The Full-Moon day which falls in the Vaishakh month of the Hindu Calendar, is called the Vaisakh Purnima. According to the Gregorian Calendar, it corresponds to May. This year, Vaisakh Purnima falls on the 10th of May.
The importance of Full Moon in people’s lives cannot be undermined.
The full moon has an impact on the mind of a person and so it is suggested that one should harness the immense energy given out by the Full Moon, constructively.
Buddhists and Hindus consider this day very auspicious for prayers, meditation, fasting and other spiritual practices.
This day marks the end of the ‘Vaisakh Snaan’ month. Hindus believe that taking a bath during this month in a holy river, like Ganges, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery and Tungbhadra removes one’s sins and also provides salvation to ancestors.
Different festivals are celebrated on Vaisakh Purnima and the most well-known is the ‘Kurma Jayanti’.
Kurma Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Lord Kurma, who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of a tortoise. The legend says that a gigantic mountain, ‘Mandaranchal Parvat’ was used by the Gods and Asuras, for ‘Sagar Manthan’. But half way through the process, the mountain started sinking in the water. Lord Vishnu quickly took the form of a tortoise and lifted the mountain on his back. This was on Vaisakh Purnima and the day Lord Kurma(Tortoise) was born.
Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day with great devotion. Fasts are observed from a night before and prayers are offered to the Lord the whole night. On Kurma Jayanti, people pay obeisance in Vishnu temples and donate alms generously. Many devotees visit the ‘Sri Kurman Sri Kurmanatha Swami Temple’ in Andhra Pradesh, where festivities take place in a grand scale.
Thus, this day has enormous religious significance and is considered to be very auspicious for beginning of any construction work, shifting to a new residence or work place.
“Narsimha Jayanti" is another important festival celebrated by Hindus on the 14th day(Vaisakh Chaturdashi) of the ‘Shukla Paksh’. This year, Narsimha Jayanti falls on the 9th of May.
On this day, Lord Vishnu had appeared in the form of a man-lion(Narsimha)[ His fourth incarnation] to save his devotee, the boy Prahlad, from the demon, Hiranyakashyap. Because Narsimha had appeared in the evening, the Lord is worshipped from sunset onwards on this day.
Devotees worship the Lord and Goddess Laxmi, keep fast and donate clothes and food, specially, sesame seeds, to the poor.
The celebrations continue till the next day, which is Vaisakh Purnima.
The significance of this festival is to remove wickedness and wrong doings from the world.
In Andhra Pradesh, in the Annavaram temple, ‘Sri Rama Satyanarayana Swamy Kalyanotsavam’, is performed on ‘Ekadashi’ in the ‘Shukla Paksh’ of Vaisakh month and the celebrations continue till Vaisakh Purnima. This festival is celebrated as Lord Satyanarayan’s wedding.
Thus, Vaisakh Purnima and some days before that, is basically dedicated for the worship of different incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
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