Kojagari Lakshmi Puja–A Night of Prosperity and Devotion

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja–A Night of Prosperity and Devotion

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja, also known as Sharad Purnima or Bengal Lakshmi Puja, is a significant and auspicious day celebrated in various regions of India. It is a day when devotees worship Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth, happiness, and prosperity. This article explores the rituals, significance, and purpose of Kojagari Lakshmi Puja.

Goddess Lakshmi

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja Vidhi

The Kojagari Puja typically commences in the evening with a ceremonial worship of Goddess Lakshmi. Some regions also refer to this evening as Sharad Purnima. An intriguing ritual during this celebration involves placing a bowl of kheer (sweet rice pudding) in the moonlight during nishita kaal, which is considered an auspicious time. In Bihar and Bundelkhand, the festivities take on unique variations, making the celebration diverse and vibrant.

Midnight Vigil

A remarkable aspect of Kojagari Puja is the midnight vigil, where devotees stay awake throughout the night in a practice known as “jagran.” Those who undertake this nightlong vigil are called “Kojagari.” It is believed that by observing this vigil and performing the puja after midnight, devotees receive the divine blessings of Goddess Lakshmi.

Rituals of Kojagari Puja

Lakshmi Pada

The celebration of Kojagari Puja encompasses various customs and ceremonies. Devotees conduct a Lakshmi Puja under the guidance of a priest. They offer items such as narkel bhaja (fried coconut), taaler phol (sugar palm fruit), naru (coconut and jaggery balls), khichuri (a dish made from rice and lentils), and sweets to seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. Women also create intricate Alpana designs in front of their homes to symbolize the feet of the Goddess (Lakshmi Pada), believing that Lakshmi visits every household on this day.

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja Celebration

Drawing Alpana is a common practice by women on this day to welcome the Goddess into their homes. Devotees light clay lamps and other lights to illuminate their homes, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Believers also observe a fast, abstaining from food and liquids throughout the day, and they break their fast only after completing all the rituals and offering flattened rice and coconut water to Goddess Lakshmi.

Significance of Kojagari Puja

Kojagari Puja falls on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Ashwin, which typically falls in September or October on the Gregorian calendar. In regions such as Orissa, West Bengal, and Assam, this day is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi descends to Earth on Ashwin Purnima to bestow prosperity and good health upon her devotees. In some areas, it is also known as Sharad Purnima and is celebrated with fervor in Central India, particularly in Bundelkhand and parts of Bihar.

Kojagari Puja Purpose

The primary purpose of Kojagari Puja is to seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. Hindus consider this night as the “Night of Awakening” when Maa Lakshmi is believed to manifest on Earth to bless her devotees with wealth and prosperity. This puja is performed with utmost devotion, and it is believed that it brings prosperity, heavenly blessings, and abundance to those who participate. In northern Indian states, the harvest and Kojagari celebrations coincide on the same day.

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