Paush Purnima : Significance and Importance

 In Hinduism, Mythology

Paush Purnima: Significance and Importance

The second important bath at Mahakumbh  is on 21 st January, Monday and more than two million devotees are expected to take holy dip in Triveni- the confluence of river Ganga, Yamuna and invisible Saraswati on the occasion of Paush Purnima-the full moon day of Hindu lunar month of Paush.

 Paush Purnima is a significant day in Hindu calendar. It marks the beginning of one month long austerity period which is observed during Magha month. In lunar calendar followed in North India Magha month starts from the next day of Paush Purnima.

On Paush Purnami Hindu devotees come to Kumbh mela from far and wide to take a holy dip. It is believed that such an act will relieve all the sins, even those from previous births and even grant ‘moksha’ or salvation. Besides Prayag, the other prime pilgrimage places are Nasik, Allahabad and Ujjain.

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Significance of Paush Purnima:

Paush Purnima holds immense religious significance for Hinduism followers. This day is important as it marks the end of the winters and also the beginning of the ritualistic bath of the month of ‘Magh’. Paush Purnima also has special importance as it falls during the period of the renowned ‘Maha Kumbh Mela’. Hindus believe that by performing the Paush Purnima Snan on this auspicious day they will be able to get rid of all their sins and also achieve fulfilment of their wishes. Such baths are taken in important pilgrimage places of Hindus. With the advent of Paush Purnima, the ritualistic Magh Snan also begins. Devotees who observe the sacred Paush Purnima use it as an opportunity to end all their inner darkness.

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Rituals during Paush Purnima:

During Magha Mahina people take early morning bath in the Ganga or in the Yamuna throughout the month. The tough winter season in North makes austerity period more difficult. The daily bathing starts from Paush Purnima and ends on Magha Purnima. It is believed that all charity work done during this time are fructified easily. Hence people offer charity to needy according to their capacity.

  • Bathing is the foremost ritual on the day of Paush Purnima. Devotees get up very early and take bath in the sacred rivers at the time of sunrise. They offer ‘argya’ to the rising sun and also perform some other religious practices.
  • After the snan, devotees worship ‘Shiv lingam’ with water and spend some time in sadhna there.
  • Devotees also keep the ‘Satyanarayana’ vratam on this day and worship Lord Vishnu with full devotion. They also keep a fast and recite the ‘Satyanarayana’ katha. Special prasad is prepared to offer to the lord. An ‘aarti’ is done at the end after which the prasadam is distributed amongst all. On the day of Paush Purnima, special ‘Pushyabhishek Yatra’ is observed in temples of Lord Krishna all over India. Lectures on Ramayana and Bhagwad Gita are also organised on this day.
  • Doing charity on Paush Purnima is also very auspicious. It is believed that charity done on this day is fructified easily. Free meals are served to the needy in temples and ashrams as a part of ‘anna daan’.

 Shakambari Jayanti is also observed during Paush Purnima. The followers of ISKCON and Vaishnava Sampradaya start Pushyabhishek Yatra on this day. Tribes living in rural parts of Chhattisgarh celebrate Charta festival on Paush Purnima day.

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