush Pournami for Sushumna Kriya Yogis
As, this is the last full moon day occurring during the winter season and therefore, symbolically it signifies the end of darkness outside and also inside us.
As Sushumna Kriya Yogis we must make the most of Pausha Pournami and practice our meditation at Brahma Muhurtha and Sayam Sandhya.