Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chollangi Amavasya or Mauni Amavasya: the day to be observed in total silence, Mahatma Gandhi had realised its significance

Falling on the fifteenth day of the dark fortnight of Magh is this unique festival called Mauni Amavasya - that is the moonless day for observing the vow of silence. Magh is one of the most sacred months among the devout Hindus. The uniqueness of this festival is apparent since it is the only sacred day on which the holy men and devout ret1lain silent. Many might question the relevance of this festival because they may ask that how and why the day to be observed in total silence. They don't realize that silence has great power. Mahatma Gandhi had realised its significance and hence his keeping silent occasionally.

Mauni Amavasya is known as Chollangi Amavasya in Andhra Pradesh. It is also celebrated as Darsh Amavasya in some other places of India. Mauna Amavasya is coincided with Paush Amavasya in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Indians are known to be a garrulent people. They love talking, thus wasting precious energy. Silence often makes our recoup one's concentration and observation. It is the day to 'receive' rather than to transmit which we do every day. On this day leading your life for a change in total silence and communicating while writing on small pieces of paper is recommended besides observing complete piety. If this 'tithi' falls on Monday, it has its significance infinitely multiplied. Bathing on this day in the holy waters like that of the river Ganges and the like, eating frugally the selective food items like fruits or kootu-flour-made items etc, visiting temples and religious shrines and listening to the discourses of the holy men is said to be greatly merit-bestowing.

Like bathing in the holy rivers in the morning in the month of Kartika is said to be greatly purifying to the soul and body, so is the religious recommendation for this month of Magh. In fact the MaghMela in Allahabad attracts millions of devout to the holy bath at the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Many mendicants and aspirants pass this full month staying on the banks of these rivers in Prayag. Staying for a prescribed period of time at Prayag is said to performing 'Kalpavaas' or 'Havas'. The modern Jhoonsi village on the bank of river Yamuna at Allahabad was the capital of King Puroorva (of Urvashi fame) and then it was known as Pratishthanpur. The belt along the bank is named after the King Puroorava's mother 'Ila' who had donated this land to the brahmin hermits. So, this area became famous as 'Ilawas' or 'Ila's place. The devout who dwell on this strip in hermitage during the Magh-mela, Kumbha-Fair, etc. are called 'Ilawasi'. Taking bath on Mauni Amavasya day is said to give great religious merit. The observance of piety and devotion on this day at Prayag, the prince of pilgrimage centers, is highly meritorious. Aspirants. come here and stay for a full mouth of Magh and practice prescribed rituals and ceremonial sacrifices. Through the whole month there are religious discourses, kirtan bhajan and 'satsanga' keep on taking place to the great advantage of the devotees. They stay there taking only frugal diet of fruits etc. and drinking some milk. Brahmans and other deserving persons are bestowed with gifts, food, raiment etc. in charity.

On this day the main bathing ceremony during Kumbh Fair at Allahabad for the holy men and Naga-Sadhus takes place. It is a treat to watch scores of unclad or scarcely clad holymen taking bath at Sangam amidst great fanfare and the police bandobast at day break when temperature on the river surface may be plummeting below zero degree. On Mauni Amavasya day, traditionally Lord Vishnu is worshipped and the 'Peepal' tree is religiously circumam bulated (Parikrama is performed). In the Gita, Lord Krishna says: "I am Ashwatha". Ashwath is the Sanskrit term for the tree of Peepal bearing botanical name : Ficus Religiosa. It is even otherwise is held in high esteem among the Hindus. The purpose of observing silence on this day is said to be sharpening our's concentration power and living in total communion with Lord Almighty.
The Triveni Sangam, or the intersection of Yamuna River and Ganges River and the mythical Saraswati River, where devotees perform rituals

Mauni Amavasya, also known as Mauna Amavasya, is observed on the No Moon day in Magha month (January – February). Mauni Amavasya 2011 date is February 2nd. Magh Amavasya day is the most important day of Kumbh Mela. Magh Mela is celebrated during the Magh month and it is one of the most auspicious days to perform ritual bath at Triveni Sangam or Prayag at Allahabad.

Mauni or Mauna or Muni means a spiritual performer who practices silence as a part of his daily rituals and pujas. It is believed on Mauni Amavasya day conjunction of the sun and the moon takes place.

Mauni Amavas, or Mauna Amavasya, is the no moon day in the Magha month (January – February) as per the traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. In 2011, the date of Mauni Amavasi is on February 2. It is also an important bathing date at during the annual Magh Mela and Magha Snan and Kumbh Mela. The word ‘mauna’ or ‘mauni’ means silence and several Hindus keep complete silence on the day.

According to Hinduism, ‘Mauna’ (silence) is an essential part of spiritual discipline. Derived from the word muni, a Sanyasi or saint who practices silence, mauna ideally symbolizes a state of oneness with the Self. Mauna has also been described by Adi Shankaracharya as one of the three essential attributes of a Sanyasi.
In modern day, it was Ramana Maharshi who popularized silence as a medium of spiritual instruction. For him silence was a state beyond speech and thought – it is living without the ego sense.

On Mauni Amavasi day, large number of Hindu devotees join Kalpavasis at Sangam in Prayag (Allahabad) and meditate the whole day.
Mauni Amavasi is a day of spiritual sadhana – a day to make an attempt to getting into the habit of calming the restless mind.src:wikipedia
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