Shakambari Purnima is the festival ascribed to Sri Shakambari Devi, a manifestation of Sri Parvathi Devi.
Shakambari Purnima occurs on the full moon day of the Paush month. For the Year 2023, the festival occurs on Friday, 6th January 2023. The exact duration of the Pournami Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.
The festival is also called as Paush Purnima and Shakambari Jayanthi. This is the day of culmination of the Navratra Vrat which begins at the Krishna Paksha Ashtami.
This day is for offering prayers to Sri Shakambari Devi whose main temple is situated in Saharanpur District of Uttar Pradesh. Sri Shakambari Devi temple is one of the Sakthi Peeth Temples.
It is believed that the Head of Maa Sati fell at this place when Lord Shiva had danced and threw away the Body Parts during Shiva Sakthi Duel.
It is believed that as per Devi Bhagavatham, a demon named Durgam Asur, the descendent of Hiranyaksha, was doing hard penance towards Sri Brahma. When Sri Brahma appeared before him, he had asked for
-thousand years of life;
-possession of four vedas; and
-transfer of the benefits / effects of prayers offered to the various Deities to reach only him.
Sri Brahma had granted him the boons.
Durgam created trouble for everyone and because of loss of Vedas and overall injustice, there was famine and misery in the Universe.
The Sages were anguished and hid themselves in Himalayan caves and started performing severe penance invoking Goddess Parvathi Devi seeking Her protection.
Sri Parvathi Devi had come down bearing food grains, greens, fruits and vegetables for the starving people. The term “shak” denotes green. Hence the Devi is called as Shakambari Devi.
She is also called as Shatakshi Devi, viz., the Devi with thousand eyes. It is believed that, seeing the plight of Her devotees, She had cried through Her thousand eyes for nine days.
Her tears were said to form into rains and various water bodies. It is believed that the universe started to come to life again.
Then, Sri Shakambari Devi had killed Durgam Asura for his misdeeds and retrieved the Vedas and handed them over to Sri Brahma. It is believed that Devi had got the name Sri Durga on account of this instance.
Sri Shakambari Devi is also worshipped as Sri Bana Shankari and Sri Kanaka Durga.
On Paush Purnima day, the devotees take holy baths and visit Devi temples. At the temples, the holy conch is sounded.
The Sanctum is decorated with greens, vegetables, fruits and flowers. Neivedyam is offered to the Goddess and Prasadam is partaken.
It is believed that taking holy bath, observing fasting and making Daan (donation) on this day shall bring in prosperity.