Chaitra Amavasya – Significance & Observance
What is Chaitra Amavasya?
According to Hindu calendar, the new moon day which takes place in the Chaitra month is called Chaitra Amavasya. For those following the Gregorian calendar, the day falls in the month of March or April.
What is the Significance of Chaitra Amavasya?
The day of Chaitra Amavasya falls in the first month of the Hindu lunar calendar. It is for this reason dedicated to spiritual healing and considered apt for engaging in rituals that help in reversing karmic doshas and absolving an individual of his or her sins. The different phases of moon (waning and waxing) culminating in a fortnight herald the beginning of several rituals that are believed to appease the gods and forefathers.
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What are the Rituals of Chaitra Amavasya?
On Chaitra Amavasya, Hindu devotees worship Lord Vishnu and perform these rituals:
Performing Chaitra Amavasya Vrat
People observe a fast on Chaitra Amavasya for the blessings of Lord Vishnu and the Moon God. Devotees offer prayers to the deity at their homes or at a temple. They also donate food to the underprivileged. They are expected to feed crows in order to attain the blessings of their deceased ancestors. As per the Garuda Purana, on the day of Amavasya, the forefathers visit their descendants’ place and if sacred food and prayers are offered to them, they give their blessings to their heirs.
Performing Holy Dip
The day of Chaitra Amavasya is extremely auspicious for a holy dip in the sacred Ganges and along its course where Kumbh Mela takes place. These holy dips can be taken in Ujjain, Nasik, Prayag and Haridwar. By performing the holy dip, devotees get absolved of all their sins. To attain peace of mind and clarity in thoughts, devotees also worship Lord Shiva.
Performing Shradh Ceremonies
Shradh ceremonies are an intrinsic part of Hinduism. These rituals are centered around worshipping the deceased ancestors. In Hindu faith it is believed that after death, the departed souls reside in the Pitru Loka. This is believed to be a temporary abode where the souls reside for a short duration, till the time of their new birth. During this time, their souls experience thirst and hunger as they seek penance from almighty. These sufferings can be greatly reduced with the sacred offerings made by their descendants on earth. The offerings along with the recitation of mantras can alleviate the pain of the ancestors during their stay in Pitru Loka.
What are the Benefits of Observing Chaitra Amavasya Fast?
There are several benefits and merits of observing Chaitra Amavasya Vrat and worshipping Lord Vishnu and Moon God. These are:
- People get rid of Pitru Dosha
- It helps in atoning for the past and present sins
- Devotees win the blessings of their forefathers
- Brings peace to mind and results in clarity of thoughts that guarantee a peaceful life
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