Shakambhari Purnima: Why This Day Is Celebrated?
Shakambhari Purnima, also known as Shakambhari Jayanti, is the final day of Shakambhari Navratri. Most Navratri begins on Shukla Pratipada, with the exception of Shakambhari Navratri, which begins on Ashtami and ends on Purnima in Paush month. As a result, Shakambhari Navratri is an eight-day festival.
Shakambhari Navratri is celebrated in the devotion towards Shakambhari Mata, who is considered to be an incarnation of Devi Bhagwati. Shakambhari Devi is the Goddess of nourishment and brings the Satvik aahar / food to everyone. She is believed to alleviate hunger and acute food shortages on the planet. All the fruits, vegetables and green leaves are considered gifts from Shakambhari Devi.
Also Read: Paush Purnima
Shakambhari Purnima and Jayanti Date & Timing in 2023
|Shakabhari Purnima 2023||Date and Timings|
|Shakabhari Purnima 2023 Date||Friday, Jan 06, 2023|
|Purnima Tithi Begins||02:14 AM, Jan 06, 2023|
|Purnima Tithi Ends||04:37 AM, Jan 07, 2023|
Method of Puja & Observance of the Fast
Many people fast for all seven to nine days of Shakambhari Navratri and eat regular food only after completing the puja of the last day. Those who are unable to observe fast for the whole duration of Shakambhari Navratri, observe fast on the first and the last day of this festival.
Have A Look: Maghi Purnima
Process of Observing the Fast
- Wake up early in the morning and have a bath.
- Clean the area of worship and offer gangajal to the deity.
- Decorate the whole area of worship, around the Shakambhari Deity, with prasadam, fresh fruits, vegetables & flowers.
- Chant Banashankari Pratah Smaran Mantra.
- Visit Shakambhari temple, offer prasadam to Devi and distribute the sacred food or prasadam to others after doing Aarti.
- Devotees should listen to Shatambhari Katha or the story.
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Invocations & Mantras
It is believed that Shakambhari Devi’s mantra provides nourishment and overall well-being and remove obstacles and sufferings. One can go beyond the fear of survival and strive for a higher purpose in life i.e. attainment of the blissful self; with the spiritual power of Shakambhari Devi.
Mantras do not just have meanings to appeal to the logical mind but also the mere sound of every letter can create certain reverberations in our body. Chanting Shakambhari Devi’s mantra creates a kind of reverberation in us by which we get spiritual nourishment.
Her Mool-Mantra is, “Om am sham shaakambharii-devyai namah.”
Another mantra for her blessings is:
“Om am sham shaakambharii-devyai sakala-sthaavara jangama-rakShakii dhana-dhaanya vritti-karinyai namah.”
Significance of Shakambhari Jayanti
Goddess Shakambari is kind, compassionate, and affectionate. The word ‘Shaka’ means vegetables, herbs and fruits. The word ‘Ambhari’ means ‘bringing’. Hence, the name Shakambhari itself signifies Devi’s grace. She is a mother to all living beings. She is also the Goddess of the forest and is said to protect her devotees who travel through the forests. On this day, along with worshipping and observing fast, one should give donations or charities.
Shakambhari Devi has a blue complexion with innumerable eyes all over the body. Her jewelled crown represents the mahavidyas. She has three eyes on her forehead symbolising true wisdom which is quick to detect the sorrows of her children. Her upper right hand contains a Lotus representing a charm of life. A bow and arrow are in the upper left hand symbolising defence and protection against her children. The lower hands contain the fruits, vegetables, roots, herbs, and flowers makes her the perfect diety of vegetation. Her innumerable eyes all over the body stand for the sympathy which she has for living beings.
The Legend of Shakambhari Devi
There are multiple stories regarding Shakambhari Devi which you can find in Bhagavata Puranam (Chapt 28), Devi Maahaatmyam (Chandi Paatham / Chapt. 11), and Muurti Rahasyam (an addendum to the Chandi Paatham). Most of these stories portray Shakambhari Devi as the incarnation of goddess Durga who was born on Earth without human parents to remove darkness for the benefit of humanity.
There was a demon named Durgamasura or Durgam who dedicatedly performed tapasya and obtain knowledge of all the four Vedas. Durgam got the boon from Lord Brahma that all the prayers offered to the deities will be reached him, to become indestructible. Once he acquired such powers, he started troubling everyone which led to the loss of Dharma. It results in no rain for hundred years which caused the condition of severe drought.
All the sages of the Himalayan started yagas to overcome such a difficult situation. Hearing their cries, Shakambhari Devi appears bearing vegetables, fruits, herbs, pulses, and grains. Tears from her eyes start rolling continuously for 9 days and nights, by seeing the plight of people. Those tears transformed into a river and ended the drought.
Shakambhari Devi also fought against Durgam for saving the sages and humans from his cruelty. She powerfully fought with Durgam and defeated him, hence, named Durga once she returned to the sages. Since that day, the fast of Shakambari Purnima is observed, for the blessing from Shakambhari Devi in order to prosper in life.
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A Spiritual Doorway
Doing puja is not just a religious ritual but also an undying devotion towards a Divine Being. Hindu mythology is ‘Sanketik Shiksha’ which means it imparts sacred education through stories and symbolism. One’s devotion towards Shatambhari Devi helps to attain spiritual nourishment, finally leading to Moksha. Deity is used in Bhakti Yoga to become a one-pointed seeker, and the related tantra & mantra vidyas are the tools to scroll through life effortlessly.
Shakambhari Purnima is a very auspicious day for a devotee and if one observes fast in this Navratri, especially on the day of the full moon, can reap the blessings of the Goddess of the Forest.
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