Amavasya is also known as no moon or new moon day is a Sanskrit word that falls every month in the lunar calendar. A lunar month in the Hindu calendar has two fortnights (Shukla and Krushna) and begins with the New moon, (Amavasya). We know that the moon completes one rotation around the earth within a duration of 29.5 days. During this period, we see a new moon (Amavasya) and a full moon (Purnima) due to the waxing – waning cycle of the moon. Amavasya occurs on the 15th Day of Krishna paksha as per the lunar cycle.
Amavasya and Hinduism: The lunar month plays an important role in Hindu religious beliefs, traditions, and rituals. For ages, Amavasya marks as an inauspicious day and a day off for the believer in the Hindu religion. Usually, Hindu tradition believes that during Amavasya, the negative forces and evil powers are strong and roam free during this night and impact adversely to our subconscious mind.
As per Hindu scriptures, every Amavasya is considered auspicious to perform the customary rituals for the forefathers. Sharadha or havan can be done on Amavasya for the forefathers. But, no positive things or auspicious activities like marriages, thread ceremonies, a new job, or new business are started on Amavasya. However, Diwali is an auspicious ritual fall on this day. Many Hindus worship Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi on this day for a prosperous progeny who has no physical or mental challenges.
Significance of Amavasya: An Amavasya falling on Mondays features a special significance. It's believed that observing a fast on this particular day would keep off widow-hood in women and ensure the bearing of progeny.
Every month, the Amavasya day is considered auspicious for the worship of forefathers. Hindus offers shraddha to their forefathers to receive blessings from them.
The dark fortnight falls during September and October is known as the Pitru Paksha (Mahalaya), which is particularly sacred for offering oblations to departed ancestors. The last day of this phase is called Mahalaya Amavasya, which is considered the most auspicious day for performing shraddha and rites.
Hindu devotees worship Chandra Deva (Moon God) on this day to seek His blessings for success and good fortune. A story from mythology explains beautifully the reason behind it.
According to this mythological story, Chandra Dev or the Moon God is a young, handsome, fair man, holding a club and a lotus in his hands. Chandra Dev is said to have been married to the 27 daughters of King Daksh Prajapati, who is one of the sons of Lord Brahma. Among all of His wives, He was a bit partial towards Rohini as she was very beautiful. He spent a lot of time with her & ignored the rest of His wife’s.
All the other daughters complained to their father of this injustice and Daksha was angered by this bias & hence cursed the Moon that he will slowly lose his beauty and radiance. But the planet became too dark without a shining moon. So, Chandra dev earnestly worshipped Lord Shiva to free himself of the curse. Looking at His penance, Lord Shiva was extremely happy and freed him of the curse of darkness but not completely. Hence, this causes until today, the periodical waxing and waning of the moon. And once during a month, it becomes completely dark and that is the day of Amavasya.
Adverse Effects of Amavasya: According to spiritual science, no auspicious ceremony is performed during this day. More than that some people do not even journey to a new place considering the inauspiciousness of the day. Astrologers believe that the position of the stars and the moon determine an individual's health and future. Thus, they strongly believe, Amavasya tithi creates adverse conditions for the human body and mind due to certain positions of the stars, the moon, and the sun.
Dos and don’ts during Amavasya: The philosophy of Yoga describes the human mind as greatly connected to the Sun and the Moon. It is a fact that our mind remains powerful and pure during the full moon and becomes weak with negative thoughts during the dark lunar phase and rises to its peak on the day of Amavasya.
• Devotees should wake up early in the morning and worship Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu after taking a bath before sunrise.
• Visit a temple to keep our mind calm and clear and to get rid of the negative feelings.
• Light a lamp with ghee and chant mantras to praise Lord Vishnu, the creator, and operator of this Universe.
• Narada Purana explains that Anna daana or giving food to the hungry is considered as a penance on this day.
• Our mental state and physical state are quite unbalanced on his day. So, observe fast or have light food at night.
• According to Hindu beliefs, it is a sin to remove basil (Tulsi) leaves from the plant on this day.
• It is believed that eating tamasic food like meat, fish egg during Amavasya is inauspicious as well as unhealthy due to low gravitational pull from the moon.
• It is considered inauspicious and a devotee must refrain from purchasing food items like wheat grains and flour especially during the Amavasya of the 'Bhadra month’.
Since antiquity, the fortnightly cycle of the moon has been considered the main source of the calculation of time in the Hindu calendar. The different positions of the moon during the waxing and waning half of the month marks the different occasions, festivals, and celebrations in a year. Amavasya refers to the lunar phase of the New moon. The day of Amavasya starts in the morning of the Amavasya tithi and lasts till the moon sighted on the first day of the waxing phase of the moon (Pratipada day).
Hindus, as per their beliefs considers Amavasya as an inauspicious day except for the Kartik Amavasya which occurs on the day of Diwali. Apart from that, auspicious functions such as weddings house-warming ceremonies are not formalized during the Amavasya period. Amavasya is devoted to performing the customary rituals for the deceased ancestors. Many people fast or do pooja/ Sadhana and havan for their ancestors and offer donations and foods to the needy and to the Brahmans.