(Last Updated on : 15-12-2017)
Amavasya is also known as No Moon Day or new moon day in Hindu religion
. Amavasya is known as new moon day as it is the previous time of full moon. It is the 15th day of the dark half of lunar month. The day on which sun
are in combination and Amavasya is the Indic name of new moon. It is the last day of the waning moon and is important for performing the rituals
for the departed ancestors. In Sanskrit
, ama means together and vasya means to dwell or cohabit.
Myths of Amavasya
In Indian culture
and beliefs, Amavasya is considered a time of great power irrespective of religions
. Moon goes around the earth
once in every 29.5 days. When the earth fully blocks the moon from the sun, it is Amavasya. Before the dawn of British rule in India
, Amavasyas were declared as the monthly holidays. The days of dissimilar festivals
and events are calculated depending on the 'thithi' or lunar day. The fortnight that starts with Amavasya is also referred as the Shukla paksha
In Hindu tradition
, it is believed that during Amavasya, the negative forces and evil
powers control over the earth. Amavasyas are dedicated to making the traditional rituals for the dead ancestors. There are some legends related to Amavasya. One of the stories is that of Acchoda, who the mentally conceived daughter of Barhishadha was. Since Acchoda did not have a father, she always coveted for a real father. As a result of her mortal desires, she lost all her divine and Yogic power and fell from heaven
. While she was falling, she prayed to be saved. The souls from Pitru Loka (the world of forefather) heard her appeal while she was passing through the 'Pitru Loka' and they immediately came to her rescue. They heard her story and advised her to be born as King Amavasu's daughter. King Amavasu was a wise, judicious and erudite man.
Later on things happened as the Pitrus predicted. In the mean time, Acchoda regained her powers. Acchoda arranged a ceremony to remember the Pitrus. Amavasya is named after King Amavasu. On this day the custom
of honouring the forefathers is observed since the ancient days. Pitrus Karma
is observed to plea the forefathers to safeguard from any hindrances and also to seek their blessings.
Types of Amavasya
There are different types of Amavasya which has a great significance. Mauni Amavasya and Mahalaya
Amvasya are very fortunate. In some regions people observe partial fast
or a complete fast on the day. Somavati Amavasya or Somavara Amavasya is associated with the new moon which happens on a Monday. It is a favourable day for observing the Somavara Amavasya Vrata
or fast, for the long life of their spouses.
Amavasya is dedicated to Lord Shani also celebrated as Chhaya Putra. Bhaumvati Amavasya is referred as an occurrence of Amavasya on a Tuesday. Bhaumvati Amavasya is very pleasing for worshipping planet Mars
as it is believed that when New Moon falls on a Tuesday, it happens to be more fortunate on diverse chapters of life based on apology and devotion. It is generously blessed by Mars to live a blissful life.
In Tamil Nadu
, people make special Tharpanam (Oblation) in Rameshwaram beach
and other holy theerthas
on Thai Amavasai, Aadi Amavasai and Mahalaya Amavasai. Aadi Amavasai comes in the month of July-August and is the 1st Amavasai after Dakshinayanam Punya Kaalam (Southern Journey of Sun). Chitou Amavasya
is celebrated in Odisha
in honour of Lord Jagannath
. Yellu Amavasya
is one of the major regional festivals
. It is organised by the farming
community of Karnataka.
Rituals of Amavasya
state that Amavasya is the day for the Pitrus, or souls
of the forefathers. This day is auspicious and is dedicated to the remembrance or worshipping of the forefathers. However, no travel should be done on the days of Amavasya, as travelling without moonlight was forbidden in the ancient days in Indian myths. People also conduct 'Poorna Kriya' on Amavasyas. This is generally connected with the birth of twins. The ceremony brings contentment and peace to the life of twins.
is also worshiped in Amavasya as he is closely associated with moon
. Saamba Parameshwara Pooja
is also performed on the Amavasyas to appease Lord Shiva. The dark fortnight of aswayuja (September- October) is known as Mahalaya Paksha. The fortnight is especially sacred for offering oblations to the departed forefathers. The last day of this waning period of moon is considered as most important day in the year for performing the rituals.