“I want pin-drop silence” is something we have heard at least once in our classrooms. As children, we also had the experience of being hushed up by our elders to the slightest trace of noise when in a temple or places alike. Should we consider these gestures of our teachers and elders as mere acts of discipline or is there any significance to “not talking when it is not necessary”? The following quote from Mother Teresa may help in our understanding. “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
Why is it important to maintain silence?
Silence acts as a great catalyst in bringing us closer to God. It is in the silent moments of prayer and meditation that we truly connect with our own inner-selves and God. Silence is regarded as one of the important virtues across the different religions of the world. Along with not speaking when it is not necessary, it is equally important to reduce the chatter of the mind and concentrate on the real purpose of life. For people on the spiritual path, ample opportunities are provided to understand the gift of the unspoken word and to make a beautiful connection with the supreme creator.
What is Mauni Amavasya?
• Mauni Amavasya, the last before is one such opportunity to control the agitations of the mind and tongue and to make progress on the spiritual path.
• Mauni is the person who practices “mauna” (silence). It is observed on the Amavasya (no moon) day of the Magha month.
• It is believed that millions of years ago on this day, the universe was created and Manu Rishi along with queen Shatarupa appeared on Earth.
Appropriate way to observe the vrat:
• It is stated in the scriptures that the Ganges water turns into nectar on Mauni Amavasya day. Thus, it is beneficial to take a holy dip in the Ganges on this day.
• Many devotees travel to Triveni Sangam (the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) and take a dip on this day.
• If you are not able to make it to any of the holy rivers, please chant the following mantra with a pure heart before taking a shower.
“I humbly invoke the divine presence of the waters from the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri in this water.”
The above mantra when chanted with a faithful heart bestows the benefits of taking a bath in all the holy rivers.
• Apart from the holy dip, keeping “mauna vrat” (a vow to remain silent) is an important part of observing Mauni Amavasya. The core purpose behind this observance is to connect with our true self, avoid idle talk, control our senses and to engage them in the devotional service of God.
• Keeping a fast on this day will enhance the spiritual merits of the devotee.
• It is highly recommended to meditate upon Lord Vishnu on this day. Try and visit any nearby temple of Lord Vishnu and if available, circumambulate the banyan tree (also called as the holy fig tree/ peepal tree), as it is considered to be a form of Lord Krishna (Lord Vishnu) as stated in the 26th sloka of the 10th chapter of .
• It is also a very significant day to free oneself from pitra dosha (suffering caused by the absence of rituals that need to be performed for the salvation of ancestors) by offering tarpan to one's forefathers and ancestors.
• Make a donation of food, money and clothes to the poor and needy. You can also feed a cow or any other hungry animal.
• If your lifestyle does not permit you to keep a vow of silence for the entire day, try to maintain silence as much as possible and meditate upon Lord Vishnu.
Significance of the observance of Mauni Amavasya:
• Undergoing austerities is the first step in our spiritual journey as they help in the purification process.
• Keeping a vow of silence is the simplest of austerities. It is an ideal way to focus within and understand the primary goal of human life.
• One who observes Mauni Amavasya with a sincere heart is freed from sins and material bondage and attains liberation.
Mauni Amavasya is known as Chollangi Amavasya in Andhra Pradesh and as Darsh Amavasya in some parts of India.
This year, Mauni Amavasya falls on 30th January. OnlineTemple.com wishes spiritual progress to all the devotees on the observance of Mauni Amavasya!