Discover Shakambhari Pournima 2024: India’s Night of Divine Nourishment

February 25, 2024
1 min read

Shakambhari Pournima is a Hindu festival, primarily observed in India in veneration of the Goddess Shakambhari. It is observed in the month of Pousha, which usually corresponds with January. This year, Shakambhari Pournima is being celebrated on 25 January 2024. This date is significant as it is the eve of Republic Day, marking the day on which the Constitution of India came into force in 1950. As a result, India, which was previously a dominion, became a Republic, embodying the principle of being constituted by the people, for the people.

Shakambhari Pournima marks the culmination of the Navratri or nine nights festival, lasting 9 days. Shakambhari is a form of Mahadevi, revered as a goddess of nourishment who manifested on Earth to save the world from a drought. By slaying the demon who caused it, she restored the sacred Vedas back to the learned people. According to the Devi Bhagavatam Purana, she responded to the pleas of the people by producing vegetative products from her own form to nourish all creatures of the Earth.

The festival is a symbol of the harvest festival, with puja (worship) being performed for the goddess in the homes of devotees and temples. One notable temple dedicated to her is in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Devotees wake up early, take an auspicious bath, and offer prayers. A murti (statue) of the goddess is worshipped with the Arati ceremony, during which many lamps are lit, and offerings of flowers and sweets are made to the deity. Scriptures such as the Durga Chalisa are recited in praise of the goddess.

Shakambhari represents prosperity, particularly in the form of food – vegetables, coinciding with the harvest of these items in India. Worship also extends to God Shiva and his consort Parvati, revered as the parents of the universe. The Sanskrit poet Kalidasa has lauded them for their symbiotic significance, akin to that of word and its meaning, referring to them as Bhav & Bhavani. In essence, the festival is a period of gratitude for the good harvest, with the Devi worshipped as a token of thanks.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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