Purnima, the brightest night without lights or Full Moon is a natural event that falls every month according to the lunar cycle. Purnima is a symbolic date that divides the month into 2 equal lunar fortnights (Called as Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha). Many Hindu devotees observe fast on this day to celebrate Purnima Vrat. These devotees take a dip in the sacred river before sunrise, worship Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in the morning and Chandra Deva (Moon God) in the evening. Most of the Hindus in India celebrate Purnima Vrat and Shree Satyanarayan Puja with deep faith to bring prosperity, health, and happiness to one’s life and their entire family.
According to Hindu beliefs, Purnima is considered to be an auspicious day for a new beginning, a fresh start, or clean slates. Astronomy in line with the Vedas describes the waxing & waning of the Moon has certain effects on mental health, physical health and diseases, such as changes of behaviour, change of moods, heaviness, etc. So, keeping a fast on this holy day brings many health benefits as well as prevents the body from many health disorders.
Significance: As per Puranas, Purnima, or full moon day is associated with birth, rebirth, creation, and manifestation. On this auspicious day, the moon completes its one cycle around the earth which symbolizes the end of a chapter in one’s life and the beginning of a new chapter. So, devotees observe the Purnima fast to pay homage to Chandra Deva and to receive the divine blessing through the brightest light of the Moon.
Scientifically, during a full moon, the gravitational pull from the moon creates a big impact on ocean tides as well as on a human by regulating the water levels in the body. So, observing a fast on this day controls the acid content of the body and cleanses the digestive system and improves the functional capacity of the brain.
As per Vedic astrology, people born on Purnima are said to be more intelligent and possess an attractive personality.
Names of different Purnima Vrat: As per the lunar calendar, there are 12 full moon nights falls in a year and many of the Hindus celebrates Purnima vrat on this auspicious day. Fasting on Purnima (Full Moon) is considered highly religious and auspicious. Here is the complete list of Purnima Vrat-
1. Chaitra Purnima – April
2. Vaishakh Purnima – May
3. Jyeshtha Purnima – June
4. Ashadh Purnima –July
5. Shravan Purnima – August
6. Bhadrapad Purnima – September
7. Ashvin Purnima- October
8. Kartik Poornima -November
9. Margasirsha Purnima – December
10. Pushya Purnima – January
11. Magha Purnima – February
12. Phalguna Purnima – March
Mantra for Purnima Vrat: The day of Purnima or Full Moon holds a great significance, as per the Hindu mythology. Our very own Upanishad’s and Puranas explain that reciting the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra and Chandra Gayatri Mantra on this auspicious day is extremely important to receive divine blessings from God.
Om Tryambakam yajaamahe
sugandhim pushtivardhanam |
mrityormuksheeya maamritaat ||
Meaning: We worship the three-eyed One, who is fragrant and who nourishes all. Like the fruit falls off from the bondage of the stem, may we be liberated from death, from mortality.
Chandra Gayatri Mantra
Om Padmadwajaya Vidhmahe |
Hema Roopaya Dheemahe
Tanno Chandra Prachodayat’||
Meaning: Om let me meditate on Lord Chandra who has a flag of lotus.
He shrines in the brilliant color of gold. Let Lord Chandra illuminate my mind.
Purnima Fast - A plot from mythology: India, a rich and famous country for its rituals and religion, celebrates this auspicious day with different names and Guru Purnima is one of them. As the name suggests, the holy festival is celebrated to honour the teachings and efforts made by our gurus/teachers. Because knowledge is the best asset of a human being which is instilled into our minds by a teacher.
Hindus celebrate Ashadh Purnima as Guru Purnima to pay homage to Lord Shiva (The Adi Guru), who had taught myths about the creation of the earth, gods, and humans to the Saptarishis.
A mythological plot describes, over 15000 years ago, a divine man, a yogi appeared in the upper regions of the Himalayas. He was a new face to that region and no one knew where he came from and what his antecedents were – and he did not disclose his identity to anyone. He simply came and sat among them and did nothing. People saw His radiant forehead which was brighter than thousands of full moons and they were unable to fathom. They came, waited, and left because the Yogi never uttered a word to them.
Only seven people hung on. These seven people know as the Saptarishis pledged themselves that they must learn from Him and awaited near the yogi for 84 years. Lord Shiva, who was present there as a yogi just ignored them at their first request to become their Guru. But after 84 years of meditation, He observed them closely and found these Saptarishis were absolutely ripe to receive the divine knowledge which was unknown to any living being. Then, Lord Shiva decided to become a guru and revealed the divine knowledge to these Saptarishis on the day of Ashadh Purnima. That full moon day is known as Guru Purnima and Lord Shiva referred as Adiyogi or the first yogi, as He did not introduce Himself. Since then Hindus are celebrating Purnima Vart on this day as Guru Purnima.
Celebrating Purnima Vrat and keeping fast on this auspicious day is an age-old tradition for devotees of the Hindu religion. Devotees observe the Purnima Vrat throughout the day which begins before the sunrise and ends after seeing the full moon in the evening. According to astrologers, observing Purnima Vrat and doing Pooja and aarti to God Chandra in the evening have great merits. It induces positive energy in the body and tranquilizes the mind and emotions. A number of studies reveal that keeping a fast during Purnima Vrat brings an abundance of health benefits to a devotee due to the higher gravitational pull from the Sun and the Moon.
As per the Hindu mythology, on this holy day, a devotee should perform a havan on this day, to praise Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, and Lord Chandra for a blessed, healthy, protected, and wealthy life. Thus, celebrating Purnima vrat from sunrise to full moon rise is helpful for spiritual, physical, and economic upliftment beyond expectations.