Mauni means silence. Those who observe a vrat on this day, fast without uttering a word. And since they maintain silence, the Amavasya is also referred to as Mauni Amavasya.
The Amavasya Tithi (New Moon Day) in the month of Magha is referred to as Maghi Amavasya or Mauni Amavasya. On this day, devotees take a dip in sacred rivers, and the ritual of taking a bath in the Ganga is called Ganga Snan (bath). In 2023, it is falling on 21st January 2023.
It is believed to be one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. Mauni Amavasya’s significance increases manifold during Kumbha Mela, which is believed to be the world’s largest religious gathering and a bath in the river on special days is called Shahi Snan Read on to know more about Mauni Amavasya. The month of Magha is said to be the month ideal for performing austerities and spiritual awakenings.
And since rivers hold great significance in Hinduism, people take a bath in the holy waters to get rid of the sins that they might have committed.
Age-old belief suggests that on Mauni Amavasya day, the Ganga water transforms into Amrit (divine nectar). Hence, Ganga Snan on Maghi (Mauni) Amavasya frees one from the outcomes of his/her wrongdoings
Furthermore, Amavasya Tithi is ideal for paying tribute to dead relatives. People perform ‘Tarpan’ and ‘Shradh’ rituals to please the departed souls. These rituals are also carried out to eliminate the Pitra Dosha (the curse of the ancestors). One attracts this dosha either by action or words. Hence, a need arises to seek forgiveness from those they might have offended, intentionally or unknowingly.
Besides taking a bath in the river and offering respect to dead ancestors, people participate in philanthropic activities. Food donations are encouraged, and people also extend help to the needy in the best way possible.
This period is believed to be wonderful for self-realization as one is easily able to differentiate between the real self and his false identities. During Amavasya, the planet slows down, and all life energies are pulled upwards, making it a boon for spiritual seekers.
The science behind Mauni Amavasya:
Everything in the universe is a reverberation which translates into a corresponding sound. The body, the mind, and the entirety of creation – are a complex amalgamation of sounds. The origin (basis) of all sounds is Silence or “Nishabd”.
When one practices “Maun”, he attempts to transcend beyond the physical into the state of “Nishabd” or nothingness.
Sound is of the surface, silence is of the core. The core is a total absence of sound. Absence of sound means absence of reverberation, life, death, creation; absence of creation in one’s experience leads to an enormous presence of the source of creation.
The period between Mauni Amavasya and Mahashivratri is said to be a very powerful and conducive time period to experience silence/nishabd, and aspire for this opportunity to transcend.