MAUNI AMAVASYA – THE DAY OF PRACTISING SILENCE
Mauni Amavasya occurs on the 15th day of the dark fortnight of Magh (January-February). It is derived from the word Muni, literally means an ascetic who practices silence. Mauni Amavasya is believed to be the day of conjunction of the sun and the moon. Fasting is observed on this day. The devotees do not talk to each other during the observance. It is considered highly meritorious to bath in Triveni Sangam on this day.
Mauni Amavasya is a day of spiritual sadhana, to help us calm our restless minds. Mauni Amavasya also has a symbiotic relationship with the Kumbh Mela at Allahabad, being one of its major bathing days. This is reinforced in the annual Magha Mela of the Kalpavasis which views bathing on this day as extremely rewarding.
On this day, large number of Hindu devotees join Kalpavasis at Sangam in Prayag (Allahabad) and meditate the whole day. Thousands of Hindus from all around the world converge at Sangam to take bath on the day.
According to Hindu mythology, ‘Mauna’ (silence) is one of the most important aspects 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.
Apart from its festive and religious import, Mauni Amavasya is a call of the inner self, of the need for initiating an inner ‘dialogue’ with oneself, of the need to start the spiritual journey. Swami Sivananda sees the vow of silence as one of the basic spiritual disciplines for the evolution of the ‘divine life’ of man, starting with the mauna of speech which will lead to mauna of mind. Mauni Amavasya is an opportune time to learn to control the vikshepa, freeing ourselves of distractions so that we can focus within.