Shravana Purnima

Shravana Purnima
Shravana Purnima

Shravana Purnima is the full moon day of Shravana month. The day is marked with various festivals and celebrations across India. For the year 2023, it occurs on Wednesday, 30th August 2023 . The exact duration of the Pournami Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.

The festivals of Shravana Purnima are narrated in brief in this article.

Raksha Bandhan

This festival symbolizes the bond between brothers and sisters. Women tie the chord named rakhi or Raksha bandhan on the wrists of their own brothers and other men whom they consider as brothers.

Shravan Purnima
Raksha Bandhan

The idea is that the tying of the rakhi provides the protective bond from the brothers to the sisters. The sisters offer sweets to their brothers after tying the rakhi and the brothers in turn give gifts to their sisters to symbolize affection.

In some places, the ladies come to their maternal homes a week before the raksha bandhan day and leave with their husbands after the function.

The festival is also called as Rakhi Purnima.

Hayagreeva Jayanthi

Bhagwan Sri Hayagreeva, the horse faced God ascribed to knowledge and wisdom, is one of the manifestations of Sri Maha Vishnu. The incarnation of Sri Hayagreeva had happened on Shravana Purnima day. The day is also called as Hayagreeva Uthpaththi.

Haya means horse. Greeva means the head. Hence Hayagreeva means horse headed. As per the legend, there was a demon named Hayagreeva who was born as the Son of Sage Kashyap. He did penance on Goddess Durga and received the boon that he would not be destroyed either by human or animal or Deva. The Goddess gave him the boon.

Shravan Purnima
Shravan Purnima

Armed with the boon, he was torturing all. Devas were devastated. They complained to Sri Vishnu. Sri Vishnu took the literal form of Hayagreeva with Deva body with horse head. With the form, He had diminished the demon Hayagreeva.

As per another legend, Bhagwan Hayagreeva had retrieved the Vedas from the demons Madhu and Kaidaba and restored them to the custody of Sri Brahma.

As Bhagwan Hayagreeva had retrieved the Vedas, He is also considered as the Deity of education and wisdom.

Avani Avittam (Upakarma)

The gentlemen who normally wear Upanayanam or yagnopavitham (three cotton strands worn across the left shoulder and right abdomen) perform homam / havan in the temple or open spaces near water bodies and exchange the new thread for the old.

For Rig Veda observers, Upakarma occurs on Tuesday, 29th August 2023; For Yajur Veda observers, it occurs on Wednesday, 30th August 2023; For Sama Veda observers, it occurs on Saturday, 16th September 2023.

The upanayanam thread is called as Janeu in Hindi. After the ritual, special poojas are done in the temples and widespread meals are partaken.

The festival is also called as Upakarma and Jandhyala Purnima.  Gayathri Japam consisting of chanting the Gayathri Manthram 1008 times is done on the next day.

Gayathri Jayanthi

Gayathri Jayanthi is the festival ascribed to the birth of Sri Gayathri Devi, the Goddess of Vedas. She is also considered as the one of the combined manifestations of Sri Saraswathi Devi, the Goddess of education, Sri Parvathi Devi, the Goddess of valour and Sri Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of wealth.

As per the legend, Sri Gayathri Devi had manifested as the Goddess of knowledge and wisdom on the Purnima of Shravan month.

Shravan Purnima
Sri Gayathri Devi

Sri Gayathri Devi is also considered as the personified form the Gayathri Manthra. It is believed that Sage Vishvamithra had made the declaration to celebrate this day as Gayathri Jayanthi. This is the day which marks the first recitation of the sacred Gayathri mantra. The day is also celebrated as Sanskrit Diwas.

Sri Gayathri Devi is worshipped as Veda Matha as She is the core and substance of Vedas. She had diminished the demon named Vetrasura.

Sri Gayathri Devi is five headed. She has ten arms. In the left hands She holds the Shank, the Sword, the disc and the pasha. The lower left hand is in varada mudra blessing abundance. In the right side She holds the Chakra, the Lotus, the vessel and the goad. The lower right hand is in abhaya mudra blessing protection.

Special homams / yagnas are conducted to invoke Sri Gayathri Devi on this day. It occurs on Thursday, 31st August 2023.

Balaram Jayanthi

The day is observed as the birthday of Sri Balaram, the elder brother of Bhagwan Sri Krishna. He was born to Nandagopa and his other wife Rohini. Sri Balaram is also one of the ten avathars of Sri Maha Vishnu. He is considered as the reincarnation of Adi-Sesha, the bed of Sri Maha Vishnu. Sri Balaram is also called as Sri Baladev.

Shravan Purnima
Sri Baladeva

The day is celebrated as Gamha Purnima at Orissa. The game named Gamha diyan is played whereby fruits hung atop the poles are caught by running on a sliding plank.

Jhulan Purnima

At Orissa, the idols of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna are decorated and kept on small swings.

Shravan Purnima
Sri Krishna and Sri Radha

The swings are swung to the bhajans and keerthans on Shravana Purnima day. The festival is called as Jhulan Jathra.

Narali Purnima

On Shravana Purnima day, coconuts are taken in procession and offered to the ocean.

Shravan Purnima
Full moon

This is considered as doing Puja to Sri Varuna Bhagawan, the rain Deity. Coconuts are also offered to rivers and water bodies.

Amarnath Yatra

The conclusion of Amarnath Yathra happens on Shravana Purnima day.

Shravan Purnima
Sri Amarnath

The yatra commences on Guru Purnima day.  On Shravan Purnima day, Bhagwan Shiva is worshipped with water.

Kajari Purnima

In some regions, women sow barley or wheat in mud pots and leave them at riverside.

Shravan Purnima
River Ganga

They do this to seek the blessings of Goddess Bhagavathi for high yields in their farms.

Special worship

At Shiva temples, the cotton wicks are dipped in ghee and lamps are lit.

Shravan Purnima
Lord Shiva

The celebration is called as Pavithrorpana.

It is considered auspicious to worship moon on this day to alleviate Chandra dosh.

Shravan Purnima
Sri Maha Vishnu with Sri Maha Lakshmi

Special prayers are done at Sri Vishnu and Sri Lakshmi temples.

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