Mumbai: The city observed Sharad Poornima, or Kojagiri Poornima, on Saturday, October 28.
The morning was characterized by prayers, pujas, and religious discourses at temples and homes. However, the Chandra Grahan, or lunar eclipse, occurring later in the evening, led to the cessation of most Hindu religious activities around midday.
This full moon day marks the onset of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin, heralding the beginning of Sharad, the winter season, and the conclusion of the monsoon. It is considered an auspicious time for spiritual activities, and deities such as Saraswati, Shiva, and Krishna are worshipped on this day.
At Matunga's Marubai Devi temple, the day commenced with the 'Nav Chandi Yagya' in the morning. Since the year 2000, the temple has conducted a Yagya, a ritual of offerings to a sacred fire, every Poornima or full moon day, following the advice of their guru. These Yagyas, dedicated to Devi (also known as Saraswati or Laxmi), are so popular that all subsequent services have been booked until 2030, according to the temple trust.
Anil Gawand, chairperson of the Marubai temple trust, explained, "But those monthly Yaynas are booked by families. Saturday's ceremony was for all devotees."
The deity at Marubai temple | FPJ
Due to the moon eclipse, which began before midnight, the temple closed after noon. According to believers, an inauspicious period commences nine hours before the eclipse, during which it is advisable to avoid religious activities to minimize the influence of negative planetary forces.
Devotees also offer prayers to Lord Krishna on this day. Matunga's Ashtika Samaj, also known as Kochu Guruvayoor temple, hosted bhajans and discourses, attracting crowds of devotees in the morning, as mentioned by Sunder Ramakrishnan from the temple trust.