The New Moon, Amavasya

As the vedic year is divided into lunar months, there is a new moon each month. The period of the new moon, or dark night, is called Amavasya. Amavasya is not a time for starting new activities.


In astronomy, the New Moon is the first lunar phase, when the Moon and Sun have the same longitude. During this phase, the Moon is not visible. In other words, it is a completely dark Moon.

 

Moon and Sun have the same longitude…

When the Moon moves to within 60° of the Sun, it becomes malefic and is unable to manage its energies. As the presiding deity of the mind, the Moon rules the mind and a malefic moon rules disorder, disruption, and attempts to disturb self-discipline, self-control, self-management. It can be quite a challenge to complete ordinary, everyday tasks at the time of new moon, for there is a lack of light. The moon has moved to complete darkness.

Spiritual discipline lays a foundation. When practice becomes ingrained habit and second nature, this is when discipline becomes protection, a barrier against the ills of the modern world, and an inner strength with the phase of the Moon we call New Moon. At the time of conjunction of Moon and Sun, we can dispose of discipline, be impatient, take short-cuts and even, act in a bad humour. This is why we need to lay down a long-time habit of spiritual discipline and self-awareness, so we can take corrective action when the times tempt to taking shortcuts or reacting to situations.

When the Moon emerges from conjunction with the Sun, the Bright half commences (Shukla Paksha). The Bright Half is a time for beginnings, commencements, new projects, but it is best to wait until the second day of the bright half before starting something new. It is said that the second Lunar day after the new moon is best for beginning important things.

Mauni Amavasya

Mauni Amavasya, also known as ‘Mauna Amavasya’ is a unique Hindu tradition observed on the ‘amavasya’ (no moon day) during the Hindu month of ‘Magha’. It falls during the month of January-February as per the Gregorian calendar. Mauni Amavasya is also referred as ‘Maghi Amavasya’ as it observed in the month of ‘Magha’. The word ‘mauni’ or ‘mauna’ signifies silence, therefore on this chosen day, most of the Hindus observe complete silence. There is another significant ritual associated with this day known as ‘’Mauni Amavasya Snan’. This practice of taking a holy bath is very predominant during the ‘Kumbh Mela’ and ‘Magha Mela’.

 

thousands gather for the holy dip on Mauni Amavasya at Allabhad

Mauni Amavasya is a day dedicated for spiritual activity. This practice is very popular in different parts of the country, especially in northern India. The celebrations of this festival are very distinguished in Allahabad, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. During the Kumbh Mela in Prayag (Allahabad), Mauni Amavasya is the most important day for bathing in the holy Ganges and is popularly referred as the day of ‘Kumbh Parva’ or ‘Amrit Yoga’. In Andhra Pradesh, Mauni Amavasya is celebrated as ‘Chollangi Amavasya’ and it is also known as ‘Darsh Amavasya’ in other regions of India. Mauni Amavasya is therefore a day to attain knowledge, happiness and wealth.

 

the holy dip is taken with prayers and offerings to the Gods

 

 

 

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