Only two beings are believed to have all 16 kalas, which besides virtues like patience and compassion include mastery of the fine arts like music and dance. One of course is Lord Krishna, the all-attractive one, and the other is the Moon! So when the Moon shines in all his divine glory, it is a sight to behold for all 3 worlds, and the good news is that you don’t have to wait much longer to witness this. Tomorrow is Sharad Poornima, also called Kojagiri Poornima, the most spectacular full moon in the year.
It is believed that the Moon is very close to the earth on this night and the moonlight is extremely potent on this night. It is a great time to prepare Kheer, which mirrors the moon’s milky white colour, and offer it to the Moon, leave it out to bask in the moonlight and this can then be consumed as prasad.
It is also believed that the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi is on her earthly sojourn on this very special night. There is a tradition therefore of cleaning up the house and preparing to welcome her, very much like one would on Diwali. It is a big celebration in the Kohlhapur Maha Lakshmi temple, with devotees in their thousands thronging the temple. It is also a day when devotees fast, usually on fruits and liquids to please Maha Lakshmi. Kojagiri Pooja is also observed in Bengal, Orissa and Assam.
This is also the night when Lord Krishna performed the divine Ras Leela. When the moonlight was already so enchanting, the Gopis on listening to Lord Krishna’s flute couldn’t hold themselves back and they all ran to him. It was then that the divine dance unfolded, where in every Gopi’s experience, Lord Krishna was dancing with her. This magical night is believed to have stretched to the length of Brahma’s day, which is billions of human years. Such is the glory of Lord Krishna. To this day therefore, Dandiya Raas resumes especially in Gujarat, after a brief hiatus following the end of Navratri.
We are on the home stretch to Diwali now, and this is a great time to feel grateful for the material abundance in our lives. It is when we share our resources with others and those less fortunate, that we receive manifold. So prepare to bask in the glory of the full moon, soaking in the splendour of the 16 kalas, letting your body, mind and soul feel nourished on this most special of full moons.
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