Attaining the age of eighty acquired some significance for pensioners when the government instituted additional allowance to the elderly persons who were classified as ‘super senior citizens’ about fifteen years ago. I was wondering why the figure 80 was chosen for the award of this bounty.

In an idle reverie, I was surfing the Internet when I discovered that living up to this age was considered to be propitious by the ancient Indians. In our country, we followed the lunar calendar, and in that format, they arrived at sighting the 1000 full moons as an appropriate event to perform ‘pooja’ and celebrate. I discovered the following text:


Sahasra purna chandrodayam


Sahasra purna chandrodayam is the celebration of a person’s 1000th full moon during his or her life as a special occasion. This is a custom in India and Nepal. As the time between similar lunar phases, the synodic month, is on average 29.53 days, this is celebrated 3 full moons before your 81st Birthday. This ritual is also known as Sahasra Chandra Darshan (सहस्र-(पूर्ण)चन्द्र-दर्शन) or Chandra Ratharohan. Gautam Buddha is supposed to have lived up to his 1000th full moon. Recently, this ceremony got publicity due to the felicitations of Atal BihariVajpayee (2005), Satya Sai Baba (2008) and Lata Mangeshkar (2010).


I attained this age yesterday, and during the last few days, I have been trying to understand the significance of the event. To me, it seems that in the days of the yore, very few persons lived up to this age, and they were revered for having survived that long. As of now, I find that nearly half of my peers have crossed this landmark, though all of them are not in very good health.


My study of the scripture reveals that our holy books suggest that on this occasion, we should accept the fact more of our life is now behind us and less lies ahead. We need to alter our lifestyle in the following ways:

  • Shed ego. It is a millstone around your neck.

  • Stop comparing yourself with your peers. You have received your share of the goodies.

  • Do not carry the burden of the mistakes committed in the past. You cannot go back to correct them; that much is certain.

  • Reduce attachment with your possessions. The coffin has no pocket and the grave has no safe locker or a steel Almira.

  • Read less and concentrate on the subjects which are of interest to you. Your eyes can no longer bear the excessive strain.

  • You can not get a job, because no one is willing to hire you.


Old age has many negatives. The body loses its strength and agility and there is a palpable loss of memory. Age-related pains are inevitable. But for all the gremlins of the grey hair and wrinkles, it also has some blessings. Some benedictions are:

  • You have no boss, and therefore, you do not have to listen to sermons every morning.

  • You can do what you like. Pursue a hobby, play a game…or just sit and enjoy nature.

  • No one takes you seriously; so you do not have to weigh every word for sagacity or wisdom.

  • There is no need to ‘save’ or ‘invest’ money. The future for which you have been saving all your life has arrived!

  • If you get a serious ailment like cancer, the doctors are unlikely to subject you to painful surgery or ghastly chemotherapy.


The Tailpiece

The 1000th moon is no different from any other. It need not be a ‘blue’ moon. But after you have read the ancient scriptures, it rises to educate you on a few home truths about the residual life. And as per our traditions, the Pooja is followed by celebrations. Remember, more than half the mortals do not live to see their ‘sahasra poorna chandra’!




  1. colls says:

    I passed the event uneventfully
    years ago
    all such theories are like helping one
    pass left over time
    till when no one knows
    nor ever did
    nor ever will
    AS I TOO also WILL
    no time can yet kill




    Sir Ji

  2. Col KA Chinnappa says:

    Chinnappa Kuppanda
    Sun, Apr 24, 8:09 PM (16 hours ago)
    to me

    Dear Sir,
    Insightful information.
    Happy belated birthday and stay happy
    Cheers (although I don’t recall you ever drinking…..)

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks, Chinnappa.
      It is really not a ‘birthday’ but it indeed is a ‘mile-stone’
      For sure it tells you that more of your life is gone; less is left!
      So you have to hurry up and finish all that you wanted to do. In my case, I was destined to write. As someone said,

      “Writers do not write because they ‘want’ to write. They write because they have to!”
      As for drinking, I think I was able to keep well within my limits. I do take a drink, but have never got intoxicated (except once, when I was just commissioned)
      Here I meet HV, and we talk about the SDD days. And we remember you fondly. Do keep in touch. How is Ms Chinnappa and what are the children doing?

  3. Dr BV Prabhu says:

    Prabhu B.V.
    Sat, Apr 9, 10:39 PM
    to me


    Your writeups are always special taking me to the old days listening to you.

    Nice days, I miss them


    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks, Prabhu.
      You have also left a profound influence on me.
      I admired you for your simplicity and devotion to your work.
      God bless your wife and the son.

  4. Krishna Menon says:

    Krishna Menon
    7:13 AM
    to me

    Dear Gen Surjit Singh,

    Congratulations on attaining your 80th birthday. Wishing you many happy returns of the Day, and many more joyous years in good health and prosperity.

    I reached 1000 moons in my 81st year and counting as I approach my 85th year towards the end of June.


  5. Brig J Rajagopal says:

    Thu, Apr 21, 7:25 PM
    to me

    Dear surjit,
    Wish you all the best in attaining 80 yrs of age after sighting 1000 moons.
    Keep well and be safe.

  6. Lt Gen Kapil Aggarwal (Retd) says:

    Dear Sir,
    Heartiest congratulations on celebration of Sahasra Purna Chandrodayam on 16 April 2022. The next time there will be full moon on 16 Apr will be in the year 2041. In 2041, you will be in your centenary year.
    So my wish is that you celebrate a healthy full moon day on another 16 April.
    Cheers !!
    Warm regards,

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Hi Kapil,
      From where did you get the information about 2041?
      I enjoy seeing the full moon…but I suspect that my quota will soon get exhausted. And for each one, I have to live 29.53 days! I think my body may not be able to last that long.
      And I have no regret. I think I will be quite happy to leave, whenever His Messanger comes to take me, and relieve me of the burden of carrying my aged bones!
      God bless you.
      PS Do write your piece on terms of engagement. It is needed

      • Lt Gen Kapil Aggarwal (Retd) says:

        Sir, the full moon repeats on the same calendar date after 19 years. So the next 16 Apr when there will be full moon is 2022+19 =2041.
        warm regards

  7. Prakash Bambwale says:

    Prakash Bambawale
    6:58 PM (16 minutes ago)
    to me

    Sir Wonderful article. Please accept my humble Greetings for sighting
    1000 full moons in this life. May Almighty bless you long & healthy life ahead.
    However, I beg to submit the following. Please excuse me if you don’t agree
    for any reason.
    Firstly it is not a sighting of 1000 full moons in life. At infant age, we do not see all the full moons then during esp. rainy season many times the full moon is not visible.
    That’s why it is called ” Appearance of the full moon in sky which sometimes may not
    be visible to our eyes etc.
    In 81 yrs there are 972 months so there are 972 full moons. now add 27 full moons
    for 27 Adhik mass which appear every 3 yrs. This totals to 999 full moons.
    the 1000th full moon is the first full moon after you complete 81 yrs.
    The above was explained to me by my class teacher decades back & I feel it
    is correct. Balance is our belief. However, to be alive well till that age is very
    auspicious & sweet blessings of Almighty.
    I once again send my Greetings and humble regards.
    ________ Prakash Bambawale

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Prakash,
      I agree with you. One is not able to sight every full moon. The English title is a literal translation of the Sanskrit text. I think it is a metaphor.
      To arrive at the exact date, one has to do a lot of calculations. The learned men who prepare horoscopes are often consulted for this. But three moons before the 81st birthday is a good approximation
      Now, I find that some people go by the solar calendar. They celebrate this event after 1000 months, and that day occurs after you complete 83.33 years of life.
      Thanks for the kind words. Your message is very educative.

  8. Jagwant says:

    Congratulations Sir.

  9. Maj Gen RK Batra says:

    Greetings on reaching the 1000 full moon landmark. I agree that it is a turning point in one’s life. It was nice to spend some time with you and Surender on our recent visit to Chandigarh Best wishes


    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Bravo and Rita,
      I think you will have to wait for a few more months to arrive at this ‘mile-stone’
      Yes. It was nice to meet you. I hope you will come again, when you return from NZ
      God bless Gudiya.

  10. Lt Gen R K Mehta says:

    Raj Mehta
    Apr 19, 2022, 5:39 PM (20 hours ago)
    to me

    Congratulations on achieving this landmark. Wish you many many more moon sightings.
    Regards and best wishes,

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks, RK for your kind words.
      I think you are also likely to join the ‘super-senior’ citizens club!
      Regards to Dolly from both of us.

  11. Satish Manocha (ex CMD ITI Ltd) says:

    Satish Manocha
    9:00 AM (5 hours ago)
    to me

    Our sincere and Heartiest Congratulations sir, on reaching one threshold.
    We pray that the Almighty and dhan Guru Nanak Dev ji Maharaj grant you grand, excellent health, Joys with all in family, Peace of mind, for each moment for celebrating daily to cross a century on this great birth on our only one Good Earth. Best warm regards and Pranaam.
    Yours affectionately,
    Satish Manocha, Bengaluru.

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks for your kind words.
      you are blessed with humility. It runs in your genes…a part of the Farooka DNA, I guess!

  12. Maj Gen PN Monga says:

    P N Monga
    9:38 AM (4 hours ago)
    to me

    Dear Sir,
    Heartiest congratulations on sighting the 1000th full moon.

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Good to hear from you.
      We spent a lovely evening with you, thanks to Bajaj.
      May such a day dawn again…and soon!

  13. Lt Gen Prakash Katoch says:

    Prakash Katoch
    Tue, Apr 19, 7:43 PM
    to me

    Thank you Sir.

    Warm regards.

  14. Rustom Jamasji says:

    May the Moon bestow upon you and yours, her smile , her warmth and her Protection for many more years to come

  15. Bjavneet Singh says:

    Bhavneet Singh

    to me

    Thanks for sharing


    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks, Bhavneet.
      We look forward to meeting you and Savneet. And we hope you will find time for us, to tell us all about your life and work.

  16. DALJIT MADAN says:

    Congratulations my friend 2997 Surjit on crossing this milestone. I crossed it last year . Most of what you have written about Good and Not so good are generally correct . Everyone has to go through it if one wanst to live long . Distinctly remember our first day at NDA – your scholarly and intelligent look.
    May you live healthy for many more years.
    Daljit Madan ( 3000)

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      The NDA days are unforgettable.
      I also have very pleasant memories of those days, when we called you ‘Daddy Madan’
      And if I am not wrong, we shared a bivouac in camp Greenhorn in 1958.
      God bless you.
      Surjit (2997)

      • Daljit Madan says:

        D.S Madan
        10:11 AM (2 hours ago)
        to me

        Yes, my friend Surjit 2997. your memory of Camp Greenhorn is correct.

        Somehow my memories of NDA days remind me of so much unwarranted RAGRA . What for? We became 2/lt with so much torture, if I may say so, and many other streams got it much cheaper without having to go thru such acts of stupidity – Front Roll from Cinema to your sqn- Lifting cycle on the head for not being in proper formation – front roll whole length of the corridor – sit on an imaginary chair are just a few of such acts. Then the sword of Relegation hangs just because you got one mark less than pass marks and your legs don’t close properly while jumping to cross Wooden Horse.

        Some good memories are also there. Balance tilts on Negative.

        Let us live for now and move forward with whatever time is left with us.

        Raab Raakha

        Daljit -3000

  17. Lt Col ABS Sidhu says:

    Heartiest congratulations for sighting 1000 moons. I am still waiting for the same.
    The advice given is very appropriate and should follow. We should try and forget the past and don’t worry about future. We should enjoy our present.
    With warm regards and best wishes.
    ABS Sidhu

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:


      Someone said,

      “The past is history; dead and gone
      The future is a mystery; no one can predict it
      The ‘present’ is a gift, and that is why we call it by that name”

      You were the ‘baby’ of the course. And therefore will attain that age last of all!


      • Col ABS Sidhu says:

        ABS Sidhu
        2:14 PM (3 hours ago)
        to me

        Manmohan Dhillon,3019, beats me by 20 days.
        He is the baby of the course.
        With warm regards and best wishes.

  18. Maj Gen P Sen says:



    A milestone indeed.

    Many Happy Returns of the day Sir.

    Warm regards P Sen


    I was travelling and arrived at our Delhi house, yesterday evening.
    Tried to call you on the way to the airport, but no go!

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:


      It seems that you ‘were born with a boarding pass in your hands!’

      Or maybe, you have chosen to travel in two boats!


    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      It seems you were born with a ‘boarding pass in your hand’ Or maybe, you have chosen to travel in two boats!

  19. Sandeep Padam says:

    Nice one sir.

  20. Dr Amarjit Singh Honolulu says:

    I am happy to learn of this belief.

    Thanks, much and best wishes,


  21. Col VRK Prassad says:

    vrk Prasad
    Mon, Apr 18, 9:41 PM
    to me

    Dear Sir,
    This is known as Sahasra Chandra Darshan in Hindu culture.
    I discussed this in my book ” Life is a School: Learning as A Way of Life ” published in 2020 under ” Super Senior Citizen Stage of Life”..
    Col Prasad

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      If there is a soft copy of the book, you may like to share the relevant extracts with my readers.
      Thanks for the response.

  22. Lt Gen Kamal Khanna says:

    kamal khanna
    6:18 AM
    to me

    Dear sir, congratulations. A great achievement. Wish you many more full moons.

    Kamal Khanna

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Kamal,
      I was very happy to meet you a decade ago.
      If you write something which you would like to share with my readers, I would be glad to post it on our blog.

  23. Lt Gen DB Singh says:

    Dharambir singh
    8:23 AM
    to me

    Scriptures do not lie
    Happiness lies in following the dictums
    With best wishes and cherish the additional bonus on the pension

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Brother,
      You are able to say a lot in very few words!
      Yes. The additional pension is welcome!

  24. Cdre PS Bawa, IN says:

    Sorry Surjit, there are people like me who lost count of how many days we were underwater in a submarine during 16 years and on overclouded nights.
    Congratulations on sighting your 1000th moon.
    Wishing you the best of health and long life with good health.
    Pami Bawa(2926)

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Pammi,
      I am sure that none of us is able to ‘see’ every full moon. This is a literal translation of a Sanskrit verse. So it has to be seen in that light!
      You, Submariners, are a breed apart. I admire you for going deep down into the oceans while fulfilling your mission.
      Now that you are on the terra-firma, I suppose you are glad to be breathing fresh air (polluted, yet fresh!)
      Do you ever visit Chandigarh? Drop in if you have a few minutes to spare.
      Surjit (2997)

  25. Col Ranjit Maini says:

    Ranjit Maini
    8:21 AM (3 hours ago)
    to me

    Great sir,
    Hope we live to see you hitting a century
    God bless!


    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      To be honest, I would not like to live that long. I see some ninety years old struggling to perform the basic chores. They are dependent on others for every little thing. As someone

      “zindagi badi honi chahiye; lambi nahin!’

      God bless


  26. GANGADHARAN says:

    Dear Sir,

    Congratulations! The Bible says your ordained age is 120( Genesis 6/3) Psalm 90 gives age as 70/80 and that is for cursed people who disobey God. You are maintaining sound health and a cheerful countenance. For you age is just a number.
    With warm regards,

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      I would like The Lord to give me a long life only if He is willing to give me good health and lively friends along with that.
      When I think of you, I am inspired by your spirit. You are a true soldier and have learnt to live in spite of your handicaps.
      God bless you.

  27. Sitendra Kumar says:

    Dear Sir,
    Hearty congrats on your 80th birthday. You mind is agile and alert and thinking rational. May you live long to complete a century.
    Thanks for the interesting article.

    Sitendra Kumar

  28. I should add here that in Kerala ,1000 moon siting is taken at the 84 th birthday and NOT 80 th birthday.

    • Surjit Singh says:

      I have heard that from another friend also.
      What some people do is they celebrate 1000 calendar months. If you divide 1000 by 12 you get 83.333. So this event occurs in the 84th year of their lives.
      Be that as it may, it is a ‘mile-stone’ on the path of our lives. And the additional pension is a welcome bonus!
      Wish you happy days in the USA

  29. Heartiest Congratulations Sir for this auspicious milestone in life.This is celebrated widely in Kerala traditionally and was a very rare feat during the old days when male life expectancy was much lower .

  30. Lt Col. H.S.Bedi says:

    Dear Surjit ji,

    Very interesting write-up on the crossing of the 1000 moons. May you cross many more and keep enlightening us through your wisdom.

    Congratulations on your 80th birthday.

  31. Col Randhir Gandhi says:

    V interesting and educative

  32. Col Harbans Singh says:

    Thanks for this valuable information. This piece of information is coming after all our Coursemates have already crossed this deadline. God Bless
    Col Harbans Singh (XVI NDA)

  33. Maj Gen Yadav says:

    Thank you Sir for sharing your thoughts…Very apt and as always, witty with lot of wisdom…
    We wish you the best of health so that you can pursue your interests and shower your blessings on us all…and of course admire the beautiful nature…
    Warm Regards

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Randhir,
      Thanks for your kind words.
      I just learnt that you are the Cdr BWG. I did that job many years ago.

  34. Lt Col Prateek Malhotra says:

    Wishing Gen Surjit a very Happy sighting of 1000 full moons.
    Many more to come sir.

    I have gone through the post. A very thoughtfully written piece with very wise advice. I agree with all the points.

    Me and Prachi both wish you another 200-300 full moons at least

  35. Lt Gen Raj Kadyan says:

    Thank you, sir.
    We all are hovering in/ around that age bracket.
    I will read it at leisure

  36. Maj Gen MPS Kandal says:

    Congratulations! But then You were always that. Didn’t really have to wait for any auspicious moment to arrive.
    Always as wise!
    Kandal MPS Bhopal

  37. Ms Anuradha Dua says:

    Thank you so much Gen Surjit for sharing this very interesting blog. I had never heard of this. Congratulations on crossing this landmark of sighting more than 1000 full
    Moons and may God give you good health to see many more full moons.
    Love and regards

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Anu,
      When you wish me a long life, please add that longevity should be accompanied by good health. I would hate to be dependent on anyone.

  38. SheshagiriRao Devaguptapu says:

    SeshagiriRao Devaguptapu
    5:42 PM (1 hour ago)
    to me

    Sir this sahsrachandra Chandra darshanam. And sahasrachandrabhishekam is done to the couple on an auspicious day in Vedic tradition. This is similar to shatyabdhipoorthi done after completing 60 years of the head of the family. May shiva and Venkateswara bless you sir with a long and happy and healthy life.

  39. Ashali Varma says:

    Ashali Varma
    4:24 PM (2 hours ago)
    to me

    Amazing that so much of what is in our philosophy is so apt. I am going to be 70 this year but happy to say that most of the characteristics one should have, I already am in tune with. God Bless you and May you have several more healthy years.

    Warm regards,

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Ms Ashali Varma,
      Our scriptures are very old. And they have come to us by word of mouth. The wisdom of the Vedas must have been examined and filtered by the ‘Rishis’ of each generation. It is for this reason that I firmly believe that what we have is cogent, and worthy of deep study.
      I am surprised to learn that you are going to turn seventy this year. Your pictures on the internet seem to suggest that you are much younger.
      But what you write is sagacious and thought-provoking.
      God bless you.

  40. Jasdev says:

    Jasdev Singh
    2:47 PM (3 hours ago)
    to me

    It’s a very nice and balanced read.
    Loved it !!!

  41. Wg Cdr LK Dutta says:

    lalit dutta
    1:28 PM (5 hours ago)
    to me

    Interesting. Thanks for the gyan Surjit !


    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks, Lalit.
      Gyan is impossible to attain. We only pick up some tidbits from here and there.

  42. Air Cdre Ashok Chhibbar says:

    Surjit Sir, that is indeed a wonderful milestone in your life. Heartiest congratulations on your 80th birthday and the sighting of the 1000th Full Moon in your life or Saharsa Purna Chandrodayam, as celebrated in Maharashtra.

    Best Wishes & Regards,

    Ashok Chhibbar

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks, Ashok!
      I think you have a long way to go before you reach this milestone!
      God bless

  43. Col IP Singh says:

    With warm regards

    IP Singh

  44. Joseph Thomas says:

    Congratulations on your Sahasra Purna Chandrodayam.

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      You are the ‘baby’ of the course. So you will cross this landmark the last of all!

  45. Dave Sood says:

    There is not a day in one’s life that you gain knowledge in some sphere of life. I am glad that I have senn the The 1000 moons. I have received this great knowledge from AMOLAK. ALWAYS ENLIGHTENING TO VISIT THIS SITE

    • Maj Gen Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks for the kind words.
      I have learnt only one thing…that I know very little; but I have an infinite appetite for knowledge.
      Perhaps we have similar genes and DNA

  46. Prem Hejmadi says:

    Belated Happy Birthday. Welcome to the band of Octas. Nice write up.

  47. Dr E Venkata Rao says:


    All these years you have been sharing your wisdom! As always they have been very interesting. This one is really nice, a good introspection!

    May you live long till 2000th moon and continue to share your wisdom.

    Happy (belated) birthday !!!

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