In the year 2016, Mauni Amavasya will be celebrated on 8 February. On this day, Sun and Moon enter into Capricorn sign because of the transit. This day is also celebrated as the birthday of Manu Rishi. Hence, this day is known as Mauni Amavasya.
The significance of this amavasya increases when the yoga for Capricorn, Sun and Moon is formed. Taking bath in holy rivers on this day is believed to give fruitful results.
Significance of Maun Fast on Mauni Amavasya
According to some scholar, Maun Vrat should be observed on this day. Maun (silent) Vrat means to control all our senses. People take the resolution of Maun Vrat for a day, or a month, or for one year. It depends on a person for how long he wants to observe silence. Taking bath in holy rivers, along with fasting is considered very auspicious. Hence, a person should observe Maun Vrat and then have a bath. After completing the bath etc. A person observing Maun fast should go to a peaceful place and perform mediation. This purifies the mind of an individual. The soul gets connected with Lord. On the day of Mauni Amavasya, a person can perform homas, donations etc. after bathing and meditations. By doing so the sins are removed and people get relief from enemies. On Mauni Amavasya, bathing in holy rivers give virtues that are obtained by performing hundred thousand Rajasuya Yagna. Its benefits are equal to Ashwamedha Yagya.
The Amavasya and Purnima of Magh Masaare celebrated as a festival on this day. The places where Amrit was dropped, during Samudra Manthan between Gods and demons are considered sacred for having bath.
Significance of Mauni Amavasya
On the day of Mauni Amavasya, a person should person mediation and donate things as per his capacity. Those who are not able to take bath in holy rivers or any other pilgrim, should wake up early in the morning, complete his routine work and have a bath at home itself. He can even take bath in a nearby river. As per the scriptures, the water of rivers become as pure as Ganga Jal on this day. Silence should be observed while bathing and meditation. On this day a person should avoid performing wrong works and try to make his mind strong. He should focus on activities that can help him to keep his mind peaceful and make the body strong.
After this, person should worship Brahma Dev and perform the Gayatri Japa. Donations should be done with faith and chanting of mantra. The donations include giving of cow, gold, clothes, bed and other useful things.
Rituals during Mauni Amavasya
The devotees get up early on the day of Mauni Amavasya to take holy dip in the Ganges at sunrise. If a person cannot visit any pilgrimage destination on this day, he/she must add little Ganga ‘jal’ to the bathing water. It is widespread belief that while taking bath, one must remain quiet. On this day devotees also worship Lord Brahma and recite the ‘Gayatri mantra’.
After finishing the bathing ritual, devotees then sit down for meditation. Meditation is a practice that helps to concentrate and attain inner peace. On the day of Mauni Amavasya any wrong actions must be avoided.
Some of the devotees observe complete ‘mauna’ or silence on the day of Mauni Amavasya. They abstain from speaking all day long and only meditate to attain the state of oneness with self. This practice is known as ‘Mauna Vrat’. If a person cannot keep, mauna vrat, for the complete day, he/she must maintain silence until finishing the puja rituals.
On the day of Mauni Amavasya, thousand of Hindu devotees along with the ‘kalpavasis’ take a holy dip in ‘Sangam’ at Prayag and spend the rest of the day in meditation.
In the Hindu religion, the day of Mauni Amavasya is also appropriate for relieving pirtu dosh. People offer ‘tarpan’ to their ‘pitrs’ or ancestors to seek forgiveness and attain their blessings. On this day people offer food to dog, crow, cow and kusht rogi.
Offering charity is another important ritual for the day. ‘Magha’ is an important month in the Hindu calendar. On this day people donate food, clothes and other essentials to the poor and needy people. There is also a ritual of offering sesame (til) oil to Shani Dev.