Freezing cold water of the Ganges
and the mist enveloping the bathing Ghats casts its magical spell over lakhs of devotees who head to Allahabad on Mauni Amavas. The festive occasion of Mauni Amavas is considered to be the holiest day to take a dip in the Ganges and rinse oneself of their past sins that they might have committed. Devotees fast on the occasion of Mauni Amavas and true to the festival's spirit do not utter a word during the day.
Mauni Amavas is an extremely auspicious occasion for the devotees. The day is considered to be the conjunction period for Sun and Moon. Bathing in Prayag
at Allahabad is considered to be auspicious as Prayag is said to be the confluence of three rivers namely the Holy Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati which supposedly used to flow through the region earlier.
Mauni in Hindi means one who advocates and preaches silence.
As Mauni Amavas falls primarily on the day when one usually sees the new moon, the occasion is referred to as Mauni Amavas. The day is considered highly auspicious if Mauni Amavas falls on Monday.
The day is celebrated with full religious fervor and if it happens to be during the holy Kumbh Mela, the day turns out to be a special one, both for the devotees and the saints alike who make it a point to be at Triveni Sangam
The day begins early for the devotees and the saints alike as they head to the bathing Ghats to seek blessings from the Goddess Ganga. After the ritualistic bath, devotees head to various temples located on the Ghat. No visit to the Holy Ganges is complete without participating in the ritualistic aarti.
The mental peace that one attains on reciting the aarti along with other devotees cannot be explained in words. It is a spiritual experience at its par and can be experienced only by becoming a part of the Mauni Amavas celebrations.
Mauni Amavas is celebrated with religious devotion in Sothern states of the country too. The festivities are known by the name of Chollangi Amavas
in Andhra Pradesh. As the festival occurs on the day when Paush Amavas
celebrations are on in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka, the festivities hold special significance for the devotees in these states too.
Hindu Scriptures point out the fact that it was on the occasion of Mauni Amavas that Manu Rishi
made his first appearance on the earth. Lord Brahma
created the Universe on the holy day of Mauni Amavas. Lord Brahma who is referred to as the creator had also conceptualized the evolution of King Manu and queen Shatrupa on this day. Magh Snana
celebrations are unique in Allahabad on this day and those who donate generously on this day receive blessings from Lord Brahma. Mauni Amavas is a special occasion for thousands of foreign tourists who come to be a part of the culturally rich festivities which attract saints and devotees from all corners of India.