Somavati Amavasya

Somavati_Amavasya
Amavasya of any month which falls on Monday is called Somvati Amavasya. Somvati Amavasya, also known as Ama Somvar Vrata, is observed on Amavasya or No Moon day which falls on Somvar or Monday.  The significance of Somvati Amavasya was explained by Bhisma to Yudhishtra in the Mahabharata. It is said that who ever takes a dip in the important rivers on the day would be prosperous, free of diseases and would be free from grief and sorrow. It is also believed that by taking a dip in the holy rivers the soul of ancestors will rest in peace. Married women take the holy dip for a happy family life and for the long life of husbands. They also worship the pipal tree. Somavara Amavasya Vrata (fasting) is observed for a long and happy married life. Many devout Hindus also fast on the day and some people only have a single meal. On the day thousands of people take a dip in Ganga at Haridwar, Triveni and other places.

Baths and donations performed on Somvati Amavasya have a special significance. Staying Maun (silent) is very fruitful on this day. According to Dev Rishi Vyas, staying Maun and performing baths and donation give virtues similar to donating thousand cows. Additionally, person observing fast revolves 108 times around Peepal tree and offers Puja to lord Vishnu and the tree. This fast is mainly observed by women. After this, donations are made according to the capabilities. On 23 January and 15 October, Somvati Amavasya, thousands of people could be seen having a dip in Haridwar. Having a dip in Brahma Sarovar of Kurukshetra gives auspicious fruits to a person on this day. This gives inexhaustible fruits. From sunrise to sunset, crowd of people can be seen bathing in holy river. Echo of sacred verse is spread in all directions. Performing these works fulfils all wishes of an individual.

As per the mythical beliefs, one who takes a holy dip in the sacred rivers on the day of Somvati Amavasya, becomes free from diseases or sorrows and are able to achieve eternal prosperity in their lives. Hindu devotees keep fast on this day and take a bath in rivers like Ganges or Godavari in order for the souls of their departed ancestors to rest in peace. Countless religiously inclined hoi polloi congregate on the banks of Ganges at Triveni and Haridwar in search of ‘Punya’. ‘Tarpan’ is performed to commemorate late relatives. Married women keep daylong fast or eat a single meal and worship the Peepal tree. Women too take holy dips for the sake of a prosperous married life. They pray for the long life of their husbands and children.

Amavasya, the no moon night that falls in the first quarter of the lunar months, has always been significant in Hinduism. The day of Amavasya marks the beginning of the brighter circle that is the gradual transcendence of the moon towards brightness. Celebration of Somvati Amavasya gives the Hindus another auspicious opportunity to pray for their near and dear ones.

The women worship Peepal tree and tie thread round the trunk of this tree 108 times. Pipal is the most sacred tree in India. It is regarded as the dwelling place of the Hindu Trinity-Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. They circumambulate ( parikrama ) one hundred and eight times with their hands folded. They pour water and milk on its roots and offer sandal paste, vermillion, wet rice (akshat) and flowers.  

Somavati Amavasya Vrat Story :
A moneylender had seven sons and one daughter. He married off all his sons. But, the daughter was yet not married. A monk used to come everyday to his house and asked for alms. In return, he gave blessings to them. He used to bless the daughter-in-law with happy married life but he never gave blessing of marriage to the daughter of the house. Once the daughter told this thing to her mother. Mother felt sad and next day, she asked the monk about this. Sadhu gave no answer and went away. Seeing this, the mother got  worried.
Mother immediately called the Pandit and asked him to see the Kundali of her daughter. He said that the girl’s destiny is to become a widow. Mother got upset and asked for a remedy. He said the girl to go the island Singhal, where lived a washer women. The girl needed to ask for the Sindoor from that lady and wear on her forehead. Moreover, by observing the fast of Somvati Amavasya, the inauspicious Yoga can be removed. Hearing this, mother requested the sons to go with her daughter. Only the youngest son agreed to go. Both of them left and reached the seashore. They started thinking, how to cross it. They sat under a tree on which a vulture had a nest. Whenever female vulture gave birth to a child, a snake used to eat him up. That day, vulture and his wife was out when a snake came and their children started shouting. Daughter of moneylender understood and killed the snake with her courage. When vulture and his wife returned, they became happy seeing their children alive and helped the girl to go to the house of washerwomen. The girl secretly served the washer women for many months. The lady was pleased and applied Sindoor on her forehead. Then, the girl left for her home without drinking water. On the way, she revolved around a Peepal tree and then, she drank water. She worshipped the Pipal tree and observed the fast of Somvati Amavasya. This way her inauspicious Yogas were cancelled and she became fortunate.

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