Panchangam, Vedic Astrology, Kundli
Mauna Amavasya

Panchang Ganita, Panchanga Siddhanta, Panchang Author: Pundit Mahesh Shastriji, Seattle, WA USA
Inspiration: Late Pundit Maganlal Devshanker Shastriji


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Mauna Amavasya

About Mauna Amavasya

Mauni amavasya is observed on the “No Moon day” in the Amavasyanth Pushya Krishna Paksha Amavasya -- Purnimanth Magha Month Amavasya as the most auspicious day during Kumbh Mela to perform ritual bath (mental detoxification). The word Mauni and Mauna is derived from ‘muni’, which means a spiritual performer who practices silence as a part of his daily spiritual rituals.

According to Hinduism, ‘Mauna’ (silence) is one of the most important aspects of spiritual discipline and symbolizes a state of oneness with the Self. It gives an opportunity to introspect and initiate a dialogue within oneself. Mauna is described by Adi Shankaracharya as one of the three essential attributes of a Sanyasi along with balya or childlike state and panditya or wisdom. Both Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Mahatma Gandhi observed periods of silence in their spiritual practice . Vinoba Bhave even observed a year long silence in the year 1974-75. According to Ramana Maharshi, mauna is a state beyond speech and thought, it is “living without the ego-sense”. He made silence the medium of spiritual instruction.
Mauna is not different from the classic definition of Yoga as given in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: “Yogas citta vritti nirodha” – “Yoga is the cessation of mental fluctuations”
However one has to distinguish between the spiritual discipline of consciously observing silence and muteness due to indifference, shyness, anger or simply a bad mood. Mauns is spiritually motivated silence and can be “ Vak Mauna” which is to renounce the use of the organs of speech or “kashta mauna”, which means to not only abstain from oral speech but to also avoid communication through written messages, gestures like nodding or shaking the head and so on.
Bhagwad Gita  gives importance to silence and austerity if mind. In the bible is the expression, “Be still, and know that I am God.” In Geeta Krishna also describes silence as himself and says “ 10.38: Among all means of suppressing lawlessness I am punishment, and of those who seek victory I am morality. Of secret things I am silence, and of the wise I am the wisdom.” Apart from silence practising meditation, non-judgment and spending time with the nature, one can access the state of pure potentiality. Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.
In periods other than silence one must learn to observe austerity of speech which Krishna in Bhagvad Geeta describes as “17.15: Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”

What are different types of silence?

Ans: Silence is not just “not speaking for some time” but also speaking less. As per Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, one should be careful in his thoughts, speech and action. Gautam Buddha wrote extensively about austerity of speech and said speaking less means not to speak a lie, not to speak evil and not to speak when not required. He said whenever speaking, ask yourself three questions – is it the Truth? Is it necessary? Is it kind and if the answer to any one of them is no, don’t speak.

What should one do while observing silence?

Ans: While observing silence, one has many alternatives. First is to get absorb oneself in some work like reading, watching TV etc. This is like concentrating on the present. Second alternative which is recommended by Deepak Chopra in his book “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”, is to observe the nature like the sounds of birds, waterfall or the wind etc. The third alternative is to close your eyes and concentrate on your thoughts and the self. All these can be used initially to improve one’s concentration and later to shift to actual meditation. As per vedic philosophy, silence conserves energy. It sharpens concentration power.

How long can one do practice of silence?

Ans: It may be for few minutes or few hours. Deepak Chopra recommends 20 minutes of silence everyday. Hindu mythology recommends one day of silence on Mauni Amavasya in the month of Magh. The only example of one year silence was by Acharya Vinoba Bhave in the year 74-75.
Mauni Amavasya is an ideal time to do away with the distractions of mind and focus one’s innerself or aatma. Traditions stress on the need to practice ascetic behavior. Fasting on this day is considered highly auspicious. Many people even fast the whole Magh Month or consume only one meal as day. Sleeping on mat, not applying oil on body, not using any cosmetics / makeup, observing silence & meditation form an essential part of this Vrata.

Mauna Amavasya celebratio dates in 2014

  • Hawaii: January 30th 2014
  • USA/PST: January 30th 2014
  • USA/MST: January 30th 2014
  • USA/CST: January 30th 2014
  • USA/EST: January 30th 2014
  • UK: January 30th 2014
  • India: January 30th 2014
  • Malaysia: January 30th 2014
  • Australia -- WAU: January 30th 2014
  • Australia -- SAU: January 30th 2014
  • Australia -- NT: January 30th 2014
  • Australia -- QSLND: January 31th 2014
  • Australia -- NSW: January 31th 2014
  • Australia -- ACT: January 31th 2014
  • Newzeland: January 31th 2014
  • Fiji: January 31th 2014

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yaj jagrato duram udaiti daivam tad u suptasya tatHaivaiti|
duramgamam jyotisam jyotir ekam tan me manaH shivasankalpam astu||
||shri shukla yajurveda vajasaneyi samhita (madhyandina sakha) 34.1||

The divine essence that goes far away, from the waking, and likewise from the sleeping, and that one far-traveling Light of lights, on that-the auspicious will of the divine-may my mind dwell.

.. sarve janA sukhino santu ..
kriShNa! kriShNa!! kriShNa!!!

I bow down to the supreme personality of godhead Lord kriShNa who makes incomplete complete.
Pundit Mahesh Shastriji
Seattle, WA, USA
shastrijii at mypanchang dot com


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