Shravan is the month in the Indian calendar that falls between July-August in North and between August-September in the South.
Full Moon against Shravan Star
This month is called Shravan, since the Full Moon during this month, occurs against the Shravan star.
Shravan – To listen to
Shravan also means to listen to scriptures. It is this month when people are mostly indoors due to heavy rain, when they have opportunity to listen to traditional scriptures, read by elders in the family.
Shravan Purnima is the Full Moon day of this month, an auspicious day in the Indian calendar.
This period is characterized by heavy rains. The monsoons are on and the sky is covered by thick clouds. The stars and moon are hardly seen in night sky. When the Full Moon peeps through the gaps in these clouds, it offers a grand sight, making Shravan Purnima a wonderful sight to behold.
Full Moon on Shravan Purnima
The lakes, ponds and rivers are filled with water. Lotus and Water Lily bloom in them at night. The intermittent reflection of the moon on the waters, when it is visible through the clouds, is a magical sight to behold. Visually, this makes Shravan Purnima a special Full Moon night.
Reflection of moon on Sharavan Purnima Day, a wonderful sight to behold
A Day of festivals
On this day, important festivals like Rakshabandhan, Hayagreeva Jayanthi and Upakarma, changing of sacred thread are celebrated.
Rakshabandhan is a festival celebrating the bond between the brother and sister. A brother ties Rakhi on her sister as a symbol of protection.
Brother tying sister a Rakhi on Rakshabandhan
Hayagriva is an Indian divinity who has the neck of a horse, Haya. The word “Griva” means neck. It is from this word “Griva” that we get the word “Giraffe” for it has a very long neck.
Hayagriva is venerated as a divinity of learning. Hayagriva is an embodiment of Vishnu who is venerated for the powers of learning and education, for He restored the Veda in an earlier aeon, Yuga. Hayagriva is a zoomorphic image expressing a concept, tattva of the Indian knowledge system. Hayagriva denotes the capacity to grasp and disseminate knowledge loud and clear.
Shravan Purnima is also the day when Upakarma, the changing of thread ceremony is performed. Upakarma denotes preparation or the activity that aides the start, execution of any mission. It comes from the word Upa, beside and Karman, meaning activity. The day Upakarma is performed is called Jandhyam Purnima.
A group Upakarma ceremony at the Art of Living Ashram
Shravan Purnima is celebrated as Narali Purnima in the states of Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra. On this day a coconut, Nariyal is offered to the Sea, to propitiate Lord Varuna, the Lord of waters. This day also marks the beginning of the fishing season in the Konkan coast.
Shravan Purnima is observed as Kajari Purnima in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattishgarh, marking the last day of the of Kajari Festival that begins on the navami of Shravan month. Kajari is festival of sowing of certain crops when the land is wet and waters are aplenty. It is also festival when women pray for the well being of their famalies and society at large.
Pavitropana is another festival observed on this day in the state of Gujarat. People offer special worship to Lord Shiva on this day.
End of Amarnath yatra
According to the Purana, the Amarnath Yatra starts on Guru Purnima and ends on Shravan Purnima.
This is also the day when Balaram was born.
Let us enjoy & celebrate
On Shravan Purnima, when you look at the dark clouds that bring prosperity to our land and the Full moon that peaks here and there through the clouds, sometimes reflecting from the water bodies, let us enjoy these sights of Nature along with the knowledge of what Shravan Purnima stands for in our heritage.