It is said that the Devi Lakshmi blesses those abundantly who worship her and fast for her during this Purnima
Kojagari Purnima is one of the major festivals in many Indian households. It is one of those many festivals which falls in the month of October. It is considered a very auspicious festival where Goddess Lakshmi, the deity associated with wealth, is worshipped for the financial prosperity and happiness of the house. Celebrated a few days after Vijaya Dashami, the significance of this festival is great in the ancient scriptures and it is said that the Devi Lakshmi blesses those abundantly who worship her and fast for her during this Puja muhurat.
There are a lot of traditions associated with Kojagari Lakshmi puja. It is considered to be a major festival in the Eastern part of India, especially West Bengal. Right after Durga Pujo, Bengalis start preparing for Kojagiri Lakshmi Puja. The houses are decorated with alpana, which is sketches made of liquid rice flour. The bhog prasasd that Goddess Lakshmi is offered is Khichudi, labda, several types of vegetable fries and sweet tomato chutney. Other than these, one every important element of the bhog is kheer and puri. But there is a very unique tradition associated with it.
For years, I saw my Nani prepare kheerer payesh on the night of Kojagari Lakshmi Puja and then, keep the entire vessel full of payesh, near the Tulsi plant in our courtyard, overnight. I was always very intrigued by this particular tradition, because otherwise, my Nani was always very particular about hygiene and never allowed us to eat uncovered food from outside. And here she was, doing this herself. An innocent question about the hygiene of the kheer led me to discover this important tradition of the Hindu mythology. According to the tale my Nani told me, Goddess Lakshmi was born on this day and she roams around the earth in the night and blesses her devotees. The moon is at the peak of its powers and whatever bathes in its light becomes holy and pure. This is the reason that white kheer, made up of sugar instead of jaggery, is kept overnight so that it is drowned in the moonlight and becomes auspicious to eat the next morning. She told me that eating this kheer prasad will bring health, happiness and prosperity in my life.
Here is the recipe to make the special white kojagiri payesh prasad.
Every puja has its own tradition and rules which are essential to it. This payesh is an indispensable part of Kojagiri Purnima and hence, its significance in the celebration is major. Follow this simple recipe a keep it in the moonlight overnight to get blessings of the Goddess.