Paush Purnima is a significant day for the Hindus, falling on the Purnima or the full moon day of the month of Paush, coinciding with the month of January according to Gregorian calendar.
This is the day which marks the beginning of the month long austerity of Magha month. What starts in the Paush Purnima culminates and ends on the Magha Purnima.
In 2019, this auspicious day will be celebrated on the 21th of January, Monday.
Devotees believe that a holy bath on this particular day is extremely beneficial. People take early morning bath in the rivers of Ganga and Jamuna frees their soul from the restrictive cycle of birth and death.
It is believed that the devotees are absolved of all their sins even of the last birth by having these holy dips. Dashwashwemedh Ghat at Varanasi and Triveni Sangam at Prayag are considered to be highly auspicious and millions of devotees come here to have a holy dip in the sacred water.
After taking a holy dip guaranteed to bring them salvation, devotees pour water in front of the sun and the Shivalinga to worship Lord Shiva. In certain places this auspicious day is also celebrated as the ‘Shakambari Jayanti’, when Goddess Durga took the incarnation of Devi Shakambhari to bring food to the fasting humans of earth. She also engaged in a fight with the demon Durgamasur. During that battle she was aided by numerous of her avatarts and other Yoginis and finally after long days of battle Durgamasur was vanquished and peace and prosperity had been restored on earth and heaven. She is known as Devi Shakambhari because it ideally means the bearer of vegetables, and she had brought food to starved and parched devotees. The Shakambhari Utsav, which lasts for 9 days, ends on this day.
Rituals of Puash Purnima
- Devotees awake early in the morning and take bath in the sacred rivers for gaining blessings. They also offer arghya or offerings to the Sun God.
- After the ritual bath, devotees bathe the Shivalinga and worship Lord Shiva.
- Devotees also keep fasting for Satyanarauana, or Lord Vishnu on this day. They recite the Satyanarayana katha and chant the name of Lord Vishnu. Special Prasad is offered to the Lord and aarti is done.
- On this auspicious day special Pushyabhishek yatra is organized in all the Krishna temples.
- Doing charity is considered to be beneficial on this day as the benefits are fructified to a great extent.
- Lectures on Ramayana and Bhagwad Gita are organized and listened to.
Significance of Paush Purnima
Paush PurniMa is important in Hindu religion. It signifies the end of winter and also the beginning of the beginning of the ritual bathing of Magh. This is the time which coincides with the Maha Kumbh Mela. The ritual bathings are extremely sacred as they absolve the devotee of all their sins and also grant them salvation or moksha from the ritual cycle of birth and rebirth.