Sharad Purnima falls on Aso Sud Punam and is also known as Kojaagari Poonam. In Sanskrit, ‘kojaagari’ literally means ‘who is awake?’ Laxmiji, the Goddess of Wealth, is said to travel through the skies that night searching for people that are awake to bless them with prosperity. Hindus usually leave a light on or a candle lit so that Laxmiji knows that they are awake and worshipping God on that sacred night. In the Swaminarayan Sampraday, Sharad Purnima is important because Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami was born on this day in Bhadra. Thousands of devotees gather at BAPS mandirs around the world on this day to celebrate his life and work. Pramukh Swami Maharaj regularly celebrates Sharad Purnima in Gondal.
- Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami was born on this day in Bhadra. He helped countless individuals on the path to God-realization and spirituality.
- Shri Krishna performed the Maha Raas Lila with his ideal devotees, the gopis, on this night. With the luster of a full moon, Shri Krishna took as many forms as there were gopis and gave each of them the satisfaction of playing raas with him. Shri Krishna tested their devotion by questioning, “How can virtuous women like yourselves leave your homes and meet another man in the middle of the night?” But the gopis’ conviction was firm. They understood the meaning of divine, pure love and spent the entire night relishing in the divine murti of Shri Krishna.
- Devotees offer dudh pauva to Bhagwan and distribute it as prasad at night. Dudh pauva counters the effects of pitta, or digestion, metabolism, and energy production, in the body.
- Devotees celebrate the life and work of Gunatitanand Swami at BAPS mandirs worldwide.