Mauni Amavasya snan at Allahbad Kumbh Mela 2013

by admin on January 30, 2013

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Kumb Mela in IndiaAncient Hindu scriptures say that on the day of Mauni Amavasaya, the universe was created. So, on this day the both the sun and moon traverse into the zodiac sign of Capricorn and pious pilgrims pray to Lord Vishnu the creator.  Pilgrims congregate at the Kumbh Mela to take part in the bathing ritual known as Mauni Amavasya snan.  This actually coincides with Kumbh Mela in Allahabad because of the Magh Mela or festival which occurs during the Hindu month of Magh (January- February). ‘Good Karma’ is supposed to be attained on this day if a pilgrim meditates and immerses himself in the sangam along with the ‘Kalpavasis.’ The Kalpavasis are those pilgrims who come for the Magh Mela annually, reside in makeshift houses and tents by the Sangam and take a dip in the waters on all the auspicious bathing dates. The other bathing days of Magh festival begin with Paush Purnima on January 27 followed by Ekadashi snan on 6th February, Mauni Amavasya snan on February 10, Basant Panchami snan on February 15, Rath Saptami snan on February 17, Bhisma Ekadashi snan on February 18 and ending on Magh Purnima snan on February 25.

The full moon day on Paush Purnima heralds in the festivities with fasts and worship of Lord Satyarnarayana and offerings of fruits, banana leaves, supari, pan, til, moli, roli, kumkum etc. Panchamrit is made with milk, honey, banana, ganga jal, tulsi and sweets and offered as prasad.

However, during the Kumbh Mela, Mauni Amavasya snan is considered as the main bathing day on the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.Kumbh Mela In India

‘Maun’ in Mauni according to Hindu scriptures means silence, and the word is intertwined with ‘Muni’ meaning saint. So, on this day pilgrims donate food and alms to the needy, observe ‘vrat’ or fasting while keeping silence in order to free their minds and engage in ‘inner dialogue’ while starting this spiritual journey. Some pilgrims also hold fast for the entire month of Magh, having only one meal a day, and ensure that they do not use body oil or cosmetics and do not sleep on mattresses. The vow of complete silence on this day is called ‘Maun vrat’. Silence is considered an essential attribute towards being a Muni leading a divine life, along with having childlike wisdom. This silence is supposed to help in freeing one’s mind from the distractions of envy, lust, greed and anger which are called Viskhsepa. This was further explained by Saint Adi Shankaracharya:

“Silence is the first door to spiritual eminence.”

Thus saint and silence form a symbiotic relationship while praying to Lord Vishnu on this day. The belief is that this will help them attain salvation and free them from the cycles of life and death. The festivities come to an end on Magh Purnima. On this full moon day, Lord Satyanarayana is worshipped first after offering of libations to ancestors. After him, Goddess Laxmi, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are worshipped. It is believed sage Vishwamitra came down to bathe at the Kumbh Mela during Magh Purnima in 2382 BCE, while the Brahma Vaivarta Purana says that Lord Vishnu himself resides in the waters at this time. These make it an auspicious date to bathe in the holy waters.

Delhi to Allhababad is just a nine hour journey by car (670 Kilometers) so it’s not as far away as you think if you want to witness the Maha Kumbh.  Next time around, we will take you to the International Flower Festival.

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  • Gitesh

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