Kojagari Lakshmi Puja

The Kojagiri or Sharad Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the day of the full moon of the lunar month of Ashwin in September-October. It marks the end of the monsoon and the passage from summer to winter. In Bengal Kojagori Lokkhi puja is done in the Ashwin Sharad Purnima, the first full moon after the autumnal durga puja. It is more a feast for joy over the beginning of harvest time and less of a harvest feast, so that the grain can mature for some time until they could be harvested. Man wanted to assure himself with the ritual that the harvest was not endangered by a late hailstorm. .

Extensive preparations are made to please the Goddess Lakshmi and prasad is distributed to devotees at the end of worship with the special preparation of assorted Khichuri, Narkel Naru, made with coconut and fresh fruits. Alpana is painted in footprints with alta in the homes. Women generally fast during the day.

During the night the devotees stay awake and sing songs in the moonlight and observe a fast taking only liquids such as water, coconut milk and milk. In some areas, this fast is known as Kaumudi Purnima. The custom during Sharad Purnima is to prepare a kheer, a preparation of hot milk thickened and flavored with spices, saffron and cardamon that must be kept under the moon to absorb the divine nectar of the Harvest moon, blessed by protective and benevolent lunar rays.

Lakshmi is represented wearing a red sari seated on a lotus, dressed in sparkling clothes and jewels and has a benevolent attitude and a maternal aspect. She is surrounded by two white elephants. Her name derives from the word luck. She is venerated by Ganesha. She was also considered the propitiator of motherhood. This deity was also called Annonaria.

Laxmi is worshiped by offering flowers, fruits and sweets along with puspanjali. Kojagori or Ko jagrati, means, the one who is awake. Devotees believe Lakshmi comes at night with wealth, and knocks the door of the house and the one remaining awake is entitled to the treasures. Lakshmi is the presiding deity of fortune and wealth with the owl being her bahan. Almost every Hindu household worship Lakshmi in the evening. Lakshmi is the consort of Vishnu and the mother of Kamadeva.

Lakshmi is often referred to with the attribute of Shree, added to the Rig Veda between 1000 and 500 BC and is referred to at the time of the war between the Devas and Asuras during the Samudra Manthan.

Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Fortuna. Fortuna was a late creation that arose as a courtesan and humble reaction to the moralizing character of Venus. Fortuna is an archaic divinity and that appears frequently linked to the rites of passage, but whose cult disappear. Later when the patronage of the party passed to Venus, only the incense offering remained for Fortuna eclipsed by the prestige and popularity of Venus.

Lakshmi does not find a clear characterization even after examining the ancient sources, who was later identified with the Anatolian Cybele, the Gallic Rosmerta, as well as with the Greek Demeter, Rea and Tyche and Laima, a Baltic goddess.

Such multiplicity of figures can be largely attributed to the fact that the archaic Indie cult, rather than being polytheistic, thought to many of the divine essences of the invoked beings as the faithful did not know much more than the name, functions, and the numen of these beings, i.e. their power, that manifested itself in highly specialized ways.

Since the cultivation of land and harvesting of the crops occupied a central role in the life of that time, it follows the interest, the profusion of rituals, ways of prayer and even the number of cited figures. Lakshmi is incorrectly identified with money.

In ancient times Lughnasadh, a full moon festival was the first of three harvest festivals when the peasants lived from harvest to harvest. Lughnasadh was always looked for as the end of the involuntary fasting and celebrated as a feast of prayer, bread, grain and sport. It is in its essence a celebration of the joy of life, characterized by the knowledge that darker times (winter) are in suit.

The feast day was dependent on the full moon, which was closest to the actual harvesting start, since there were regional differences. It was next to the other festivals of Mabon and Samhain and was also the first of the three pagan harvest festivals. The beginning of the harvest marks the end of the maturing season. From now on, the period of the harvest begins and the days become much shorter.

At Lughnasadh Germans celebrated in honor of Thor. The corresponding Sk√°lskarparm√°l describes how the fire god Loki, cut off the hair of Thor's wife Sif. The first grain harvest was also consumed by the Saxons and Germans during a ritual meal on the occasion of the bread festival. Among the Germans, Hausblot (harvesting sacrifice) was primarily a harvest festival or a sacrifice for good harvest, the blessings of Vanengotter. Thor was particularly venerated as the patron of the peasants, and Freya was thanked for the fertility of the earth. At this time, the people met and arranged weddings.

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